No. 12 McLennan Staves off ‘Runner Rally

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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.

“Knocking off the rust” were Angelina College head coach Todd Neighbors’ words and goals prior to Wednesday’s game against the No. 12-ranked McLennan Highlanders. With the Roadrunners having spent the past three weeks in holiday mode, the coach needed the contest to gauge his team’s readiness for the upcoming conference grind.

Against the Highlanders, the ‘Runners showed they’re not yet rust-proof.

Despite a pair of scoring runs and a 21-point, 18-rebound night from Gary Blackston, the Highlanders held off AC 89-80 at Shands Gymnasium.

AC managed several rallies after falling behind 10-0 to open the game. The Roadrunners regrouped in time to take a 36-33 lead just before half time. The ‘Runners extended their lead to nine points early in the second half, only to see the Highlanders explode for a 30-7 run to take a 14-point lead with 9:17 to play. Three straight three pointers from Corinthian Ramsey, followed by a trey from Blackston, cut the McLennan lead to nine points, but the Highlanders hit their free throws in the final minute to clinch the win.

Ramsey finished with 27 points, including an 11-for-14 effort from the free-throw line. Kahari Beaufort added 15 points, but Blackston, Ramsey and Beaufort were the only Roadrunners to reach double figures on a night when the team shot an overall 34 percent from the floor.

Zach Charles (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Aundre Jackson (17 points, 10 rebounds) each notched double-doubles for the Highlanders. Jerami Grace finished with 18 points.

The Roadrunners (9-5, 2-2) resume conference play on Saturday, with a home game against Tyler College scheduled for 4 p.m. Live streaming is available by logging onto roadrunnerslive.com.

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

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