Staring at a 12-point halftime deficit and an unflattering 0-for-8 shooting performance, Wake Christian guard Chase Tyler used the intermission to calm down and refocus.
“I was too anxious to score,” Tyler said. “Sometimes, I don’t just let the game come to me. So I settled down and took smarter shots.”
Tyler shot 7-of-13 from the field and scored 19 of 20 points in the second half to guide the Bulldogs to a 60-57 overtime win at Cary Academy on Friday, the first Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference win for Wake Christian this year.
“His attitude was to not hang his head and just keep going, is what made a difference,” said Bulldogs coach Chris Underwood.
Down 31-19 at the half, Tyler came out in the third quarter and scored 12 points to key a Bulldog rally that saw them take a 43-42 lead by quarter’s end.
Wake Christian (6-1, 1-1) trailed for much of the fourth quarter until Austin Honeycutt drilled a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left to tie the game at 50. Though Cary Academy had the ball until the final buzzer, the team was unable to get off a shot.
On the first play of overtime, Tyler drove to the hoop for an old-fashioned 3-point play for a 53-50 lead. Chargers (4-5, 0-1) guard John Guerra answered with a 3-pointer to tie the game once more, but Tyler responded with a short jumper for a 55-53 lead with 1:58 to play, and the Bulldogs saw the game out at the free throw line.
Tyler also supplied the defense on Guerra, the Chargers’ leading scorer. Though Guerra scored a game-high 27 -- including 14 in a sensational second quarter -- Tyler hounded him into shooting 9-of-26 from the field.
Rob Whitfield added 23 points for Wake Christian and shot 5-of-6 at the foul line in the final minute to help secure the win.
“The message to the guys this week has been to just put in a consistent effort,” Underwood said. “We were coming off a bad performance Tuesday, so to get back to 1-1 in the conference was important for us.”
Banks, Chargers rip WCA
Three days after recording her first triple double, Cary Academy forward Rebekah Banks filled up the stat sheet once again.
Her 19-point, 27-rebound, 4-block performance on Friday led the Chargers (5-3, 2-0) to a comfortable 49-31 win over Wake Christian on Friday.
“She’s always been a great rebounder, and now we’re asking her to score a bit more this year,” said Cary Academy coach Michael Zeillmann. “She’s so strong and she gets beat up in there, and she just keeps working and fighting.”
Led by the inside-out combo of Banks and guard Lauren Callihan, the Chargers jumped out to a 13-2 lead less than five minutes into the game, and they never looked back. Callihan finished with 19 points and shot 4-of-9 from 3-point range. Szu-in Lim added nine points for Cary Academy.
“It’s tough to deal with Rebekah (inside), so when Lauren and the other girls are hitting (from outside), that helps Rebekah,” Zeillmann said.