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Apprentice Wiins Shootout Against MACU

Photo Courtesy Apprentice School
Photo Courtesy Apprentice School

Recap Courtesy Apprentice School Sports Information

Newport News, VA – After a tough loss this past weekend, the Apprentice Men's Basketball team was back home on Wednesday for another EMAC conference game.  They would welcome in Mid-Atlantic Christian, who made the short drive from North Carolina, for the second game of a doubleheader.  The two teams had previously met this season, with the Builders coming away with the win and they looked to do the same tonight at the Apprentice Athletic Center. 

The first half began with the Mustangs hitting a 3-pointer from the baseline, but Marion Moore quickly answered with a basket down low.  On their next possession Xavien "Buck" Hunter drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to take the lead, 5-3.  MACU was able to tie it up on a break away layup and then repeat that to take the 2-pont lead.  Karree Smith forced a turnover as the Mustangs tried to bring it up the court and he finished it off with a layup to tie the game back up.  However, MACU would go a 4-0 run but that was stopped by a Marion Moore basket trimming the lead to 11-9.  Eventually the Mustangs would take their largest lead of the game, at the 14:12 mark, 16-9.  MACU was able to go ahead 18-9 until, Avin Hawkins hit a jumper and then a 3-pointer to pull with 4-points.  After trailing by 3-points, Jayden Eason stole the ball and took it the length of the court to pull within 1-point, 20-19.  The Mustangs went back up by 3-points, until Adrion Wall tied it back up with a 3-pointer from the wing.  After a hectic back-and-forth the Mustangs pulled ahead but, once again, Adrion Wall hit a 3-pointer to put the Builders back in front, 25-24.  Vershawn Eley increased the lead to 3-points and then 2 free throws from Karree Smith gave Apprentice a 5-point advantage, 29-24.  After a MACU basket, Avin Hawkins came down the court and hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and then Adrion Wall nailed one from downtown to go ahead by 7-points.  With 2:45 remaining in the half, Hawkins continued his 3-point hot streak, hitting another one, forcing the Mustangs to call a timeout.  Both teams continued to trade baskets and as the half came to an end, the Builders went into the locker room leading by a score of 50-42. 

MACU got on the board first in the second half, but Corey Joyner answered by scoring his 1,000th career point, keeping Apprentice in the lead.  However, the Mustangs started a run and were able to tie the game up at 57-57, early in the half.  Karree Smith put the Builders back in front, but MACU put together another run and eventually took the lead, 64-59.  Avin Hawkins would answer with his 5th 3-pointer of the game to cut the lead to 2-points, but the Mustangs found a way to push the lead to 3-poinits, 68-65.  Both teams continued to trade baskets until Karree Smith pulled Apprentice to within 1-point, 75-74.  With 7:14 remaining in the game, Jaydon Eason took a pass from Corey Joyner and put the Builders back out in front, 76-75.  Vershawn Eley increased the lead to 3-points, and then a Karree Smith layup pushed it to 5 points, 80-75.  MACU kept attacking on the offensive end of the court and, after a 3-pointer, trimmed the Apprentice lead to only 2-points.  However, with 2:24 left in the game, the Mustangs tied it back up forcing the Builders to call a timeout.  Out of the timeout Karree Smith was fouled and converted both of his free throws to take back the lead.  The score would be tied again after a MACU basket and then they would take the lead on a fast break, with 1:00 remaining.  Smith would do it again and tie the game, but then he commited a foul on the defensive end, allowing the Mustangs to take a 1-point advantage, with 35.2 seconds on the clock.  On the next possession, Corey Joyner patiently found the basket and was fouled.  He converted the 3-point play to give Apprentice the 2-point lead with only 22.8 seconds left in the game.  As MACU was trying to get a final shot at the basket, Karree Smith stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for the layup, giving the Builders the win 94-90. 

Apprentice was led by Avin Hawkins who finished with 22 points, while going 5-11 from the 3-point line.  In addition to the game winning basket, Karree Smith finished with 16 points followed by Jaydon Eason with 12 points, Vershawn Eley with 11 and Corey Joyner, who scored his 100th point, with 10 points.  The Builders will be back in action on Saturday as they travel to Charlotte to face Johnson & Wales.  Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00pm.