Green Hope advances to SWAC title game with win over Apex
Posted February 15
Apex, N.C. — Green Hope defeated Apex Wednesday afternoon, 58-51, at Apex Friendship High School to advance to the Southwest Wake Conference tournament.
Despite the Falcons’ semi-final win to split the season series with rival Apex, the team’s immediate focus was turned to junior teammate Ryan Sikorski, who suffered a dislocated left kneecap mid-way through the second quarter.
Sikorski fell to the court after attempting to grab a rebound with 4:13 remaining in the first half. The junior stayed on the floor for nearly 30 minutes before medics removed him from the court on a stretcher and transported him to a local hospital.
“It was a very freak accident; he handled it like a champ,” said Green Hope head coach John Green. “Our guys were a little shook up to see a player injured in that kind of situation. We had to gather right back, keep our focus and go.”
Both teams exited the court while Sikorski was being tended to and were given a two-minute shoot around before play resumed.
“We took them all off the floor so that Ryan could have his space from the team, and them not be standing and breathing over top of him,” Green said. “My main focus was on Ryan and making sure he was OK and comfortable.”
In addition to Sikorski, the Falcons were without Ryan Shaffer, who was out with the flu.
“We were a little under-manned, and I’m just glad our guys pulled together and came out on top,” Green said.
The Falcons outscored Apex, 21-13, with Sikorski in the ballgame and went on a 9-6 over the final 3:47 in the first half to take an 11-point lead into halftime.
Green Hope added to its lead with a 14-12 advantage over Apex in the third quarter, but the Cougars didn’t quit in the final stanza.
Apex outscored the Falcons, 20-14, over the final eight minutes of play – aided by a last ditch three-point attempt by senior Eric Fox in the waning seconds – but the margin was too wide for the Cougars to overcome.
Senior Eric Fox led the Cougars’ run with 11 of his 15 points – including three triples – in the final quarter.
The Falcons held the standout senior to only four points through the first three quarters of play on Wednesday.
“I thought defensively we did a good job of containing [Eric] Fox, trying to make sure someone was on him and he always had a hand in his face,” Green said.
Apex junior Chavis Coachman also finished in double figures with 13 points, scoring six in during the Cougars’ late-game run.
Green Hope junior Jordan Bates-Williams led all scorers Wednesday evening with 19 points. Seniors Alex Clinkscales and Will Harkins combined for 33 points, scring 19 and 14 points, respectively.
The Falcons will move on to face the winner of Cary and Middle Creek in the SWAC championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Apex Friendship High School.