Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Sports

October 10, 2012

REGION XIV BASKETBALL MEDIA TIP-OFF: Talkin' it up (w/coaches poll)

TVCC women picked first, men third in North Zone

TYLER — Upon learning that Jacksonville College has a “character coach” listed among its staff this season, new Trinity Valley Community College head men’s basketball coach Kris Baumann had a question.

“I don’t know what that is,” Baumann said, turning to Jacksonville head coach Jody Bailey at Wednesday’s Region XIV Media Tip-Off, “but I’ve got some characters on my team this year. So if you’ve got any references ....”

With this group of coaches, wisecracking is always par for the course. So it looks like Baumann is going to fit right in.

His Cardinals — 21-10 a season ago under former head coach Pat Smith — were picked to finish third in the North Zone by his peers in the annual Coaches Poll released at the Tip-Off, which was held this year at Tyler Junior College and sponsored by the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Navarro, last year’s regional tournament champion, was picked to finish first in the North Zone, receiving 12 of 14 first-place votes. San Jacinto, with six first-place votes, was picked to win the South Zone — which will welcome a new team, Coastal Bend College, this season.

The defending national champion TVCC Lady Cardinals once again received high respect from conference coaches, claiming all nine first-place votes to finish atop the women’s poll. Tyler was picked second and Paris third.

The Lady Cards, who finished 36-0 in 2011, also have a new head coach in Elena Lovato. Lovato is a former assistant who guided the team to the national tournament as an interim coach in 2009.

Lovato had one returning player from last year’s team — Keiana Vines — until the sophomore suffered a season-ending knee injury recently.

“We’re young, but we’re working hard and getting better every day,” Lovato said.

COACHES POLL RESULTS

WOMEN

1. TVCC (9)    81

2. Tyler    72

3. Paris    55

4. Blinn    50

5. Angelina    45

6. Kilgore    39

7. Panola    27

8. San Jacinto    24

9. Jacksonville    12

MEN

NORTH ZONE

1. Navarro (12)    95

2. Paris    68

3. TVCC (1)    67

4. Tyler (1)    60

5. Kilgore    57

6. Panola    30

7. Bossier Parish    15

SOUTH ZONE

1. San Jacinto (6)    83

2. Blinn (2)    70

3. Jacksonville (4)    67

4. Lee (2)    63

5. Angelina    45

6. Lamar State-Port Arthur    43

7. Coastal Bend    21

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