Recap Courtesy Apprentice School Sports Information
Newport News, VA – The regular season was over and tonight marked the first game of the Eastern Athletic Metro Conference quarterfinals. The Apprentice Women's Basketball team came into the game as the #2 seed in the East pod and, for the third time this season, they would face the Royals of Regent University, who came in as the #3 seed. The Builders had beaten Regent twice this season and knew that it would take a perfect game to make it a third time charm.
The Apprentice defense had two quick stops and then Jordan Wilson gave them the early advantage after making two free throws. On their next offensive possession, Alena Puaauli-Pelham converted the old-fashion 3-point play to go up by 5-points, and then Jamica Jones hit a foul line jumper to continue the run. The Royals finally got on the board and that would be the score at the first timeout of the game. Jamica Jones would make her second basket of the night as play resumed, but Regent answered to cut the lead to 9-4. They eventually pulled to within 2-points of the lead and had an opportunity to tie the game but could not get the ball to go down. Jordan Wilson gave Apprentice the 3-point lead after converting 1-2 free throws. However, as the quarter was coming to an end, the Royals took their first lead of the game and that is how it would end, with Regent leading 13-12.
Ashawnti Williams helped the Builders regain the lead to start the second quarter, but Regent had an answer to, once again, go back up by 1-point. For the next few minutes both teams would go back and forth, regaining the lead, but with 2:05 remaining in the half, the Royals broke the back-and-forth, to take a 3-point lead, 23-20. Apprentice had some chances to get the lead back, but as the half came to an end, they would trail by that same score of 23-20.
As the third quarter began, Regent grabbed its largest lead of the game 28-22, but the Builders would start a come back and after a 3-pointer by Alena Puaauli-Pelham, they were only done by 2-points, 28-26. On their next possession, Brittney Jones was fouled on a layup and converted the 2-point play to regain the lead at the 4:25 mark of the quarter. Jones would do it again to push their lead to 3-points and after a Royals free throw, Alena Puaauli-Pelham hit a driving layup for the 4-point advantage, but Regent was able to put together 4 straight paints to tie the game at 33-33. However, Brittney Jones put her team on her shoulders and as the clock hit zero to end the quarter, Apprentice held the lead, 36-33.
Ashawnti Williams started the fourth quarter with a basket to increase the Builders' lead to 5-points, but Regent found a way to pull to within 1-point of the lead. With 6:47 remaining in the game, the score would be tied, but Williams took an offensive rebound and converted it to give Apprentice the 2-point advantage. Unfortunately, that would not last long, as the Royals were able to tie it up again at 40-40. Puaauli-Pelham, as she has done all season, drained a 3-pointer to break the tie and she followed that up with two more free throws. Just when Regent thought they were being awarded a 3-point play, the Builders' defense stepped up and drew the charge, which waived off the basket. Britney Jones would go ahead and the seal the game with free throws and as the horn sounded, Apprentice advanced to the EMAC semifinals winning by a final score of 49-44.
The Builders were led by Alena Puaauli-Pelham who finished the game with 16 points, while going 4-5 from the free throw line. In her official final game at the Apprentice Athletic Center, Brittney added 11 points and Ashawnti Williams continued her dominance on the boards grabbing a game high 14 rebounds. Jordan Wilson also finished in double digits on the boards, pulling down a total of 10 rebounds. The Builders will have a short trip down Route 17 on Thursday as they visit Mid-Atlantic Christian University in the semifinals of the EMAC Tournament. Stay tuned to www.gobuilders.com for start time and game updates.