In the midst of its fourth winning season in 11 years, No. 1 Cary boys basketball evaded its most significant threat at a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference title – and undefeated season – defeating second-place Middle Creek 72-59 at Charlie Adams Gymnasium Tuesday night.
The Imps (17-0, 10-0) had four players cash in at least nine points, including a career outing for Phil King, who dropped 16 points after coming into the night averaging 2.9 points per game.
“We pretty much have the same team as last year, so everyone gained a lot of experience and that allowed some guys to step into bigger roles and make us better,” said Cory Gensler, who led all players in rebounds and assists.
The Mustangs (12-6, 8-2) kept it close for the majority of the night, holding the Imps to 11 points in the first quarter and trailing by only nine entering the fourth quarter. Middle Creek is tied with Apex for second in the conference after the loss.
“Every time we got close and got on a little run, they’d answer with a tough play,” Middle Creek coach David Kushner said. “Against a team like (Cary), you need more than a week to practice and we hadn’t practiced in a week so that was a rough combination. Hopefully we have a conference tournament and we can see them down the road.”
After being held scoreless for the first quarter, Cory Gensler made his first buckets seconds into the second quarter, sparking a 25-point period for the Imps. Gensler had nine points at the half.
They said it
“We always share the ball well as a team, we don’t really care who’s scoring as long as it’s Cary scoring.” – Cory Gensler
Three to know
Demetrius Bastian, Middle Creek: Bastian had the best all-around effort for the Mustangs, notching 12 points and six rebounds.
Cory Gensler, Cary: Gensler recorded 16 points, but also led all players in rebounds (11) and assists (4).
Donte Tatum, Cary: Led all players with 25 points and threw down two emphatic dunks that negated Middle Creek’s building momentum.
By the numbers
52 (and counting): The amount of wins Cary’s senior class of Gensler, Tatum, Sean Segre, Jay Hicks, Phil King and Isaiah Gibbons have amassed. The Imps had 53 wins in the previous seven years (2005-2011).
10: Double-doubles for Gensler this season.