Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Builders take down #2 Clinton on Senior Day

Photo Courtesy Apprentice School
Photo Courtesy Apprentice School

Recap Courtesy Apprentice School Sports Information

Newport News, VA – In one of the biggest match-ups of the season, the Apprentice Men's Basketball team welcomed in #2 Nationally ranked Clinton for a key USCAA and EMAC contest.  The Builders were coming into the game ranked #9 in this weeks' national USCAA poll, so this game had plenty of meaning as the post season tournaments were approaching.  The two teams last met on January 29thl with the Golden Bears coming away with the 3-point win.  However, today Apprentice was set on sending Corey Joyner out with the win on Senior Day. 

Clinton opened up in a zone, to start the first half, and was able to stop the Builders on their first possession.  However, Apprentice would do the same and get the ball back resulting in a Marion Moore basket to take the early lead, 2-0.  After another defensive stop, Karree Smith hit a 3-pointer from the wing, but the Golden Bears came back and answered to trim the lead to 3-points.  They would quickly cut it to 1-point, but Smith would score again, this time on a fast break dunk.  Corey Joyner started his Senior Day off by hitting a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game and then he orchestrated an offensive possession that ended with Marion Moore giving the Builders it's largest lead of the game, 12-4.  However, after a Clinton timeout, they went on a run, cutting the lead to 2-points, but the Apprentice defense responded, forcing a turnover, allowing Karree Smith to convert the breakaway jam.  Smith would do it again on a driving layup and then Jayden Eason made a hard-fought basket to get the lead back to 8-points.  It would get to as high as 9-points, but the Golden Bears kept themselves in striking distance, trimming it to 5-points, forcing Coach Kee to call a timeout with 6:34 remaining in the half.  Avin Hawkins came out the timeout hitting a floater to go back up by 7-points, but Clinton answered by converting 2 free throws make the score, 25-20.  Verhsawn Eley and Corey Joyner each put together baskets to give the Builders a double-digit advantage but, once again, Clinton went on a run, pulling to within 5-points.  As the half was coming to an end, Vershawn Eley drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key and with 1.2 seconds left was fouled on a layup, allowing him to hit 1-2 free throws giving Apprentice the 9-point lead headed into the locker room, 40-31.

Tony Epps, Jr. put the Builders on the board first, to start the second half, and that was followed by a short jumper by Isaiah Jones, for the 13-point lead, 44-31.  However, as they did in the first half, the Golden Bears had an answer, pulling to within 8-points, 44-36.  Karree Smith began to find his rhythm again and hit a floating jumper to put his time back up by double digits and then Vershawn Eley added two free throws to match their largest lead of the game 52-39.  For the next few minutes, the Apprentice lead would teeter between 7 and 10 points until Karree Smith pushed it back to 11-pints, after making 2 free throws.  On the next possession, the Builders forced a turnover, giving Caleb Mielewski the opportunity to convert a coast-to-coast layup and then he would do it again to give Apprentice the advantage, 69-56.  After a Corey Joyner free throw pushed the lead to 14-points, he came back down and made a driving layup, which was followed by a Clinton Technical Foul, allowing Joyner to add 2 more points from the free throws.  With the 18-point lead, Jayden Eason drove the baseline and found the basket as the Builders would suddenly go up by 20-points and never look back.  As the clock hit zero, Apprentice would come away with the big win over the #2 Golden Bears by a final Score of 83-60.

The Builders were led on the day by Karree Smith, who finished with 20 points, while Corey Joyner had an impressive Senior Day scoring 14 points, while grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists.  Vershawn Eley also finished with 14 points in game.  Apprentice will have one more regular season tomorrow afternoon, as they welcome in Johnson & Wales for the first game of the second doubleheader this weekend.  Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00pm.