NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – People always say basketball is a game of runs, well on Friday night the Apprentice School Lady Builders proved that to be very true.
After racing out to an 18-point lead in the first half, only then to trail 48-43 with 13:18 left, the Lady Builders score the next 33 points to defeat Berkeley College 76-51 in the opening night of the 2013 Martin Luther King Classic.
Apprentice School (6-10) used a 15-2 run over a 6:41 span to lead 20-8 on a Danita Whitaker jumper with 10:16 left. The lead grew to 33-15 as Kenya Wilkerson hit a floating jumper in the lane with 4:19 left for the largest lead of the first half. Berkeley outscored the Lady Builders 11-5 to close the half as Janay Thomas drained a layup to close the half as the Knights trailed 38-26.
In the second half, that run of the Knights continued as Berkeley opened the half outscoring Apprentice School 22-5 to take its largest lead of the night 48-43 with 13:18 left on a Milan Germany 3-point play. From there, the Lady Builders turned up the defense forcing the Knights into a 0-for-13 with eight turnovers as the hosts scored the next 33 points to lead 76-48 on a Jonea Cruz layup with 1:35 left. Aiyesha Brown stopped the scoring binge with a 3-pointer with 1:14 left for the eventual final score of 76-51 giving the Lady Builders a 33-3 run to close the game.
Whitaker paced all scorers with a career-high 26 points and 16 rebounds coming off the bench for the lone double-figure scorer as the Apprentice School avenged a 65-61 loss to Berkeley last Sunday in New York City. Cruz, Christina Licano and Samoane Brown added nine points each as the Apprentice School hit 50% (29-of-58) from the field and 3-point line (6-of-12) and 66.7% from the foul line (12-of-18).
Berkeley, who will face Briarcliffe College in a 2pm game on Saturday, was topped by Milan Germany with 17 points and seven rebounds while Brown added 14 points and seven rebounds. Apprentice School will face Briarcliffe on Sunday in the 3pm contest.