By GARY STALLARD
Facing the top teams in their respective conferences was going to be a tall task anyway, and the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners and Roadrunners fell short in a pair of home losses Saturday at Shands Gymnasium.
Jacksonville’s Lady Jaguars held off the Lady ‘Runners 83-77 behind 31 points from Ines Nezerwa, and the Jaguars fended off a late Roadrunner rally to take a 69-63 win.
Both AC teams are on the road Wednesday, with the Lady Roadrunners traveling to Athens to take on Trinity Valley Community College and the Roadrunners taking on Lee College in Baytown.
Jacksonville 83, Lady Roadrunners 77
Jacksonville’s Nezerwa and AC’s Natasha Mack waged a battle in the paint, with the two 6’4” post players fighting for position nearly every possession.
Saturday’s matchup went to Nezerwa, who finished with a game-high 31 points to go with 10 rebounds.
Mack fought her way to an 18-point, seven-rebound performance, but the Lady Jags were able to hold off a late AC surge in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.
Lady ‘Runner Mia Williams nailed a three pointer off an assist from Priscilla Murray with 25 seconds to play to trim the Jacksonville lead to five points at 80-75. Mack’s free throws got AC to within three points, but the Lady Jags’ Florence Sifa hit three free throws in the final seconds to hold off the Lady Roadrunners.
Williams finished with 18 points after connecting on six three pointers. Mia Perkins added 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Lady Roadrunners (18-8, 10-6) will face Trinity Valley’s Lady Cardinals Wednesday in Athens. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
Jacksonville 69, Roadrunners 63
A very physical defensive battle eventually went against the home team, with the Roadrunners dropping a 69-63 loss to the Jaguars on Saturday.
The teams combined for just 56 points over the game’s first 20 minutes – well below the per-game average for both squads. AC trailed 29-27, but rallied late in the second half to take a 55-51 lead on Kevin Norman buckets on back-to-back AC possessions.
With the scored knotted at 55-55 with five minutes to play, however, Jacksonville put together just enough of a scoring run to take the lead for good. A.J. Sparks hit a pair of free throws, Christian Barrett scored in the paint and Tylin Lockett dropped a three pointer to give the Jaguars enough cushion to hold off the hard-charging Roadrunners.
AC’s Norman led the Roadrunners with 16 points. Isaac Beal added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Travis Henson contributed 10 points.
Lockett, Sparks and Jabari Narcis each scored 12 points for Jacksonville.
The Roadrunners (13-13, 5-10) play Lee College Wednesday in Baytown. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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