Coach Johnny Estelle’s Bulldogs opened up a two-game lead over closest-pursuing East Zone opponents Kilgore and Tyler after a 56-51 win over rival Trinity Valley here Wednesday night.
Sophomore guard Harrison Hawkins’ 19 points led Navarro, which improved to 19-5 overall and 11-2 in league play. Hawkins hit 6-of-11 shots from the floor and both of his free-throw attempts to secure his fourth double-figure scoring game in five outings. Hawkins nailed 5 three-pointers Wednesday, giving his 11 in his last two games.
Hawkins helped Navarro to extend its 33-21 halftime lead to as many as 17 before TVCC rallied at the free-throw line and also behind the play of sophomore transfer Octavius Ellis.
Like Kilgore one week ago during the first half, TVCC managed to hit only three baskets among its 21 points against the tough Bulldog defense. TVCC rallied within three (54-51), but Navarro again clamped defensive pressure and made stops that resulted in no Cardinal baskets during the final 2:42.
All 15 players saw action for Navarro. Jonathan Benn came off the bench to score 7 points, grab two defensive rebounds and issue three assists. Micah Cooper added six points, four rebounds, and two deflections. Princeton, Onwas, Jamar Goodwin and Toney Foster each contributed five points. Foster also cleared four rebounds, made three steals and deflected three passes.
Inside, Lamark Barnes scored only two points, but pulled down two rebounds, dished out three assists, stole two passes, blocked one shot and deflected two passes. Freshman Jaleel Cousins blocked three shots during the first half for NC.
Navarro seeks its 20th win of the year Saturday when it travels to Paris to face the Dragons at Hunt Center at 4 p.m.
SCORE BY HALVES:
Trinity Valley (15-9 / 6-7) 21 30 — 51
Navarro (19-5 / 11-2) 33 26 — 59
TRINITY VALLEY: Octavius Ellis 17, Karon Phillip 12, Carl Porter 6, Tramain Parker 6, Joshua Gentry 3, Jarion Henry 3, Tyler Corley 2, Tim Allen 2. TOTALS: 8-4-(23-38)-51.
NAVARRO: Harrison Hawkins 19, Jonathan Benn 7, Micah Cooper 6, Princeton Onwas 5, Toney Foster 5, Jamar Goodwin 5, Brandon Scott 2, Aaron Turner 2, Terrance Syon 2, Lamark Barnes 2, Justin Phillipe 2, Jaleel Cousins 2. TOTALS: 13-7-(12-22)-59.
WEDNESDAY’S REGION XIV MEN’S BASKETBALL SCORES: Navarro 59, TVCC 51; Kilgore 54, Tyler 45; Bossier Parish 71, Panola 63; Lamar State-Port Arthur 68, Angelina 67; Lee 77, Coastal Bend 59.