FINAL SCORE: District of Columbia 110, Apprentice School 106
RECORDS: District of Columbia 2-6, Apprentice School 4-4
LOCATION: UDC Sports Complex Gymnasium/Washington, D.C.
IN BRIEF: The Builders took control of the game midway through the first half, but the Firebirds scored 13 unanswered points to seize back control late in the second.
ON THE COURT
- Jay Melendez started things off with a 3-pointer, but the Firebirds answered with back-to-back baskets to take a 4-3 lead. A Cameron Perry jumper and a Zach Johnson 3-pointer put the Builders back in control 8-4, but D.C. would use a 7-0 run to wrestle back the lead.
- Melendez and Perry each made a layup and William Wilcox added a 3-pointer to help the Apprentice School jump ahead 15-11, but the Firebirds battled with an old-fashioned 3-point play of their own to trim the lead to 15-14.
- The Builders were ahead for the remainder of the half, but couldn't find any real separation until a Melendez tip-in ignited a 10-run, capped off by back-to-back 3-pointers from Taaron White and Johnson (46-33, 4:28).
- A Perry bucket at the 1:55 mark pushed the lead to 14 (54-40), but a Firebird 3-pointer kicked off a 9-0 run. Perry would go to the line with :47 on the clock and convert both of his free shots, while D.C. would make a jumper with :10 remaining in the opening half. Wilcox had a look at a 3-pointer just before the buzzer but couldn't get it to fall and the Builders would take a 56-51 lead at the break.
- Down 70-64 with 13:34 to play, D.C. hit a 3-pointer and followed with an old-fashioned 3-point play to tie things up at the 13:02 mark. A Wilcox layup and a Melendez 3-pointer put the Apprentice School back on top, but D.C. wouldn't go away and took back the lead 76-75.
- William White helped the Builders get back on top as his shot and charity attempt fell. Perry went to the line shortly after and would make both of his shots to give the Builders the 84-78 advantage (9:25). Unfortunately, the Firebirds decided it was time for another run, this time scoring 13 unanswered points to go ahead 91-84 (6:33). D.C. would control the rest of the game.
- With 5:03 to play, Melendez connected from beyond the arc to cut the lead to 93-92. This would be the closest the Builders would get, though, as a 7-0 run by the Firebirds made it 103-94 with just over 2 minutes remaining.
- T. White scored with :45 to trim the D.C. lead to 107-102, but the Firebirds made a pair of free throws three seconds later to effectively put the game away. A Perry layup and a Johnson tip-in rounded out the scoring for the Builders.
BEHIND THE BOXSCORE
- Melendez posted a 29-point, 12-rebound double-double to pace the Builders in the loss. Perry followed with 19 points, Johnson scored 17 points, Wilcox netted 15 points, and Shaun Innis contributed 10 points.
- The team shot 47% (39-of-83) from the field, 37.9% (11-of-29) from beyond the arc, and 85% (17-of-20) from the free-throw line.
- The Apprentice School won the rebound battle (48-46) and also led in 2nd chance points (18-17).
- The Builders' bench outscored the Firebirds' 31-27.
- The game featured 3 ties and 7 lead changes.
The Builders will wrap up the month of December on the road as they will compete in the King's College (Pa.) Classic next Friday-Saturday (Dec. 11-12) in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
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