DURHAM — Cary Academys girls blew open a close game at halftime to roll to a 64-34 victory, while Durham Academys boys defended their home court with a 63-61 nail-biter on Tuesday night in the renewal of the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Association rivalry.
The host Cavaliers' boys' team had led by as many as six points with 28.1 seconds to go, but Cary Academy extended the game and whittled the lead down to provide an entertaining final half-second.
Cary Academy sophomore John Guerra hit a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds to cut Durham Academy's lead down to one. Guerra, who had a team-high 19 points, fouled out defending the ensuing inbounds pass -- but no time ran off the clock.
Durham Academy's Slater Daniels made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second -- but the ball and clock didn't cooperate. The rebound headed out of bounds and the final buzzer sounded before the ball had been touched. The Chargers (7-14, 1-4), who were given the ball out of bounds under the Durham Academy goal, completed a Hail Mary to an open Guarv Judge near the opposite baseline, but the game-winning 3-pointer missed the goal.
"We just wanted to miss it so that as soon as it touched their hand, it would've been the end of the game," said Durham Academy boys coach Tim McKenna. "Unfortunately, we had a clock malfunction so they got a dead ball and a good luck at it. Lucky or unlucky, they didn't make it."
The Cavaliers (9-16, 1-3) were led by senior Noah Tulksy's 25 points.
"To their credit, they made some big shots," McKenna said. "But our guys stepped up and made some foul shots at the end to win. We needed this win badly for our guys and I'm hoping we can build upon that."
Earlier, the girls game was effectively decided even before a Cary Academy junior Mickayla Sanders gave her coach a sad look as she walked off the court with 2:50 left in the fourth quarter.
After 33 points, Sanders hated for the night to end, but there was little else for the Lady Chargers to prove.
After opening the game down 14-4, and entering halftime up by just one, Cary Academy scored 60 of the game's final 79 points.
"Our passing and our defense helped us," Sanders said. "And coach (Danielle) Harber inspired us during halftime and said we've got to play hard."
Durham Academy (9-12, 2-3), is the only team in the TISAC to have defeated Cary Academy in league play this season. The Lady Chargers (18-7, 5-1) wanted to avenge the earlier loss and also pick up their first road win at Durham Academy in three seasons.
Eighth-grader Liz Roberts led the Lady Cavaliers with 17 points.
"We played more as a team and not individually this time," said Sanders.
If approved, these will be the final CA-DA rivalry games played in the "Cavdome" before the school begins major renovations before next season.
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps