By GARY STALLARD
JACKSONVILLE – Just two days after knocking off the tournament’s 5th seed, the Angelina College Roadrunners came oh-so-close to taking down the tourney’s No. 4.
Instead, the Blinn College Bucs scored a bucket with 57 seconds remaining in the game, grabbed a steal with nine seconds to play and ended the Roadrunners’ season in a 57-54 AC loss in Thursday’s Region XIV conference tournament men’s quarterfinals in Jacksonville.
With 3:41 to play, AC’s Nylek Cobb tied the game at 54-54 on a layup created from a perfect baseline feed from Jay Head. The two teams would scrape and claw trying to get the go-ahead bucket in the waning moments, but neither scored until Blinn’s Tyrus Grayson found room in the paint for the go-ahead dunk. As they’d done the entire game, the Roadrunners on their ensuing possession burned the clock down looking for an open shot, only to have the possession end in a turnover with nine seconds to go. A free throw gave the Bucs a three-point lead, and Deedy Gauno’s three-point attempt banged off the front of the rim as time expired, leaving the ‘Runners just short of extending their season.
Gilbert Thomas led AC with 12 points and 14 rebounds in his final game as a Roadrunner. Head finished with 10 points, with eight of those coming in a key late-game stretch to keep the Roadrunners in the hunt.
Antione Lister led the Bucs with 14 points.
Roadrunner sophomores appearing in their final game included Thomas, Nylek Cobb, Angel Bullock, Bryan Mitchell and Jaylen Ballou.
The Roadrunners finish the season with a record of 15-17.
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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