Dec 26, 2013
Despite a 42-point performance by Kentucky recruit Devin Booker, Apex opened the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational with a 64-59 win over Moss Point (MS).
The Cougars led much of the game, holding the Tigers to just eight points in the first quarter. Apex led 13-8 after the opening period and extended its lead to 30-23 at halftime.
T.J. Wells helped the Apex offense tremendously in the first half, dishing out nine assists.
Booker and Moss Point got things rolling the second half though, outscoring Apex 18-9 in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Moss Point reclaimed a lead.
Apex kept fighting though. The Cougars made free throws down the stretch and scored in the paint, posting 25 points in the fourth quarter.
"We're thrilled to get through the first round and be in the final four of our bracket," Apex coach David Neal said. "It was not easy at all; Devin Booker is a load to deal with."
Booker's 42 points ties him for seventh all time in the Holiday Invitational for most points in a single game.
"He was sensational in the second half and we couldn't stop him," Neal said of Booker.
Apex gave up a double-digit lead, falling behind by as many as three points in the fourth quarter. Neal said he was happy to see his team pull out a close win, but wasn't happy about losing a lead.
"I'm just proud of my guys for toughing it out because I thought we should've been up by more," he said.
Apex will take on the winner of Clayton and Lake High Prep (FL) on Friday night at 7 p.m. Moss Point will face the loser at 10 a.m.
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