Lady Roadrunners Fall Just Short of Upset Bid

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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.

Needing just a few more seconds – or a few more fouls – the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners just missed out on an upset bid against the No. 2 Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals, with AC falling 64-62 Saturday at Shands Gymnasium in Lufkin.

Trailing by two points with four seconds to play, the Lady Roadrunners gained the final possession with Briana Caro’s rebound.

Trinity Valley’s Naomi Davenport (5) forces Angelina College’s Ariel Taylor to change directions during Saturday’s game at Shands Gymnasium. The No. 2-ranked Lady Cardinals held on for a 64-62 win to thwart the Lady ‘Runners upset bid. (AC Press photo by DeShun Pham-Adams)
Trinity Valley’s Naomi Davenport (5) forces Angelina College’s Ariel Taylor to change directions during Saturday’s game at Shands Gymnasium. The No. 2-ranked Lady Cardinals held on for a 64-62 win to thwart the Lady ‘Runners upset bid. (AC Press photo by DeShun Pham-Adams)

However, the Lady Cardinals still had three fouls to give before the bonus, and they used two of those on two straight Lady ‘Runner inbounds passes, leaving just 1.4 seconds for AC to get off a potential game-tying or game-winning shot. That wasn’t quite enough time, as Caro’s desperation heave missed the mark.

Those final dramatic moments came after the Lady Roadrunners clawed their way back from eight points down with a little

more than four minutes to play. Caro’s three pointer with 52 seconds remaining cut the Trinity Valley lead to 62-60, and after the Lady Cards’ Alisha Washington sank a pair of free throws, AC’s Malachi McQueen scored on a feed from Caitlyn Lambert to keep the margin at two points. Caro then forced a TVCC turnover, but in the end there wasn’t enough time for the Lady ‘Runners to pull off their second straight home win over the nationally ranked Lady Cardinals.

“The girls played hard, but we just couldn’t get the breaks we needed down the stretch,” head coach Byron Coleman said. “But this is the kind of loss we can turn into a positive. We saw how good we can be against good teams, and that could help us out quite a bit over the rest of the season.”

Ariel Taylor led AC in scoring with 13 points, with 10 of those coming in the first quarter. Caro, Lambert and LaNeique Nealey added 12 points each, and McQueen finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Christalah Lyons scored 21 points to lead Trinity Valley (10-1, 4-0). Troi Swain finished with 11.

The Lady Roadrunners (8-6, 2-4) won’t be back in action again until a road trip to Waco for the SAWBC Tournament beginning on January 2 and 3.

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

 

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