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JWU Downs Apprentice In Regular Season Finale

Photo Courtesy Apprentice School
Photo Courtesy Apprentice School

Recap Courtesy Apprentice School Sports Information

Newport News, VA – After an emotional win on Senior Day, the Apprentice Men's Basketball team was back in action for an early Sunday match-up against Johnson & Wales.  This would be the final regular season game for both teams as they prepare for the upcoming EMAC tournament.  The Builders knew the importance of keeping their winning momentum and this game would go a long way in proving that they belong in the USCAA tournament.  First, they needed to get past the Wildcats and that would not be easy task. 

JWU took no time driving to the basket to take the early advantage as the first half began, but Marion Moore would take a pass from Corey Joyner to tie the game, which was followed by a layup from Karree Smith givning Apprentice the early lead, 4-2.  On the next possession, as the shot clock was winding down, Corey Joyner stepped back and drained a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 5-points.  Marion Moore kept the momentum going hitting a shot down low, which forced the Wildcats to call their first timeout of the game.  JWU came out of the timeout scoring 5 points in a row, but Marion Moore answered with a short jumper to keep the Builders with the advantage, 11-6.  However, at the 14:20 mark, the Wildcats pulled to within 1-point of the lead and then eventually took the lead at 13-12. Moore, once again, had an answer as di Vershawn Eley, who hit a 3-pointer from the wing.  JWU kept chipping away and was able to tie the game back up, until Jayden Eason got under the basket to give Apprentice the lead again, 22-20.  Coach Kee inserted Xavien "Buck" Hunter into the game, and he wasted no time draining a 3-pointer from the baseline and then Corey Joyner would do the same from the wing, to give the Builders their largest lead of the game, 28-20.  However, the Wildcats would not go away, as they trimmed the lead to 1-point with 3:09 remaining in the half.  Avin Hawkins pushed it back to a 3-point lead with a floater and then the defense denied JWU any opportunity on their next possession and as the teams headed into the locker room Apprentice held a slim 1-point advantage, 35-34. 

Tony Epps, Jr. started the second half with a 3-pointer, but the Wildcats answered with a basket down low to pull back to within 1-point.  On their next possession, JWU would take the lead, but Corey Joyner found the lane to help his team go back out in front, 40-38.   Caleb Mielewski kept the offense going as he drove to the basket, got the 2-points, and was fouled.  He would convert the 3-point play to push the lead back to 5-points.  Two free throws from Corey Joyner increased the lead to 7-points and then a layup by Caleb Mielewski gave the Builders their largest lead of the game 51-42.  Since this was a game of runs, the Wildcats eventually pulled to within 4-points, but Vershawn Eley was fouled on a 3-point attempt, and he would proceed to make all three free throws.  As the half reached the mid-way point, JWU was able to cut the lead to 1-point and eventually would go out in front, 57-56.  Marion Moore put Apprentice back on top with two free throws, and with 7:28 left in the game they held the lead 59-58.  The Wildcats, as they have done all game, made a run and would go up by 5-points, but Corey Joyner pulled the Builders back to within 3-points, 66-63.  With just under 2:00 minutes remaining in the game, Vershawn Eley put back a Joyner missed shot to get to within 3-points of the lead.  Unfortunately, they could not cut into the lead enough and as the game came to an end, Apprentice would fall by a final score of 81-72.

In his last regular season home game, Corey Joyner led Apprentice with 17 points and 8 assists, while Vershawn Eley and Marion Moore each finished with 13 points apiece.  Moore also grabbed a game high 10 rebounds.  The Builders will now enter EMAC tournament play and await the winner of Regent and Mid-Atlantic Christian.  They will play the winner of that game on Thursday at the Apprentice Athletic Center.