Cavs celebrate win over Cary Academy
The Durham Academy Cavaliers were so thrilled with having beaten Cary Academy 46-37 that players stormed the court after the game Friday night — and ran right to their student section at the Cary Academy gym.
The celebration continued in DA’s locker room, as cheers were heard long after the final buzzer sounded.
Why such a big game? For starters, Cary Academy ranks as one of the Cavaliers’ top rivals in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference. And there was some frustration released after a long road losing streak in the conference.
“They’ve owned us over here,” DA coach Tim McKenna said. “We haven’t won a road conference game in two-and-a-half years, so it’s big for us. We only have three seniors, so the future’s real bright for us. It’s a big win for us. As you can tell, our guys are really excited about the win.”
One of the three seniors for the Cavaliers, reserve guard Nick Sullivan, made some key plays to help cement the win. After Slater Daniels (19 points) helped give DA a 35-31 lead, Sullivan plucked an offense rebound and was fouled, making one free throw. Sullivan then picked up a steal and was fouled at the other end, this time sinking both to push the lead to 38-31.
“They were huge,” McKenna said. “He’s one of our senior captains. He plays spot minutes all year, and he stepped up and made a big 3 in the first half and made some big foul shots there in the second half. He’s our rock. When he’s out there, he’s our enthusiastic, glue guy. He did that tonight, and it was big on the road for us.”
DA (17-5, 1-1 TISAC 3-A) made 11 of 12 free throws in the final 2:11 to cement the victory. But perhaps the story of the game was the Cavaliers’ defense against the Chargers (8-7, 2-1 TISAC 3-A).
A solid offensive team, CA missed 18 of 19 shots during one stretch, scoring only two free throws in the second quarter. The Cavaliers shot 25.6 percent from the floor (11 for 43) and 15.4 percent from 3-point range (2 for 13) for the game.
“Our defense was real good,” McKenna said. “They had scored in the 80s the last couple games. We knew we had to stop the 3-point shot, and I think we did a pretty good job of that. We limited a lot of second-chance opportunities for the most part, especially in the fourth quarter. That was big for us, (for them) to be one-and-done, and then they had to foul us, and we made foul shots.”
In the girls’ opener of Friday’s doubleheader, Cary Academy (12-5, 4-0 TISAC) took advantage of ice-cold shooting by DA (12-7, 1-1 TISAC) and got 15 points apiece from Mickayla Sanders and Rebekah Banks in a 44-30 victory.
“We couldn’t hit anything — 28 percent (on) field goals, 21 turnovers,” DA coach Krista Gingrich lamented. “(But it’s a) loss, no matter how good your defense is.”
NOTES — Friday’s road games marked the end of DA’s season-long status as road warriors. The Cavaliers have been without a home facility during the complete reconstruction of their gym which reopens with a girls/boys doubleheader at 6:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tuesday against North Raleigh Christian Academy. “It’s beautiful,” Gingrich said.
Durham Academy 46, Cary Academy 37
(Boys’ game summary)
DURHAM ACADEMY — Slater Daniels 19, Alston Thompson 10, Nick Sullivan 8, Sam Lane 6, Nash Carey-Ewend 3.
CARY ACADEMY — Jared Sarnoff 13, Aaron Overton 8, Sam Ingalls 6, Justin Wong 4, Alexander Ade 3, Cannon Duke 3.
Durham Academy 8 7 11 20—46
Cary Academy 11 2 10 14—37
3-point goals—DA 2 (Sullivan 1, Carey-Ewend 1), CA 2 (Sarnoff 2). Total fouls—DA 14, CA 17.
Records—Durham Academy 17-5, 1-1 TISAC 3-A, Cary Academy 8-7, 2-1 TISAC 3-A.
Cary Academy 44, Durham Academy 30
(Girls’ game summary)
DURHAM ACADEMY — Liz Roberts 8, Cha’Mia Rothwell 6, Naomi Lerner 4, Amanda Lawrence 4, Robin Blazing 4, Dana Williams 4.
CARY ACADEMY — Victoria Powell 2, Mickayla Sanders 15, Rebekah Banks 15, Brianna Powell 6, Cassy Stafford 6.
Durham Academy 4 3 11 12—30
Cary Academy 10 7 11 16—44
Rebounds—DA 16 (Lawrence 11).
Records—Durham Academy 12-7, 1-1 TISAC; Cary Academy 12-5, 4-0 TISAC.