Holiday Invitational

Word of God knocks off Apex in Holiday Invitational opener

Posted December 27, 2012

After a two-year absence from the winner's bracket of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational, crowd favorite Raleigh Word of God made a triumphant return to the semifinals of the tourney.

Update: Word of God advances Game 6 Update: Apex vs. Word of God

The Holy Rams held off a strong effort from Apex to defeat the Cougars, 58-47, in the quarterfinals of the Shavlik Randolph bracket of the HSOT. Word of God will face Oxford Webb in the Randolph semifinals Thursday night at 9 p.m. at Raleigh Broughton's venerable Holliday Gymnasium.

According to its coach, Word of God did exactly what it needed to do to battle past a tough Cougars team.

"It was a good game," said WOG coach Quinton Jackson. "It's been a couple of years since Word of God advanced out of the first round. It just goes to show this tournament is so level when it comes to the coaches and the players.

"Our whole mission coming into this game was to survive and advance; we didn't care if it was one point or 30 points. The key was to get out of the first round and our guys did a good job to make that happen."

The Holy Rams were led by Shane Whitfield's 18 points and Josh Newkirk's 16 points.

Word of God vs. Apex Holiday Invitational Boys: Word of God 58, Apex 47 (Randolph bracket, Dec. 26)

Apex (5-6) was paced by T.J. Evans' 22 points and 14 from Ian Boyd.

"We're disappointed that we didn't play better," Cougars coach David Neal said. "I was proud of my guys for hanging in there; we kept it around five, six or seven points the whole ballgame but we couldn't get over the hump."

Final: WOG 58, Apex 47
Word of God 14 14 17 13 -- 58
Apex 9 14 13 11 -- 47

WOG: Shane Whitfield 18, Josh Newkirk 16, Tyrek Coger 9, Rodney Moore 6, Jaquon Brownridge 3, Jordan Whitfield 3, Camden Scott 2, Donte' Reynolds 1.

Apex: T.J. Evans 22, Ian Boyd 14, Malik Williams 8, Jeff Valdini 2, T.J. Wells 1.

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