Lady Roadrunners Upset Tyler Junior College

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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.

AC Advances to Conference Tournament Semifinals

The Angelina College Lady Roadrunners had all the makings of a “one and done” team in the Region XIV Conference Tournament. With only seven players available for action – meaning there would only be two coming off the bench – AC’s ladies faced the higher-seeded (No. 3) Tyler Junior College Lady Apaches in Wednesday’s opening round.

But in a frenetic finish, the Lady ‘Runners pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament thus far.

With the game tied at 62-62 and fewer than 10 seconds to play, AC’s Aaleyah Jones came up with a steal and headed up the floor, drawing a shooting foul with 2.5 seconds remaining in the game. Jones sank a free throw, and a Tyler desperation shot bounced off the rim, setting up a midcourt celebration and sending the Lady Roadrunners into Friday’s semifinal round.

Angelina College’s Aaleyah Jones (11) takes off after a steal during Wednesday’s women’s opening round of the Region XIV Conference Tournament in Jacksonville. Jones’ free throw with 2.5 seconds to play lifted the Lady Roadrunners to a 63-62 win over Tyler Junior College. (Gary Stallard/AC Athletics photo)

Jakayla Parks led the Lady Roadrunners with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Sumaiyah Abdur-Rahim added 14 points, and Zaraya March – who played all but six seconds of the game – added 13 points. Michelle Smith finished the game with 12 points and seven steals.

Those steals were a big part of the AC win. The Lady Roadrunners collected 15 swipes, forced 22 Lady Apache turnovers and converted those into 26 points.

AC’s willingness to bang the boards also paid off, with the Lady Roadrunners scoring 14 second-chance points off 25 offensive rebounds.

Tyler’s Tia Morgan led the Apaches with 17 points, including a pair of buzzer beaters to end two of the quarters played.

The Lady Roadrunners next will face No. 2 seed Trinity Valley Community College at 3 p.m. on Friday in the women’s semifinals.

The email address for AC’s Sports Information Director is gstallard@angelina.edu.

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