TYLER – Angelina College Lady Roadrunner head coach Byron Coleman said earlier this week that despite his team's accomplishments this season, they wouldn't consider it a good year without a strong showing in the Region XIV tournament.
He can now refer to Friday's first-round win as a "strong showing."
AC put together a thoroughly dominant performance in eliminating Lon Morris 78-48 at the University of Texas-Tyler. The Lady 'Runners never trailed, and never allowed the Lady Bearcats to get within less than 21 points after the 4:21 mark of the first half.
"We took advantage of our week off to gather ourselves and focus on the things we've done that made us successful while correcting some things we wanted to eliminate," Coleman said after Friday's win. "The kids came out ready to play, and they played with the type of intensity it's going to take if we want to win in this tournament."
AC's defense launched a white-jerseyed swarm over the Lady Bearcats, forcing 28 Lon Morris turnovers off 21 steals. Those Lady 'Cat miscues led to 21 points off turnovers for the Lady Roadrunners, now 26-5 on the season.
"That's been our best approach for a long time," Coleman said. "We generate offense with our defensive effort, and tonight it led to some easy transition buckets on the other end."
Freshman Carenn Baylor, starting in place of injured sophomore Adele Stevenson, scored 14 points and swiped six steals to lead the defensive charge. Marcy Robinson led AC with 16 points, followed by Erica Adair with 14, Donia Naylor with 11 and Tiara George with 10. Naylor also added eight rebounds to her totals.
Lon Morris placed just two Lady Bearcats in double figures: Whitley Kizzee hit three of her four three-point attempts to finish with 12 points; and Jasamine Reeves was a rebound short of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.
So suffocating was the Lady Roadrunner defense, Lon Morris did not reach the 20-point mark until just 1:29 remained in the first half. For the game, the Lady Bearcats shot just 27 percent.