Holiday Invitational

Motivated Wheeler stuns Apex, 75-42

Posted December 28, 2013

Wheeler (Ga.) led from the opening, and outscored Apex each quarter, to win its final game of the Invitational Saturday 75-42.

When the Wildcats and Cougars tipped off in the Shavlik Randolph Bracket Consolation Game, they each knew they were just a few plays away from playing in the Invitational’s nightcap. Wheeler lost to Kinston by 2 and Apex lost in overtime to Lake Highland (Fla.) in the semifinals, to set up the third place matchup.

However, the way the two teams responded was drastically different.

After starting the game with a thunderous dunk, Wheeler, led by 18 points from Jaylen Brown, outpaced the Cougars by 10 points in the opening frame and stretched the lead to 24 by halftime and never looked back.

“I was very proud of the way we played tonight,” Wheeler coach Doug Lipscomb said. “Like I’ve said (HSOT Invite) is a learning experience and hopefully we learned from last night.”

After an intense battle with Lake Highland last night, Apex coach David Neal said the tournament proved the fine line between winning and losing.

“We were so close to playing (in the championship) against Kinston,” he said. “Then today was a tough day for us. I thought they were the aggressor the entire time. Their defense was really good, they were really athletic and we just didn’t have an answer.”

Elijah Staley and Avery Patterson each scored 13 points for the Wildcats and Patterson led the team with five assists and four steals.

Apex was paced by TJ Evans with 17 points. TJ Wells had 3 assists to go along with his two points.


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