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Tyler Grace’s Dynamic Duo Of Verlo Levels + Trevor Gunter Enough to Hold Off Chapel Hill in Wagstaff Apache Bracket Semifinal

Tyler Grace’s Verlo Levels pulls up for a jumper during the Cougars’ 71-65 win over Chapel Hill at the Wagstaff Holiday Classic on Friday in Tyler. (Christopher Vinn,

TYLER — The Tyler Grace Cougars built a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead but had to hold off Chapel Hill for a 71-65 victory Friday in an Apache Bracket semifinal at the Wagstaff Holiday Classic.

Grace (15-3) advanced to the Apache Bracket championship game and will meet Brownsboro at 7 p.m. Saturday from Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gym.

Chapel Hill’s Gabriel Robinson (left) works against Tyler Grace’s Call Florence during their game Friday at the Wagstaff Holiday Classic in Tyler. (Christopher R. Vinn,

The Cougars were led by the duo of Verlo Levels and Trevor Gunter, who combined for 50 points on the afternoon. Levels finished with a game-high 27 points to go with four rebounds, while Gunter filled the stat sheet with 23 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and two steals.

Grace’s lead swelled to 63-51 with less than six minutes remaining in the game on a jumper from Gunter, but Chapel Hill (7-11) pulled to within two points with a 14-4 run that was fueled by a tenacious full-court press.

Jeffery Minor’s layup cut the Grace lead to 67-65 with 1:53 remaining, but the Cougars were able to ice the game by going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line down the stretch.

Chapel Hill was led by Keilon Moore, who finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Jeffery Minor added 16 points, four steals and three steals, Gabriel Robinson also scored 16 points to go with three steals and two assists, while Keith Minor chipped in with 12 points and four boards.

The Bulldogs started fast, opening up a 25-19 lead with 5:43 remaining in the second quarter. But Grace turned to Gunter and went on a pivotal 24-3 run to go into halftime with a commanding 43-28 lead. Gunter scored 11 of the Cougars’ points during the critical stretch.

Tyler Grace’s Phillip McKinney (left) attempts a shot while being defended by Chapel Hill’s Keilon Moore during their game Friday at the Wagstaff Holiday Classic in Tyler. (Christopher R. Vinn,

Tyler Grace 71, Chapel Hill 65

Wagstaff Holiday Classic

Apache Bracket Semifinal

At Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gym

Tyler Grace             17   26   14   14   —   71
Chapel Hill              19    9    20   17   —   65
TYLER GRACE (15-3) — Verlo Levels, 27; Trevor Gunter, 23; Andrew Melhart, 9; Phillip McKinney, 8; Call Florence, 2; Adam Graham, 2.
CHAPEL HILL (7-11) — Keilon Moore, 17; Jeffery Minor, 16; Gabriel Robinson, 16; Keith Minor, 12; D.D. Mumphrey, 4.
THREE-POINT GOALSTyler Grace: Levels (3), Melhart (2), McKinney. Chapel Hill: Robinson (2), J. Minor.

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