Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 5, 2013

JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Wrapping up the regular season

Lady Cards need overtime; Cardinals falls to Navarro in second half

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

ATHENS — Forty minutes wasn’t enough to decide the conference champion between the No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals and the No. 9-ranked Blinn Lady Buccaneers.

In overtime, the Lady Cards outscored Blinn, 15-9, to take a 94-88 victory on Leon Spencer Court at Cardinal Gym Saturday night.

The Lady Cardinals finished the regular season with a record of 29-1 and an unblemished 16-0 mark in conference play.

It is their 12th straight conference championship and 44th straight win at Cardinal Gym.

First-year coach Elena Lovato’s Lady Cardinals’ play Tyler Junior College at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the opening round of the regional tournament at UT-Tyler’s Herrington Patriot Center.

TVCC found themselves in unfamiliar territory for the majority of its contest with Blinn as the Buccaneers were hitting on all cylinders.

A back-and-forth second half found the final basket of regulation being scored by TVCC’s Shannon Smith on a layup with 1:36 remaining that tied the score at, 77-77.

In the opening minute of overtime, the Lady Cards jumped out on an 8-0 run to take an 85-77 lead.

The Lady Cards would not look back as they continued to put pressure on Blinn and held the only double-digit lead of the game at, 92-82, on a layup by Shlonte’ Allen with 1:50 remaining in the contest.

Blinn held an eight-or-nine point lead on several occasions in the first half as freshman Fatima Adams drained a jumper for a 16-9 lead early in the ballgame. Adams led the Lady Buccaneers with 26 points, while Jazzmin Parker scored 24.

The Lady Cards battled to within three points late in the first half as Roddricka Patton found a streaking Victoria Wells for the layup and a 37-34 deficit.

The biggest lead in the second half was only three points on two separate occasions by the Lady Cardinals.

TVCC was led in scoring by Allen with 26 points, Adut Bulgak with 18, Savannah Carter with 15, Smith with 14 and Krystle Henderson with 10.

Men

Navarro 67, TVCC 56

First-year coach Kris Baumann was looking for his team to continue the momentum they had built over the past three games to prepare themselves for the regional tournament this week.

In the end, the Cardinals faced a determined Bulldogs’ team and head into the tournament with a 19-11 record.

The Cardinals play the Angelina College Roadrunners at 1 p.m. today in the opening round of the regional tournament at UT-Tyler.

TVCC goes into the tournament as the No. 8 and with a win will face No. 1 Kilgore on Thursday at 1 p.m. in the regional quarterfinals.

TVCC fought hard in the opening 20 minutes of the contest as they held a, 30-29, lead at the intermission.

A total of 57 fouls were called between the two teams as Navarro was in the bonus early in the contest.

TVCC did not let that get the best of them as they fell behind, 20-10, on a free throw by Navarro’s David Woodard with 7:58 remaining in the opening half.

TVCC was able to take their first lead on a dunk by Dominique Elliott and a layup by Elbert Jordan with 55 seconds remaining for the 30-27 lead.

In the second half, Navarro started to pull away as they outscored TVCC, 38-23, for the double digit win.

None of the Cardinals scored in double figures but they did have 11 players score in the contest.

TVCC was led by Tyler Corley with nine points, while Elliott had eight points.