The official school colors at Cary Academy are blue and gold, but the boys and girls basketball teams have played with a shade of green during the 2014-15 season.
That’s green as in inexperienced with youthful lineups.
Both Cary Academy teams lost to Durham Academy in a Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference doubleheader on Tuesday night at the Chargers’ gym, but both coaches point to signs of progress.
The boys (9-15, 0-6 TISAC), with only one senior starter, forced Durham Academy (16-9, 5-3) into overtime before losing 77-72. Tylor Moore scored 33 points for the Chargers.
The girls (8-11, 1-4), who lack experience among their older players as well as an overall young lineup, lost 55-22 to Durham Academy (14-8, 5-2).
Boys improvement: The Chargers rallied from a 50-42 third-quarter deficit with a 20-point period to force overtime.
“We’ve really improved during the season,” Moore said. “I really like how we’re playing to end the season. It was tough starting the season; we had a lot of new kids on the team. But now everyone is taking shots they should take and getting the ball where we want it. We’re starting playing together.”
Senior Sam Ingalls added 17 points and sophomore Tyler Marshall 10.
Girls improvement: Cary Academy has two seniors, but Zoe Dohm and Renee Reynolds came out for the team despite not playing since their middle school years in a year the program was caught without veterans.
The other three starters are junior Szu-in Lim, sophomore Lauren Callihan and freshman Princess Bernard-Oti. Lindsay Callihan, an eighth-grader, contributed five points off the bench to share scoring honors with Lim.
“We’re just trying to improve,” Chargers girls coach Mike Zeillmann said. “We’re light years from where we were at the start of the season. We did a good job on defense, but we’re not knocking down our shots. We’re getting better shots, but we have to improve our confidence.”
Long ranger: Moore, a 6-foot, 165-pound junior, kept the Chargers in the game with some 3-point field goals that flirted with NBA range. He hit five – one in each quarter, including the OT period.
“This was my year to step up,” said the second-year varsity player. “I played JV as a freshman when we had 11 seniors and last year we had John Guerra. He played really well and I played my role, but this year was my time to step up.”
Moore also hit eight of nine free throws, including all three to force overtime when he was fouled on a three-point field goal attempt with 12.9 seconds to play.
No postseason: With no conference tournament this year and season records not expected to earn a state playoff berth, both teams want to finish the regular-season on a strong note.
“We’ve got some young guys, but they are fighting and getting better,” Cary Academy boys coach Mindaugas Timimskas said. “We’ve got to play hard, but basketball is still a game and we want to enjoy playing the final games.”