Jan 29, 2013
The Apex Cougars (12-7 overall, 9-2 in Tri-Nine) gave up a big lead in the second half, but managed to hold on and survive a scare against the Green Hope Falcons (14-4, 7-3) by the score of 63-62 on Tuesday night.
Both teams started off sloppy, missing some easy shots in the paint. The large Apex duo of Ian Boyd and Malik Williams pulled down a number of rebounds to give the Cougars some early second chances.
Eventually, the Apex offense found scoring while the defense tightened up. Starting Apex guard T.J. Wells came to play early with 14 first-half points, and the Cougars carried a 31-24 point lead into halftime.
Then things got interesting.
Behind solid shooting from David Robertson and Grant Rasmussen, Green Hope connected on four 3-pointers in the third quarter to cut the deficit to a single point going into the final period of the game.
After trailing since the opening basket, Green Hope tied the game on another Rasmussen 3-pointer with just less than 6 minutes left to play. On the next trip up the court, the Falcons took the lead.
The momentum really swung in favor of the Falcons when Rasmussen converted a 3-point-play with less than 2 minutes on the clock to extend the Green Hope lead to 4. The opposing squads traded baskets in the final moments, and Green Hope had a 1-point lead with 13 seconds left.
That was when guard T.J. Evans traveled the length of the court, made a move to the basket, and found an open Ian Boyd on the baseline. Boyd caught the ball and scored down low to seal the game for Apex. Green Hope threw up a shot attempt in their final second--it was blocked--and the Apex Cougars ended the Green Hope comeback with a 63-62 win.
"We wanted to get Evans or Wells the ball and let them make a play, and Evans made a heck of a play," Apex coach David Neal said of the final sequence. "Boyd has been fantastic, and I was so happy for him to hit the game-winner."
Leading Apex in scoring were T.J. Wells (18), T.J. Evans (13) and Malik Williams (12). Last-second hero Ian Boyd finished the game with 10.
"It was, without a doubt, the toughest win that we've had. We've struggled a bit on the road, but for Green Hope to shoot the ball the way they did in the second half was incredible. You have to give them a lot of credit for coming back and hanging in there," Neal said.
Grant Rasmussen had 18 points of his own for the Falcons thanks to some monumental shots, but it was not enough to down the resilient Cougars.
Apex will take the court again on Friday against Athens Drive (2-18, 1-10). Green Hope's next game will be at home Thursday against Holly Springs (9-9, 5-6).
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