By GARY STALLARD
Angelina College’s basketball teams closed out the regular season with wins against Coastal Bend Community College on Saturday’s Sophomore Day, with the Lady Roadrunners stifling the Lady Cougars 74-43 and the Roadrunners handling the Cougars by an 81-67 final.
Lady Roadrunner Natasha Mack scored 17 points, giving her the single-season scoring record of 667. Last week, Mack eclipsed the single-year marks in rebounding and shot blocking as well.
Both AC teams open the Region XIV Conference tournament in Jacksonville this week.
Lady Roadrunners 74, Coastal Bend 43
With 5:54 remaining in Saturday’s game with Coastal Bend, AC’s Natasha Mack nailed a three pointer to beat the shot clock. Not even a minute later, Mack hit a short jumper in the post to give her 17 points for the game.
Mack didn’t know that those final points helped her eclipse the single-season scoring record of 666, a mark standing since Lesa Jones set it back in 1981.
Mack knew she’d already broken two other marks this season: Her 338 rebounds and 158 blocks elevated her to the top of the record book as well.
The records weren’t a big deal until after the game. For the 20 minutes of game time, the Lady Roadrunners regained the form missing throughout a recent five-game losing streak. AC’s defense was stifling, holding the Lady Cougars without a field goal over the game’s first eight minutes. Coastal Bend finished the contest having connected on just 14 of 61 shot attempts.
Offensively, the Lady ‘Runners received contributions from throughout the roster. Mack’s 17 points led the team, but Priscilla Murray added 13 points and Charisma Shepherd 12. The AC bench outscored Coastal Bend’s by a 27-9 margin.
The team also recognized its sophomores playing their final home games on Saturday: Charisma Shepherd, Priscilla Murray, Angelica Darcus, Mercy Blanco and Miracle Haywood.
The Lady Roadrunners will face San Jacinto College in the women’s quarterfinals beginning Wednesday at John Alexander Gymnasium in Jacksonville. The game will tip off at 3 p.m.
Roadrunners 81, Coastal Bend 67
AC’s losing streak came to a rim-rattling end on Saturday, with the Roadrunners taking out recent frustrations by hammering Coastal Bend 81-67 at Shands Gymnasium.
A team beset with a plague of injuries looked ready to enter this week’s conference tournament, with five Roadrunners scoring in double figures. Deedy Gauno led the way with 15 points, followed by Nylek Cobb with 14, Gilbert Thomas and Isaac Beal with 12 points each and Kevin Norman with 10 points.
AC’s bench also played a large role, with the ‘Runner extras teaming up for 41 points.
Thomas, Norman, Beal and Travis Henson provided several highlight-reel dunks to keep the crowd loud, and the AC offense overall committed just 13 turnovers for the game.
The team also held its Sophomore Day ceremony in appreciate of Bryan Mitchell, Jaylen Ballou, Gilbert Thomas, Angel Bullock and Nylek Cobb.
The Roadrunners drew Paris College for Tuesday’s opening-round game of the Region XIV conference tournament. The teams will tip off at 3 p.m. at John Alexander Gymnasium in Jacksonville.
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games.
Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.
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