JACKSONVILLE — Third-seeded Navarro got double-figure scoring from four players Thursday and advanced to the Region XIV Men’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals with a 90-56 win over the Coastal Bend Cougars.
Coach Michael Landers’ Bulldogs (22-8) won their third straight game and advanced to an 8 pm Friday matchup against seventh-seeded Tyler (22-9) at the Jacksonville ISD Gymnasium. The Bulldogs now have reached Region XIV’s Final Four when they were not predicted to finish any higher than fifth in the East Zone by conference coaches during Preseason Media Day.
Tyler upset second-seeded and fourth-ranked Trinity Valley 81-65 to reach the final four. Navarro has split regular-season games with coach Mike Marquis’ Apaches. TJC won 67-52 January 14 at Tyler, while the Bulldogs prevailed 97-86 February 11 in Corsicana.
In its successful tournament debut Thursday, Navarro shot 49 percent from the floor (28-of-57), 41 percent from three-point range and connected on 25-of-34 free-throws to whip 11th-seeded Coastal Bend. CBC finished its season 12-17, after securing its first-ever post-season basketball victory Wednesday in a 58-52 decision over Kilgore.
Trey Young sparked the Bulldogs with a game-high 15 points, while Wayne Martin and Jamar Martin each pitched in 13 points. Freshman Anthony Sanders contributed 12.
Navarro trailed 3-0, but went on an 11-point run and sized total control of the contest. The Bulldogs led 41-21 at halftime, marking the 24th time in 30 games that they’ve held a lead at intermission.
NC first established a lead of more than 30 points at the 12:58 mark of the second half (57-26). The lead expanded to as many as 36 (88-52) inside the final two minutes.
Cris Boleware hit nine points for NC. DaShawn Robinson and Brian Long each added six.
Taccourrus Mattox led CBC with 11 points. Taylor Johnston scored nine and T.J. Stewart sank eight for the Cougars, which shot 35 percent from the floor.
REGION XIV TOURNAMENT
San Jacinto 80, Jacksonville 72
Angelina 80, Blinn 74
Tyler 81, Trinity Valley 65
Navarro 90, Coastal Bend 56
6 pm — (1) San Jacinto (27-4) v (4) Angelina (21-9)
8 pm — (3) Navarro (22-8) v (7) Tyler (22-9)