Boys’ basketball: Panther Creek 61, Cary 60:
Published: Jan 09, 2013 02:15 AM
Modified: Jan 09, 2013 02:17 AM
CARY - Cary High School’s gym floor wasn’t friendly to the Imps, as the Panther Creek Catamounts stole a 61-60 win in overtime in the Tri-9 matchup Friday night.
Despite coming out of the game with the victory, Panther Creek head coach L.J. Hepp said allowing teams to come from behind has been one of the Catamounts’ bad habits throughout the season.
The team has even changed its halftime routines.
“We’ve struggled this year to start second halves,” Hepp said. “It’s been a problem, and we’re 11 games into the season. This has been a theme. We’ve had leads in a number of games, leads at halves, and we end up losing games.”
Panther Creek jumped out to the early lead with the help of some 3-pointers from its backcourt to give it a 17-10 advantage in the first quarter. It maintained that lead throughout the first half, but Cary was able to stay within striking distance.
After clawing back into the game, the Imps took their first lead, 45-44, early in the fourth quarter.
Nubian Spann anchored the Catamounts late in the quarter. He gave Panther Creek the lead, 56-55, on a post shot with less than one minute left in the game, but fouled Cary’s Cory Gensler on the other end. Gensler went 1-of-2 from the line to tie the game at 56.
Panther Creek had a chance to win in regulation coming out of the timeout with 6.7 seconds left after holding for the last shot; but Spann missed an attempt from the short corner of the floor in the closing seconds of regulation, resulting in overtime with the game tied at 56.
Spann posted a double-double for the Catamounts, with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Gensler drew a foul on an attempt from the paint to send him to the line with the opportunity to take the lead. Gensler missed the front end of the two shots but made the second, tying the game at 60.
Gensler finished the game as Cary’s leading scorer with 22 points. Donte Robinson also had a standout game for the Imps, adding 11 points and eight rebounds.
In the waning moments of the overtime period, Panther Creek senior Tre David was able to pick up a foul on a layup attempt with 0.9 seconds left on the clock.
Davis missed the first attempt but hit the second, scoring his lone point of the game to seal the win for the Catamounts.
“We couldn’t be more happier as a team to get a win, but it was our senior – our only senior – that was able to knock down that foul shot,” Hepp said.
According to Hepp, the team’s character and resilience were on display in the second half.
“I think it shows a lot of heart,” Hepp said. “We had guys down the stretch that had big performances for us.”
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.