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BOYD, APEX TAKE DOWN GREEN HOPE

APEX, N.C. — After winning their first eight games of the season, the Green Hope Falcons lost their second consecutive game Tuesday night at the hands of the Apex Cougars, who fell behind in the second quarter but bounced back in the second half to earn a 69-60 win. The early part of the game was defined by one-sided runs from both teams. Green Hope outscored Apex 21-9 in the second quarter, and the Cougars turned around to beat the Falcons 21-7 in the third. Entering the fourth quarter with a lead, Apex maintained its scoring output to keep its cushion through the final buzzer. "We started taking smarter shots and getting the ball to the open person, instead of taking contested shots," said Apex's Ian Boyd. Boyd finished with a game-high 28 points for the Cougars, while Eric Fox scored 16 points, Eric Field had 14 and Colin Molden finished with 11. Through the Cougars' first nine games of the year, Boyd is averaging more than 26 points and eight rebounds, leading Apex in both statistical categories. "He's just a warrior, and he does it all for us," said Apex head coach David Neal. "His versatility is just like nothing I've ever seen in a high school player. He can guard any position; he can play point guard for us or he can play center for us. And he's been doing it for four years." Trailing by five points entering the second quarter, Green Hope started the period on a 10-0 run and did not give up a point for almost five full minutes. Quavis Johnson and Alex Clinkscales each scored six points in the quarter. The Falcons led 34-27 at halftime. "I had heard that they play really well together, and they do," Neal said of the Falcons. "They shot 60-percent in the first half. They were just killing us and we couldn't stop them at all." Apex responded out of the halftime gate by going on a 16-2 run in the third quarter, eventually taking back the lead on a three-pointer from Boyd. Molden and Fox also hit shots from deep during the quarter as Apex shot 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Boyd scored eight points in both the third and fourth quarters. Green Hope's third-quarter offense was limited to a three-pointer from Ryan Shaffer and buckets from Rasheed Reams and Will Harkins. A back-and-forth fourth quarter saw Green Hope cut the deficit to two points with three minutes on the clock when Johnson scored five points in a row for the Falcons, but Apex went on a 10-2 run after that. With a minute left in the game, Boyd added an exclamation point with a big block that led to a fast break in which Molden threw the ball off the backboard to set up an electric Boyd dunk. Fox added a one-handed dunk with 23 seconds left to bring the crowd to its feet again. Neal said a fourth-quarter defensive change on Green Hope's Johnson made a big difference in the final minutes. "When it was really crunch time, their point guard was killing us," Neal said. "He hit a big three, he blew by one of our players for a layup, and then we put Carl Dean on him in the last few minutes and I don't even think he got a shot off. I thought Carl did a good job containing him." Johnson led Green Hope with 16 points. Clinkscales added 11 more, and Shaffer finished with nine. Nine different Falcons scored in the game. Green Hope (8-2, 3-2 in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference) will face the undefeated Cary Imps on Thursday. Apex (6-3, 4-1) will go on the road against Panther Creek on Thursday in the team's final game before appearing in the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational on Dec. 26. Read more at http://www.highschoolot.com/boyd-apex-take-down-green-hope-in-swac-basketball/15179866/#FWMOPMRqmEgxkX6i.99