Angelina College head men's basketball coach Todd Neighbors said it Saturday on the bus ride back from Port Arthur: "Our destiny's in our own hands."
With the regular season winding down to its final two games, AC's Roadrunners face a true must-win situation tonight at Shands Gymnasium, with Lee College rolling into town for a critical matchup concerning the upcoming conference tournament. On the schedule, the game appears as the team's final home game.
The Roadrunners are looking to ensure that isn't the case.
AC (12-14, 4-13) currently holds the final seed for the tourney scheduled to begin next week at the University of Texas-Tyler. A win against Lee (11-18, 3-14) doesn't guarantee the Roadrunners a tournament invitation; instead, AC will have to win a play-in game against Coastal Bend College. That game, if necessary, will take place at Shands Gymnasium early next week, with the time and date to be determined.
However, if the Roadrunners somehow stumble tonight against the Rebels, they'll have to await the results of Saturday's games. AC will travel to Lon Morris, while Lee will host Blinn College. Back-to-back losses by the 'Runners spells the end of the season; a split over the next two games puts AC in the play-in game with Coastal Bend by virtue of conference tiebreakers. The winner of that game locks down the final seed for the Region XIV tourney in Tyler.
All those scenarios go out the window in tonight's game, with the 'Runners focused instead on a Rebel team they beat 66-62 on January 8th in Baytown. In that contest, Adrick McKinney's double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds) combined with 15 more from E.J. Williams allowed AC to leave with a big road win.
Prior to tonight's game, Roadrunner coaches will hold Sophomore Night in recognition of McKinney, Trent Brantley, Bamba Dioum and trainer Chris Martinez, each of whom has been with the program for two years.