AC News Service
Desiree Waller carried most of the scoring load in the first half, Cassandra Johnson took over in the second, and the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners rode the pair to their eighth straight win, an 86-74 victory over the Paris Lady Dragons.
Waller's 21-point output included 14 points in the game's first six minutes; she hit her first four three-point attempts in a game-opening, two-minute span. Johnson's 23 included 13 in the second half; the sophomore also led the team in rebounding with eight boards.
Shonderlette Paul added 11 points for AC (8-2, 2-0); and Jamelle Clark scored eight points while pulling down four rebounds.
Paris' leading lady Ashley Proctor finished with 17 despite playing much of the game with foul trouble. Jasmine Flugence added 15, Brittney Bennett 14 and Alexis Bridges 10 for the Lady Dragons.
In securing their second straight conference win, the Lady 'Runners stepped off the bus after a near four-hour trip and proceeded to singe the nets in the Dragons' Dungeon. AC shot 80 percent over the first ten minutes, with Waller doing most of the damage in building an early 20-9 lead.
Paris' best attempt at a rally came in the final six minutes of the first half, when Bennett capped a three-point play with a free-throw to give the Lady Dragons their only lead of the night at 33-32.
But the Lady Roadrunners responded with a 17-0 run to close out the half and held that double-digit lead the rest of the way.
AC will travel to Carthage on Saturday to take on Panola. Game time is 2 p.m.
Paris 86, Roadrunners 71
Sometimes, it's hard to believe just how quickly a close game can get away from a team.
Keeping pace all game long against a tough team in a tougher environment, the Angelina College Roadrunners saw a one-point lead erode into a 17-point deficit over the final seven minutes, allowing the No. 7-ranked Paris Dragons to win their 27th straight home game, 86-71 Wednesday in Paris.
Trailing 54-53 at the eight-minute mark, the Dragons put together a 17-0 scoring run fueled by four three pointers from Brandon Ayers, who led the Dragons with 18 points. Until those final eight minutes, the two teams traded lead changes 13 times and tied the score another six.
Jason Sabb led AC with 14 points, and Brandon Moton and Dee Proby each scored 11.
In a sign of the Roadrunners' progress defensively, AC forced 23 Dragon turnovers, a season high for Paris. In addition, the Roadrunners did their best job of attacking the paint against a physical Dragon defensive team, picking up more than 60 percent of their scoring totals down low.
"We did a tremendous job working inside the first half, and Paris did a good job adjusting in the second," head coach Todd Neighbors said. "But I was really proud of the overall team effort; we got a little tired down the stretch, but the biggest thing is we have to learn to finish games like this. We're playing good basketball right now; we just have to learn to close it out."