CARY — It was your typical Panther Creek-Middle Creek affair.
Which is the Tri-Eight Conference's equivalent of the UNC-Duke rivalry.
A packed gym with both schools well represented and both sides fired up. Two of the top teams in the state. Panther Creek even wheeled out its marching band for the first time.
The host Catamounts shut down Garrius Adams and Tom Tankelewicz and grabbed control of the conference with a 60-48 win Friday.
Panther Creek erased any doubt who is the No. 1 team in arguably the state's top basketball conference, now that they've beaten the other two top teams in the conference on consecutive Fridays. They defeated host Athens Drive 57-48 last Friday.
Panther Creek (16-1, 7-0) didn't need top scoring threat, senior Earnest Ross, to have a big night. He didn't (6 points).
Panther Creek senior forward Marques Oliver had 24 points, senior center Aaron Toney had 12, and senior guard Mike Hood 9 points.
Meanwhile, Catamounts coach L.J. Hepp, admittedly not the biggest fan of junk defenses, went to the junkyard and used the Triangle-and-two, holding Adams to 11 points and Tankelewicz to 5. Sophomore forward Garrett Leatham had 13 points for the Mustangs.
"In high school basketball there is a place for some junk defenses," said Hepp. "When you throw them a look that doesn't allow them to have their best buy be involved or their best two guys be involved, all of the sudden it gets a little frustrating."
Indeed, the Mustangs, who've been known to get hot from outside, did not shoot the ball as well as they needed to outside. They hit only 4-of-20 shots from beyond the arches.
The Mustangs (15-2, 6-1) led only once (in the first quarter) in the entire game.
"We didn't compete as hard as I thought we should have," said Mustangs coach Dave Kushner.