Roadrunners Outshoot Western Texas to Win Coca Cola Thanksgiving Classic Norman Takes MVP Honors


Angelina College guard Chris Simmons (22) fights his way around Western Texas defender Leland Kirkendoll (3) during Saturday’s game. The Roadrunners captured the Lufkin Coca Cola Thanksgiving Classic title after beating the Westerners 100-71 at Shands Gymnasium. (Gary Stallard/AC Athletics photo)

Angelina College’s Roadrunners weren’t going to outreach a Western Texas College front line averaging 6’10” across the lane.

So the ‘Runners simply shot over the Westerners.

AC connected on 17 three pointers – hitting 57 percent from behind the arc – and cruised to a 100-73 win to take home the trophy in Saturday’s final day of the Lufkin Coca Cola Thanksgiving Classic at Shands Gymnasium.

AC converted five treys in the game’s first five minutes to take a 17-15 lead, then used the long ball as part of an 18-5 run to take the lead for good in downing the bigger Westerners.

Kevin Norman earned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award after scoring 22 points in each of the two games played on Friday and Saturday. Norman hit three of the team’s threes on Saturday, and Deedy Gauno hit six from long distance on his way to a 24-point effort. Hunter Janacek hit four threes and Yosani Clay another three in the win. Guard Chris Simmons handed out 10 assists.

Western’s Sindou Diallo led his team with 14 points.

Saturday’s win also capped a four-game winning streak for the Roadrunners, who at 5-4 are above .500 for the first time this season.

AC will open conference play Wednesday at Kilgore College. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is


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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