Stat sheets alone couldn't possibly tell the story of Wednesday's wild ending to the AC vs. Paris game played at Shands Gym.
The box scores will show Takoby Jackson leading the Roadrunners with 23 points, but the biggest plays of the game came within the final minute and a half of AC's 60-59 win over Paris.
Adrick McKinney battled his way inside the paint to put back Jackson's miss with 1:33 to play, giving AC its final lead. On the next Paris possession, McKinney laid his 6'8" frame over the floor to bat away a loose ball leading to another AC offensive series. When that led to a Roadrunner turnover with :29 to play, the Dragons held the advantage, trying to hold for the last shot.
That shot never materialized. Outstanding AC defense kept the shot clock winding down; and when Dragon big man Desmond King – who led Paris with 18 points – got the ball down low, AC's Travis Smith was there for a game-sealing steal to lift the Roadrunners to their 7th win in conference play against just two losses.
"It's weird, but even after we turned the ball over that last time, I wasn't really worried," AC head coach Todd Neighbors said. "We'd been playing extremely well on the defensive end in the second half, and I believed we'd make a stop.
"In fact, I was trying to call a timeout before, but the officials didn't hear me. Guess it's a good thing they didn't."
Jackson, who scored 13 of his 23 in the first half, saw nothing but double teams throughout the second. Still he managed to involve his teammates enough to slay the Dragons.
"I wasn't getting any open looks the second half, so I knew I had to drive to the hoop and either draw the foul or find someone else open," Jackson said. "I just hate that I missed Travis' (Smith's) steal at the end. I was trying to play defense and didn't even see it."
Smith finished with eight points, eight rebounds and three steals for AC. Trent Brantley added seven points, four boards and three blocked shots for the Roadrunners, now 12-7, 7-2.
AC will take on Panola in Carthage on Saturday, with tip off set for 4 p.m.
Lady Roadrunners 70, Paris 49
The Angelina College Lady Roadrunners bounced back from Saturday's heartbreaking loss at Trinity Valley, taking out their frustrations on an outmatched Paris team to the tune of a 70-49 win Wednesday at Shands Gym.
A suffocating AC defense forced 27 Lady Dragon turnovers – 19 of those from AC steals – directly leading to 36 of the Lady Roadrunners' 70 points. Tiara George put a little extra emphasis on the defensive end, blocking six shots, including three in a single Paris offensive sequence, to push the 16th-ranked Lady ‘Runners to 18-2, 6-2 on the season.
"I hate to say it, but I wasn't sure how our players would respond after Saturday, whether they were looking back or looking ahead," head coach Byron Coleman said. "But I liked our defensive intensity, and the overall attitude and desire to win was outstanding. Apparently our girls were ready to get back to winning."
Tyeka Ranton led AC with 20 points, followed by Marcy Robinson with 11. George added eight points and six rebounds to go with her six swats.
Paris' Taylor Ammons finished with a double-double to lead the Lady Dragons, scoring 20 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. She was the only Paris player to notch double figures.
Despite the wealth of turnovers in the first half, the Lady ‘Runners struggled offensively to capitalize on scoring opportunities. AC led by just eight, 32-24, at the half.
The Lady Roadrunners then put the game away with a 20-7 run, allowing AC to take sole possession of second place in Region XIV.
The Lady ‘Runners will travel to Carthage on Saturday to take on Panola. Game time is 2 p.m.