No.12 seed Roadrunners upset No.5 Paris in Region XIV opening round

From AC Athletics

Angelina College's Deedy Gauno hit the game's first bucket 17 seconds into Tuesday's opening round game of the Region XIV conference tournament in Jacksonville.

For the next 39 minutes and 17 seconds, the Roadrunners refused to give up that lead.

The 12th-seeded Roadrunners pulled off the big, first-round upset, knocking out No. 5 seed Paris College 73-68 at John Alexander Gymnasium in Jacksonville. An extremely patient Roadrunner offense earned the win the hard way: By grinding away time every time they held the ball. Nearly every AC possession ended with the shot clock winding down toward zero, and the 'Runners scored just one bucket on a fast break.

The ability to control the tempo worked perfectly, with the 'Runners spreading the ball and taking the open shots. Nylek Cobb led AC with 16 points, while Kevin Norman finished with 13. Eight of Norman's points came on offensive putbacks, as he finished with 11 rebounds to complete a double-double. Gauno added nine points and Angel Bullock eight in the win.

The Roadrunners also hammered the boards for a huge 51-32 advantage over the Dragons. Of AC's 73 points, 23 came from second chances.

The Dragons got 23 points from Darius Williams and 13 from Reggie Tharp.

AC's lead grew to 14 points by early in the second half. However, injuries and foul trouble mounted for the Roadrunners, and Paris fought its way back to close to within two points at 70-68 with just 32 seconds to play. Fouling Cobb to stop the clock proved to be a bad move, with Cobb converting both free-throw attempts to help eliminate the Dragons. In the final minute, the Roadrunners went 5-of-6 from freebie range.

Next up for the Roadrunners is the tournament's No. 4 seed, the Blinn College Bucs. The two teams face off at 3 p.m. on Thursday in Jacksonville.