With the top seed in the upcoming Region XIV Tournament safely secured, the Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals can turn their attention to an eighth straight outright conference championship.

The Lady Cardinals secured the former Wednesday night at home with a 74-71 win over Panola College and can achieve the latter with a win in one of their final two games.

TVCC (20-7) owns a two-game lead over second-place Angelina in Region XIV Conference. The Lady Cardinals, 14-2 in the conference, swept Angelina in a pair of conference games, giving them the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Lady Cardinals are scheduled to return to action Saturday in Houston against San Jacinto. Game time is 2 p.m.

Panola saw its records tumble to 13-13 and 7-8.

Though they trailed by eight early in the game, once the Lady Cardinals moved into the lead they were able to keep it, or at least hang near it, most of the rest of the way. But they weren’t able to put the Fillies away.

Each time it appeared the Lady Cardinals were on the verge of delivering the knockout blow, the Fillies were rescued. Kayla Weaver was a thorn in the Lady Cardinals’ side, especially in the second half when she scored 15 of her team-high 27 points. Tiffany Eubank also helped the Fillies hang around, tossing in a pair of three-pointers in the second half.

The Lady Cardinals had their answer in the form of 6-2 sophomore post Jasmine Nelson. When TVCC was able to probe Panola’s sagging zone defense and get the ball to Nelson, she mostly delivered. She had 27 points.

TVCC’s choice of attack was shooting over the top of the Panola zone. The Lady Cardinals put up 31 three-pointers, hitting seven.

The Fillies led by four, 68-64, with 5:13 left in the game. The score was tied at 71-71 with 2:22 when Nelson scored from underneath.

After Jacquelyn Hearne missed a pair of free throws for Panola, Nelson hit two for TVCC for a 73-71 lead. Nelson added another free throw with nine seconds left.

Eubank attempted a three-pointer over the top of DeShawna Banks with two seconds left, but it fell well short.

Ashely Grimes and Banks also scored in double figures for TVCC with 10 each.

Eubank finished with 17.

The Lady Cardinals are scheduled to wrap up the home portion of their schedule next Wednesday against Kilgore at 5:30 p.m. TVCC is open next Saturday.

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