The PrimeTime Players held off rallies from the Cary Invasion to claim their third straight Tobacco Road Basketball League championship with a 128-107 win Saturday evening.
Led by a 40-point third quarter from the PrimeTime Players, Cary pulled within the 10-point margin several times, but could never get much closer. Cary finished the season with an 11-3 record.
“Our guys played well,” said Invasion head coach Erasto Hatchett. “It was just one of those days. We will continue to get better. We will keep pushing. I am disappointed we didn’t win.”
Cary was led by Mountain State’s Paul Wright, who scored 31 points as the Invasion struggled with shooting the whole game, connecting on just 39 percent from the field.
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The Invasion trailed the entire game and was down 92-74 to open the final quarter. Wright took the game over for Cary in the fourth quarter as he scored 15 of his 31 points in the final 12 minutes of the game.
Cary opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run and pulled within 10 at 107-98 with about 4:15 left in the game. However, every time the Invasion would get close, PrimeTime would extend its lead with one of its 19 3-pointers.
The Invasion was hampered for most of the game with foul trouble, as they were called for 26 fouls in the game. Cary also had 18 turnovers in the game, hurting its chances of shifting any momentum in its direction.
Cary was down by just six at the half, trailing 52-46, but was outscored 40-28 in the third quarter by PrimeTime.
The PrimeTime Players hit 7-of-16 3-pointers in the third quarter, while Cary hit just 3-of-9 in the period. PrimeTime was led by Limestone College’s Terell Smith, who had 24 points, as he scored nine of his 24 in the third quarter.
PrimeTime was also aided by its height as 6-foot-7 Malaciah Jones grabbed 11 rebounds and had a double-double with 22 points. Jones got MVP of the tournament.
Despite the height, Cary stayed aggressive and out-rebounded the PrimeTime Players as a team 56-48.
Cary outscored PrimeTime 23-20 in the second quarter to help close the gap heading into the half. The Invasion used its quickness to get the penetration it struggled with early in the game in the second quarter as it went on a 5-0 run and pulled within five at 43-38.
Cary shot 50 percent in the second quarter, but couldn’t capitalize on anything outside of the arc as the team went 0-7 from behind the arc during the period.