Panther Creek won its fourth straight game and moved into a tie for third place in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference with a 66-60 home win against Middle Creek on Wednesday night.
The Catamounts are peaking at the right time with the playoffs looming next month.
Panther Creek took the lead in the second quarter and held it throughout the rest of the game. The Catamounts’ largest lead was 14 points in the fourth quarter.
“It was huge for us... I’ve been telling the guys that this is the biggest game of the year,” Panther Creek coach Shawan Robinson said.
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Panther Creek (11-8, 8-4) had three guys with double-digit points. Senior guard Juan Munoz led with a game-high 20 points. Tyler Smith and Justin McKoy had 14 apiece. McKoy was superb from beyond the arc as he knocked down four 3-pointers that took the life right out of the Mustangs.
“Every game we play is the biggest game of the year…we came out with that mindset,” Munoz said.
As for Middle Creek (12-7, 8-3) they seemed to get a spark at the end, but were never able to climb out of the huge deficit that they put themselves in.
“I thought we looked extremely tired from the beginning and we just lacked energy,” Middle Creek coach Dave Kushner said. “Until we were down by 14 points, I felt that we finally started playing with the energy we are capable of.”
The Mustangs also had three double-digit scorers of their own. Shammond Hicks led the way for the Mustangs as he scored a team-high 19 points and had six steals. Daniel Jackson scored 15 points and Demetrius Bastian posted 10 points and eight rebounds.
Middle Creek was able to cut the 14-point Catamount lead to five late in the fourth quarter, but big shots by Panther Creek stalled any momentum the Mustangs were gaining.
“Panther Creek made all their big shots. Every time they needed to hit a jump shot, they hit it, and every time we needed to we didn’t,” Kushner said. “I was proud of my team for the fight they had at the end.”