Hutchinson Ends Lady Roadrunner Season AC Falls in Opening Game of NJCAA National Tournament

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Angelina College’s Lady Roadrunners saw their historic season come to an end on Wednesday, with Hutchinson Community College throwing a knockout punch and winning 72-59 at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock.

The Lady ‘Runners got off to a slow start and were just unable to recover. Hutchinson led the game wire-to-wire, jumping out to a 10-0 lead and increasing the margin by as many as 15 points.

The inside-outside strategy that served the Lady Roadrunners so well all season long never hit its normal level of efficiency. Natasha Mack led all scorers with 29 points – she added 13 rebounds as well – but the Lady ‘Runners converted just one of 20 attempts from three-point range, with Mack nailing that one in the fourth quarter.

Simran Mayfield added 13 points as the only other AC player to reach double figures.

“We’ve got three of the top three-point shooters in our league, but tonight we just couldn’t buy a bucket,” head coach Byron Coleman said during the post-game press conference. “We just never got going. Hutchinson did some good things, especially in slowing us down in transition, but some of our shots weren’t even close. That’s rough for a team that usually shoots the ball so well.

“It just wasn’t our night.”

Hutchinson placed four players in double figures, with Makayla Vannett leading her team with 18 points. Jada Mickens added 13, Tijuana Kimbro 12 and Tia Bradshaw 11.

Hutchinson maintained a double-digit lead through most of the game; however, the Lady ‘Runners showed fight and a spark in the third period. Mack hit her team’s only three-point shot, and AC climbed back into contention by shrinking the Hutchinson lead to five points at 48-43.

“The kids kept fighting, and I thought we were on the verge of getting everything together at one point,” Coleman said. “But we never could get one of those 8-0, 10-0 runs we’re usually able to put together.

“That’s just the way it falls sometimes.”

The Lady Roadrunners end their season at 29-4 and with a long list of accolades. Along with the program’s first-ever appearance at the national tournament, there were numerous individual and team awards. Mack capped her magnificent two-year career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,471 points.

Other Lady Roadrunners playing in their final games in AC orange and blue were Mia Williams, Mia Perkins, Alexis Baston, Taylor Jacob, Diamond Johnson and Shelby Brown.

Asked how long it would take to get over the pain of the loss and focus instead on this year’s run, an emotional Coleman simply put his arms around Mack.

“I’m just proud of this group. They gave this program everything they had.”

The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is gstallard@angelina.edu.

Author

Gary Stallard
Gary Stallard
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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