As the Bull City Legacy closes out its first season in Durham as a professional basketball team, fans have already tagged their hated arch-rival.
The Cary Invasion.
The Invasion had won the first two meetings 122-113 and 107-105 in overtime. Saturday’s showdown was just as exciting, as the Invasion made it a regular-season tri-sweep with a 109-105 victory.
The win gives Cary the Tobacco Road Basketball League East title with a 10-1 record, with one game remaining in their regular season. For the Legacy (6-5), a victory would have kept them two games ahead of the third-place Wilmington Sea Dawgs. Bull City travels to Fayetteville Crossover Saturday at 7 p.m. to close out the season.
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“They just got our number,” Legacy coach Fred Whitaker said about the Invasion. “They are a well coached team and play well together with their strengths.”
The Bull City led for most of the first half Saturday and held a slim 48-46 halftime lead behind Corey Evans’ and Jonathan Harris’ combined 26 points.
But Cary showed why it has advanced to the TRBL championship every year since joining the league in 2011. Paul Wright scored 13 of his 24 points in the third period to help the Invasion to an 84-72 lead at the end of the quarter.
Cary built its lead to 18 points before the Bull City made a run behind Evans’ 16 fourth-quarter points. Twice the Legacy cut the margin to two, but Cary’s Daniel Jackson hit four straight free throws for the final score.
Evans, who is second in the TRBL in scoring (30.3 points per game), finished the game with 39 points.
Despite the draining loss, Jenkins said the team has overachieved in its inaugural season.
“The first year is always hard because you’re dealing with so many different attitudes,” he said. “I’m learning a lot myself. But we have a good fan base, and the best GM (general manager) there is in promoting the team.”
That GM is Umar Muhammad, who also owns USports Consulting, LLC.
Muhammad, who touts community involvement as the key to the team’s success, snagged nine sponsors this season, including Triangle Orthopedic Associates, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and Tri-Metro Security.
“We have gotten great support from the community and the city since the first game,” he said. “It’s been an exciting learning experience. The venue here at Walltown has been flexible, and we are committed to keeping the guys actively involved in the community once the season is over.”
For players such as Tim Plummer, the first-year ride has been more smooth than bumpy.
“It’s a great group of guys who enjoy playing together,” the Fayetteville State alum said. “The competition got better throughout the year, and the community has shown us nothing but love. It’s been fun.”
For more information about the Bull City Legacy, visit http://legacy.trblproball.com.