Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 24, 2013

JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Tale of two halves

TVCC snatches 19th win of season, face Panola Fillies on Saturday

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

Athens — A win is a win no matter how it comes in the world of junior college basketball.

For the No. 3-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals, they recorded win No. 19 on the season with a 74-53 win over the Jacksonville College Lady Jaguars Wednesday night at Cardinal Gymnasium.

“One game at a time,” Coach Elena Lovato said after the game. “I know that we have 19 wins under our belts but this group has been very mature and has approached the season one game and one night at a time.”

Both teams battled back-and-forth in the first half as TVCC held a slim 33-28 lead at the intermission.

For the first 29 minutes of their Region XIV conference battle, the Lady Jaguars were holding their own against the Lady Cardinals as they held a 42-40 lead with 11 minutes remaining.

The Lady Cardinals then found their spark as they put together a 22-5 run to take a 62-49  lead with 5:28 remaining in the ballgame.

“I felt like they turned the switch on there with about 11 minutes left in the game,” Lovato said. “The biggest thing with our girls' is we told them that he is going to make it an ugly game.”

Lady Cardinal freshman Adut Bulgak had a game-high 25 points and scored 15 of those points in the second half.

“Not bad, not bad,” Lovato said of Bulgak’s play in the game. “I think she creates a lot for herself when she starts to get into her little zone with her defense and rebounding. I need to put her focus to 40 minutes every night and she stepped up for us big time.”

During a 15-0 run in the second half, Bulgak scored six points during that run.

She was able to power her way for an old-fashioned 3-point play on the inbound pass from sophomore Shannon Smith with 10:25 remaining in the game.

TVCC put on the pressure late against Jacksonville as the Lady Jaguars staring turning the ball over on numerous occasions.

Smith and Shlonte’ Allen scored 10 points each for TVCC in the game.

The Lady Cardinals return to the court with a road game at Panola on Saturday.

“We are going to have to play better transition defense against Panola,” Lovato said. “We are going to go back and watch video of the game and make some adjustments for Saturday.”