Charlotte, NC - Second seeded Apprentice School won its first EMAC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament crown Saturday afternoon, defeating fourth seed Clinton College 95-84. The Builders shot over 60% from the field for the game, but had to fend off a late Clinton comeback attempt to seal the deal.
Brandon Joyner scored 16 of his 18 first half points in the first ten minutes of the game, as Apprentice (15-12) built a 28-18 lead over the Golden Bears. Joyner finished the half 6-6 from the field, 4-4 from three, and 2-2 from the free throw line. The Builder advantage grew to as much as 17 before Clinton (14-11) picked up their scoring pace in the period's final minutes to trim their deficit to ten at the break. Cameron Shannon paced Clinton with 11 points, and the Golden Bears outrebounded the Builders by one in the half, but couldn't keep pace with an Apprentice School squad that shot 52% from the field, 60% from three, and 87% from the free throw line.
Apprentice moved ahead by as many as eighteen points in the first ten minutes of the second half as their shooting pace actually picked up. The Builders finished the game shooting 61% from the field. Clinton, trailing by eleven with seven minutes to play, turned up the defensive pressure, collecting turnovers on four consecutive Builder possessions and converting each of those into baskets during a ninety second stretch that saw them close to within five points at 80-75. Apprentice got a basket from Vershawn Eley, and two from Corey Joyner on three of their next four possessions to push the lead back to nine, and Clinton never seriously threatened after that point.
Clinton's Cameron Shannon had 26 points to lead all scorers in the game. JC McCorn added 16 points, while Anthony Williams, II recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Brandon Joyner finished with 21 points for Apprentice, while Marion Moore posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards. Drew Walton finished the afternoon with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. His two game total of 32 points, 21 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals saw him garner Tournament Most Valuable Player Honors.