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Unbeaten MCC turns back Navarro, 92-89

WACO – Unbeaten McLennan sank 5-of-6 free throws inside the final :40 and secured a 92-89 non-conference men’s basketball win Tuesday over the Navarro Bulldogs.

A shorthanded Navarro squad (3-1) battled through foul issues and as much as a 13-point deficit during the second half, and finally got a look for a potential game-tying three from freshman Khory Ross at the buzzer that clanked off the iron.

Coach Michael Landers’ Bulldogs hit 33-of-68 shots from the floor with a season-high 14 three-pointers that kept them in the contest.  Navarro was 14-of-33 from three-point-range (42.4%) , 19-of-35 from 2 (54.3%), and 9-of-16 from the charity stripe.

Toney Foster scored a season-high 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor, and added 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 4 deflections.  The 6-foot-3 sophomore hit 5-of-6 from 2, 5-of-10 from 3, and 4-of-6 free throws.

Freshman Cris Boleware pitched in 18 points with 3 assists and was instrumental in the Bulldogs’ comeback down the stretch.  The Arlington Seguin freshman scored 14 in the second half with a couple of steals from Navarro’s pressing defense.

Freshman Khory Ross hit 11 points, cleared 2 rebounds, issued an assist and stole a pass. Ross had three of Navarro’s treys, including the final 22-footer from the left perimeter inside the final :04.4.

Sophomore Jamar Goodwin fouled out at 4:18 after an 8-point, 3-board, 3 assist night.  Jaleel Cousins (8/5), Duan Wright (7/4/3/1), DaShawn Robinson (5/1/1)  and Shannon Lilly (3/4/6) rounded out the effort.

Foster scored Navarro’s first 11 points and the Bulldogs surged to a 23-17 lead with 7:46 left.  Navarro got into some foul difficulties, MCC capitalized for a 7-point run and bolted to a 41-34 halftime advantage.

Within the first four minutes of the second half, Navarro was whistled for five personal fouls that compounded its woes. 

MCC, which hit 24-of-34 free-throw opportunities. bounced to multiple 11-point leads in the second half, only to see the Bulldogs fight back.

While winning their sixth game, coach Kevin Gill’s Highlanders got balanced scoring.  Wayne Langston led with 17, while D.J. Weathers, DaMarcus Whittington and Joe Lundy each contributed 14 points.  Jalen Jones was the only other MCC player in double-figure scoring with 13.

The Bulldogs played without the services of freshman Rodrick Trimont and sophomore transfer Troy Jones.  Jones left the team Tuesday to return to his Alexandria, La., home, after receiving notification that his brother, 27-year-old Darrell Jones, was killed when his vehicle was broadsided.

Before Tuesday’s game at MCC, the crowd paused for a moment of silence to honor and remember Troy Jones and his family.

MCC will join Navarro in participating in the two-day Lewis Orr Classic that begins Thursday at the Wolens Special Events Center.

NAVARRO (89): Toney Foster 29, Cris Boleware 18, Khory Ross 11, Jamar Goodwin 8, Jaleel Cousins 8, Duan Wright 7, DaShawn Robinson 5, Shannon Lilly 3. TOTALS: 19-14-(9-16)-89.

McLENNAN (92): Wayne Langston 17, Joe Lundy 14, DaMarcus Whittington 14, D.J. Weathers 14, Jalen Jones 13, Deondre Ray 5, Ojai Black 3, Austen Bradshaw 2, Shawn Prudhomme 2. TOTALS:  22-7-(24-34)-92.