Region XIV men’s basketball conference play begins Tuesday.
Regardless of the number of games and the records compiled so far, everyone’s 0-0 Tuesday and everything counts for all of the 14 teams involved in one of the NJCAA’s toughest, grinding basketball regions.
The holidays haven’t started yet and they won’t anytime soon as Coach Michael Landers’ Bulldogs (5-3) host Jody Bailey’s Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) at 7 pm Tuesday at the Wolens Special Events Center.
The Bulldogs on Saturday snapped a two-game slide with a 60-48 win over the Ranger Rangers, while JC extended its winning streak to three Saturday with a pair of victories over Clarendon College (78-75) and Kingdom Prep (103-85) in the Trinity Valley Classic at Athens.
No doubt the Jaguars improved with a dramatic turnaround last week. They limped out of the Lewis Orr Classic with a 1-5 record after getting thumped 82-62 by a 7-1 Hill club and 92-58 by an unbeaten McLennan Highlander squad. Their upturn began Tuesday when they won their Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse home opener over Northwestern State, La., JV, 83-73.
On Saturday, Navarro re-discovered homecourt magic against Jimmy Voight’s Ranger team that had handed previously unbeaten Trinity Valley (52-46) and Howard (68-66, OT) losses in its last two outings.
Troy Jones turned in a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half. Toney Foster also contributed 12 second-half points, including 7-of-8 free throws, as the Bulldogs never were headed after they quickly broke from a 19-17 halftime lead.
Khory Ross ignited the second-half getaway by knocking down two three-pointers from the top of the circle, and blocking a shot on the other end of the floor. Ross hit his first three treys of the second half and finished with nine points.
RANGER (48): Jayrn Johnson 9, Tyler Jacobs 8, Maikel Avila 8, Joshua Joiner 4, Joe Hernandez 4, Gabriel Rivas 4, Kendall Jones 3, Victor Diaz 2, Torrey Henry 2, Quinton Moncrief 2, James Hadnot 2. TOTALS: 17-0-(14-20)-48.
NAVARRO (60): Troy Jones 12, Toney Foster 12, Khory Ross 9, Duan Wright 8, Jaleel Cousins 7, Cris Boleware 6, Shannon Lilly 3, Neville Fincher 2, Jamar Goodwin 1. TOTALS: 12-6-(18-26)-60.
HALFTIME: Navarro 19, Ranger 17.
TUESDAY’S REGION XIV CONFERENCE OPENERS
Jacksonville at Navarro, 7 pm
Angelina at Kilgore, 7 pm
Lee at Bossier Parish, 7 pm
Blinn at Paris, 7 pm
Lamar State-Port Arthur at Tyler, 7 pm
Coastal Bend at Panola, 7:30 pm
San Jacinto at Trinity Valley, 7:30 pm