Holly Springs holds off Apex rally, advances to SWAC final
Posted February 15
Apex, N.C. — Holly Springs withstood a furious Apex fourth-quarter rally Wednesday afternoon, holding off the Cougars, 60-49, to advance to the Southwest Wake Conference tournament final.
The Golden Hawks watched a 19-point lead dwindle to six points late in the contest, but Holly Springs hung on to clinch a spot in the title game.
“I had a long conversation with my girls last night, and I had to explain to them that we need to come out with a high intensity,” said Holly Springs head coach Peace Easton. “We need to come out attacking and taking the lead, not looking back and that’s basically what we did.”
Apex struggled to find it’s scoring touch in the first quarter and struggled mightily against the Hawks’ full-court pressure, leading to a 15-4 run to start the contest for Holly Springs.
The Cougars answered after trailing by 11 points with a 13-2 run to knot the contest at 17-17, but the Hawks responded with an 11-0 run, eventually taking a nine-point lead into halftime.
Holly Springs held the Cougars at bay in the third frame, eventually extending its lead to 19 points in final quarter.
Apex mounted a run after the Hawks took its largest lead of the game, chewing the 19-point lead down to six points and holding Holly Springs without a field goal, but the Cougars’ near comeback came up just short.
“I told them that we needed to keep our intensity up,” Peace said. “They had played so hard in the first half to give it up now. If we’re going to win, I want to make a statement with it.”
Apex senior Kim Schuh tallied 13 of her team-high 16 points during the Cougars’ fourth-quarter rally.
The Cougars battled back without the services of senior Samantha Michel, who injured her knee in the fourth quarter.
Holly Springs senior Samantha Weaver led all scorers Wednesday afternoon with 21 points. Sophomore Kiana Carter added 20 points and senior captain Nya Jordan tallied 11 points to finish in double figures.
The Golden Hawks will take on the winner or Green Hope and Panther Creek Friday at 6 p.m. for the SWAC tournament championship.