The Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals may be lacking some of the offensive star power other teams in Region XIV Conference may have, but they take a backseat to no one when it comes to grit and determination.

In a blue collar-like effort, the Cardinals grinded their way to a 59-55 win over Kilgore College’s Rangers in their Cardinal Gym finale Wednesday night.

Third-year coach Pat Smith’s TVCC squad has one piece of unfinished business before heading to Tyler late next week for the Region XIV Tournament. The Cardinals travel Saturday to face Bossier Parish in their regular season finale. Game time is 4 p.m.

TVCC raised its season record to 19-10 with the win. The Cardinals are 11-7 in conference play and will likely be seeded anywhere from 6-9 in the regional tournament March 5-9 at UT-Tyler.

Kilgore fell to 10-19 and 5-13 marks.

Despite missing their first seven shots, the Cardinals led most of the opening nine minutes. Six different players scored as they built a 16-9 advantage.

The Rangers, ignited by a Chris Johnson three-pointer, came back to tie the score at 16-16 and went on to lead 25-21 at the half.

TVCC quickly tied the score to start the second half on the strength of the inside play of Ernest Watson and Adrian Forbes. The Cardinals took a 30-27 lead on a Derrick Young three-pointer.

With 8:23 left in the game, the Cardinals assumed a 39-33 lead on pair of Keandre Derrick free throws.

Free throws played a big role down in the outcome, especially down the stretch. In the final 47 seconds, sophomore guard Amir Rashid hit 7-of-10 from the stripe. His final two with six seconds left put the Cardinals out of harm’s way.

TVCC was 17-of-29 from the free throw line for the game. Kilgore was 8-of-10.

Rashid finished with 13 points to lead TVCC. Watson had 12, eight of which were in the second half, and Phadarius Taylor 11.

Forbes netted eight and Young had seven.

LaMarshall Corbett topped the Kilgore score with 18 points. Troy Cage had 12.

Kilgore turned the ball over 18 times. The Cardinals had 13 turnovers.

In Wednesday’s other conference games, it was: Tyler 96, Bossier Parish 73; Paris 65, Navarro 40; Lon Morris 88, Blinn 79; Jacksonville 100, Lee 55; San Jacinto 88, Angelina 80 and Panola 72, Lamar St.-Port Arthur 67.

Recommended for you