Release Courtesy Apprentice School Sports Information
Newport News, VA – Thursday was the first of three games in four days for the Apprentice Men's Basketball team. On this night, they would welcome in Regent University for the second time this season. The Builders were looking to get some positive momentum going into the EMAC tournament, but first they needed to give their focus to the Royals. This game has become a battle of I-64 and Regent was looking to split the season series, while Apprentice was playing for the sweep.
Both teams missed their opening shots to begin the first half, but the Royals finally struck first to take the early lead, 2-0. That lead would increase to 5-points after Regent came back down the court and hit a 3-pointer. Corey Joyner, though, would answer with a 3-pointer of his own but, once again, the Royals were able to convert on their offensive side of the ball. Avin Hawkins came off the bench and quickly got things going, hitting a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game to pull Apprentice to within 1-point of the lead. However, as they had done in the first part of the half, Regent came back down and hit a quick 3-pointer. Jayden Eason would convert an old-fashioned 3-point play to get back to within the lead 10-9 and that was followed by a Avin Hawkins fastbreak layup to give the Builders their first lead of the game, 11-10. However, they would relinquish it as Regent put together a few defensive stops and turned them into points and with 8:56 left in the half, Apprentice trailed, 16-15. After a rebound by Jayden Eason, he found Corey Joyner, who drew the foul on his layup, earning him 2 free throws. Joyner would convert both, giving the Builders the lead again, 17-16. On their next possession, Marion Moore drove the basket for a hard dunk and then he followed that up with a breakaway dunk to give his team the spark they were looking for. The Royals would not go away, though, and tied the game up at 21-21 and eventually re-took the lead, forcing Apprentice to call a timeout. A 3-pointer by Karree Smith, out of the timeout, put the Builders back on top and they would keep the lead as they headed into halftime, 31-28.
The second half started with Regent hitting a short jumper and suddenly they were only trailing by 1-point. However, Karree Smith took a pass on the baseline and drained a 3-pointe, which he followed up with a break away jam. Marion Moore got in on the action, stealing a pass and getting his second dunk of the game, forcing Regent to call an early timeout. However, the Royals began to find their rhythm and eventually tied the game up. Marion Moore would break the tie after being fouled on a drive to the basket, which allowed him to convert two free throws. That lead was short lived, as once again, Regent found a way to get more points on the board, tying the game again and then eventually re-taking the lead. As he has done all year, Corey Joyner, would drive to the basket, draw the foul and convert the 3-point play to put his team back up, 51-47. That lead would extend to 7-points thanks to Marion Moore taking passes from Joyner and, once again, getting the crowd going with another driving dunk. That is the spark Apprentice needed as they went on a run to give them their largest lead of the game with 3:06 remaining, 72-60. Regent tried to make a run, but as the game would come to an end, the Builders completed the regular season sweep, winning by a final score of 80-64.
Apprentice was led on the night by the trio of Corey Joyner (19 points), Marion Moore (18 points) and Karree Smith (16 points), while Caleb Mielewski pulled down a team high 8 rebounds. The Builders will be back in action this Saturday and Sunday. All fans are encouraged to attend, as Corey Joyner will be honored on Senior Day.