It was a fully festive atmosphere at Shands Gym on Saturday, complete with a tribute to retired coach Guy Davis, former Roadrunners on hand to honor the coach and the Hudson Hornet band there to blast the rafters.
And the two AC basketball teams put the icing on the party cake, with the Roadrunners knocking off the No. 4-ranked Paris Dragons in convincing fashion, and the Lady 'Runners inching ever closer to a tournament bid with a 57-52 win over the Lady Dragons.
Roadrunners (7-13, 6-6) vs. No. 4 Paris (19-1, 11-1)
Paris entered Saturday still seething from their first taste of losing all season after Navarro's stunning 70-67 upset Wednesday in Corsicana.
AC's Roadrunners didn't allow them any chance of recovery, knocking off the fourth-ranked Dragons 96-89 - the highest point total allowed by the defensive-driven Dragons all season.
Delano Howard came off the bench to explode for three three-pointes in a one-minute span that allowed the Roadrunners to build a double-digit first-half lead. Paris spent the rest of the game trying to overcome that deficit, but unlike in some earlier losses this season, AC had an answer to every threat.
Brandon Moton led the 'Runners in scoring with 16 points. Rondrico Hightower and Ervin Spuriel added 15 each, Howard finished with 13 and Dee Proby added10 for AC.
The win moves the Roadrunners into a tie for fourth place with Panola - and the Ponies are the next opponent to visit Shands on Wednesday.
But Todd Neighbors and his 'Runners aren't looking past practice on Monday.
"We've made it our goal this second round of conference to take every game a game at a time, and to believe we can win every game," Neighbors said. "We're learning that our defense can create offense; that was probably the key to winning tonight. They'd come down the floor with the chance to cut into our lead, and we'd make a steal or force a turnover.
"This win is huge for our guys at this stage of the season."