CARY — Cary area fans poured out Friday night to witness a homecoming of sorts and a chance to stop a super streak.
Green Hope senior David Robertson returned to Panther Creek High School and scored 24 points against his former team to lead the Falcons’ boys past the Catamounts 69-64 in a game that came down to the final seconds.
The win lifted Green Hope (12-3, 6-2) into a three-way tie for second place with Lee County and Apex.
In the girls’ game, Panther Creek was within three points of the Falcons midway through the fourth quarter, but was unable to score in the final 4 minutes, 45 seconds as Green Hope prevailed in its 66th consecutive Tri-Nine conference game 48-37.
“There was a lot surrounding this game,” said Green Hope boys coach John Green. “David’s homecoming, a packed gym, lot on the line, and it was a big win for our group. We had not had a lot of close games, but I’m really proud of our guys for making those big shots and hitting those clutch free throws in the fourth.”
Green Hope led 51-43 entering the fourth, but the Catamounts rallied to take a 61-60 lead on a superb put-back from Nubian Spann with just under two minutes left.
Grant Rasmussen drained two foul shots on the Falcons’ next possession, and then freshman guard Ridge Ford closed out the game from the line.
Akeem Tate led the Catamounts with 17 points, followed by Spann (16) and Gaquez Hudson (13).
Seniors Ashley Williams and Cassidey Sowards each scored 19 points to lead the Green Hope girls (14-1, 8-0) to their 66th straight conference win.
Panther Creek senior Zhana Gordon scored 11 points, including three 3’s. Her final points cut the Falcons’ lead to 40-37 with 4:45 left, but Green Hope held the young Catamounts scoreless the rest of the way.
“It was a good win, our defense has been there all year long,” Green Hope coach Michael Robinson said. “Our girls up front made some crucial steals and Panther Creek are so strong down low, we had to guard (Allie) Tuttle with two people and she still scored.”
Tuttle finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Catamounts (9-6, 4-4).
“I’m pleased with how well our girls hustled, but late when we had the ball we were not able to do what we needed to offensively,” Panther Creek coach Geoff Bowman said.