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February 26, 2013

JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Cardinals hold on for 64-61 win over Dragons

Athens — First year coach Kris Baumann wanted to see his team come out with effort Saturday afternoon and he got just that in a, 64-61, win over the Paris Dragons in Region XIV conference play at Cardinal Gymnasium.

With the win, TVCC (18-10) has won two straight with a game at Bossier-Parrish this Wednesday.

“We beat a good team tonight because Paris was better than their record,” Baumann said. “I am happy for the kids and we have won two in a row. Now we have to go to Bossier-Parrish and hope that we show up and play well on the road.”

One of the big keys to Saturday’s win was free-throw shooting.

TVCC went 4-of-11 in the first half and finished the game 15-of-24 from the charity stripe.

Cardinal freshman Octavius Ellis was 1-of-7 from the stripe, before nailing three clutch shots in the final two minutes.

“I mean I knew I was going to make them because we work on them all the time in practice,” Ellis said. “Those clutch moments and I did it just like I do in practice. I was frustrated until my coach told me that they were going to fall. Once I knew that, they just started falling for me.”

Paris jumped out to an eight point lead at the half, 35-27.

The Cardinals turned it on in the second half with an 18-9 run to take a 45-44 lead on a free-throw by Ellis.

Baumann said he wants to see his player’s find ways to make better shot selections throughout the game in their final two regular season contest.

“I thought we missed a lot of chip shots and we didn’t shoot our free throws great,” Baumann said. “I thought we played hard for 40 minutes and I thought we hung in and found a way to win.”

The TVCC defense held Paris scoreless over the final 2:18 of the contest.

After a dunk by Elliott, Paris had a chance to get the lead back but Eddie Leal missed two free throws with 10 seconds left.

“We got to have momentum going into the tournament,” Baumann said. “I am liking our effort right now and we have to make better basketball decisions. As long as the effort is there the remainder of the season, I am okay.”

Mike Miller and Karon Phillips led TVCC with 12 points each in the game.

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