JACKSONVILLE – The Angelina College Roadrunners maintained their shared hold on first place in the Region XIV East Zone with a thrilling 73-70 win over Lon Morris Wednesday in Jacksonville, while the 14th-ranked Lady Roadrunners dropped their first game of the season, 85-83 to the Lady Bearcats.
Roadrunners 73, Lon Morris 70
AC's Takoby Jackson might have done the bulk of the scoring, but his teammates offered plenty of help in other areas – particularly in clutch rebounds.
Travis Smith snagged two defensive rebounds in the final minute and a half, with his second coming with just nine seconds to play in helping the Roadrunners to the 73-70 road win.
Jackson strummed the nets to the tune of 30 points, including 16 in the game's first eight minutes. The sophomore hit six three pointers along the way and finished as the only Roadrunner in double figures in scoring. However, Trent Brantley grabbed 14 rebounds, Adrick McKinney pulled down nine boards – including a game-saver off a Bearcat miss with three ticks on the clock. In addition, Mike Timmins and Antonio Holmes added crucial plays down the stretch to push the Roadrunners to 10 wins on the season.
The Bearcats' Jorge Redmon and Joel Gierbolini led Lon Morris with 17 points each.
Prior to the game, AC head coach Todd Neighbors said his team still stung after the overtime road loss to Blinn back in December – the team's only blemish on its conference record. In that game, the Bucs hit a couple of buzzer beaters at the end of regulation and OT to knock off AC.
And on Wednesday, when Lon Morris' Greg Chaisson launched a last-second three that would have tied the game, Neighbors said the sense of déjà vu was plenty strong.
"We were definitely having Blinn flashbacks, especially when we the shot went up, but this shows how well our guys learned their lesson," Neighbors said. "Lon Morris kept the pressure on, but our guys kept battling back. Takoby was tremendous, and Adrick's board work for us was huge.
"Our guys made a statement that as a team, with as many freshmen as we have, we can still compete in this league."
AC's win sets up a first-place battle with San Jacinto Saturday at Shands Gym. Game time is 4 p.m.
Lon Morris 85, Lady Roadrunners 83
There's a reason no one looks at season records when it comes to gauging conference play.
Lon Morris' Lady Bearcats entered Wednesday's game with Angelina College at 4-9, 0-3. AC, at 15-0, had yet to experience a loss.
That changed after AC's slow start – and a huge night from Lady ‘Cat Christy Willis, who dropped 33 points in the 85-83 Lon Morris win.
Willis knocked down five of her nine three-point attempts and eight of her 12 free-throw attempts in leading the Lady Bearcats to their first conference win. Teammate Diamond Austin added 17 and Chrystal Harrison 12 for Lon Morris.
AC's Marcy Robinson kept the Lady Roadrunners in the game after a rough offensive start, finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Tyeka Ranton added 15 and Jasmine Jones 10 for the Lady Roadrunners.
"We just got totally outplayed on both ends of the floor tonight," head coach Byron Coleman said. "Lon Morris brought the intensity; they played like they needed to win the game, and we didn't get the defensive stops when we needed them."
The Lady ‘Runners will host San Jacinto Saturday at Shands Gym. Game time is 2 p.m.