The Cary Academy basketball teams defended home court Tuesday night, notching big wins for the girls and boys teams over the Wake Christian Bulldogs.
The Chargers’ girls team jumped out to a big lead after the first quarter and held off a comeback attempt to defeat the Bulldogs 53-43. Senior Lauren Callihan, who scored her 1,000th career point in a win over Saint Mary’s last week, once again led her team with 21 points. Maya Agnihotri chipped in with 10 points for CA.
In the boys’ game, Cary Academy shot well and often from behind the 3-point line in the 69-47 win. The Chargers hit 10 total triples, eight of which came from Trey Murphy.
Dequan Lockamy led Wake Christian with 19 points, and Syvon Holland added 10.
The Cary Academy girls (5-5, 2-1) picked up the TISAC win with a 17-1 opening quarter that set the tone for the game. They showed offensive balance with players like Sullivan Morgus and Agnihotri aiding Callihan and giving the Chargers a multi-pronged attack.
As the game wore on, the Bulldogs chipped away at the lead little by little.
“We finally started hitting some shots and that always helps,” said Wake Christian coach Randy Johnson. “Their effort was good. They played hard and defended well.”
Although the Chargers let the Bulldogs (4-7, 1-1) back in the game, they pulled away, in large part behind the efforts of Callihan.
“As a senior, she has accepted the role of being the leader,” said Chargers coach Sequenta Blackman. “When our back is against the wall, we look to our leader.”
The Chargers showed fatigue in the second half constantly escaping a full court press, but Callihan came through for her team as primary ball handler and scorer. She scored 10 of her team’s 22 points in the second half.
Leading the Bulldogs in scoring was Savannah Craft with 13 points and Annah Bishop with 10.
Coming off a big loss to rival Durham Academy, the Cary Academy boys (4-5, 1-1) wanted a strong offensive output and a conference win. Though it was a complete team win, Murphy was the star of the game with eight 3s and 31 points.
Bulldogs coach John Green said one of the challenges of defending Murphy is maintaining focus and discipline, as well as just keeping track of him.
“We weren’t communicating on defense,” Green said. “We were chasing from behind as opposed to being on him.”
Murphy’s shot was falling Tuesday night and the Chargers were getting the lanky junior the ball. He showed off his skills in a variety of ways, not just through set plays designed to get him open but also through transition and getting to the line. He also created his own shot at times to quell Wake Christian runs.
“We were getting a little down and the momentum was swinging towards them, so I said I have to take the game into my hands because I’m the main scorer for our team,” Murphy said.
CA coach Lason Perkins said Murphy’s confidence was high knowing his teammates work hard to set screens and get him the ball when he’s open.
“It’s our job as a coaching staff to get him his shots in his best spots,” Perkins said. “Trey’s also the guy, if he realizes he doesn’t have anything, he’s not afraid to hit his teammates and get them an open look.”
Those teammates also made significant contributions. Sam Koslowski had 15 points and Bamise Ogundipe had 10 points and a couple big blocks.
One particular play late in the fourth quarter summed up the all-around effort. Ogundipe made a dramatic block that went straight to Murphy. He took it to the basket and converted the and-1 to put CA up 24. This was a huge win for the Chargers program – their first conference victory in two years.