By MIKE MONTFORT —
Angelina, playing shorthanded Friday, made a game-high 16 points from Kyndall Powell and a 15-point, 15-rebound performance by Robert Lewis stand up in a 65-56 Region XIV road win over the Navarro Bulldogs.
Powell accounted for the Roadrunners’ final 9 points during the last 1:47 that kept the Bulldogs at a distance. First-year coach Kyle Manary’s AC team improved to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in league play with its seventh win in its last outings.
Neither team would label this spring-semester opener an artistic success. For both, ‘season lows’ might be a common descriptive — extending beyond temperatures outside the Wolens SEC.
Navarro was as cold as the frigid weather conditions in its first game since December 10, and consequently, suffered its first homecourt loss of the season. In fact, the team shot a season-low 32.2 percent from the floor — a smidge above freezing. It was Navarro’s fourth straight game of less than 40 percent shooting.
To coincide with season lows, the club hit a meager 15 percent from beyond the arc and somewhere closer to the Arctic — a miserable 3-of-20.
Even worse, NC missed 18 free-throw opportunities. That translates into a 15-of-33 performance and — you guessed it — a season-low 45.5 percent for a team that ordinarily cashes in at 71 percent rate from the foul line.
Navarro had two seven-point leads during the first half (21-14 and 31-24) and appeared to have an eight-member Angelina club on the ropes with 14 personal fouls. AC starters Malcolm Evans (4), Jason Towery (3) and reserve Quinton Bush (3) were mired in foul difficulties, but the Roadrunners pieced together a methodical 11-2 ‘run’ during the final 5:04 of the first half and assumed a 35-33 lead. Then, in the first eight minutes of the second half, AC outscored the Bulldogs 13-3.
Javier Roper came off the bench to pace Navarro and secured his second double-double of the season. Roper scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds. Randall Broddie added 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting before fouling out. D’Angelo Hunter totaled 10 points.
The Bulldogs had won seven of their last eight games against Angelina — the only loss coming in the 2013-14 Region XIV Tournament quarterfinal at Tyler’s Wagstaff Gymnasium.
Navarro (9-5/2-2) travels Monday to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars at Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse. The four-league-games-in-a-nine-day stretch continues Wednesday when the Lee Rebels come to the Wolens SEC for a 7 pm contest.
ANGELINA (65): Kyndall Powell 16, Robert Lewis 15, Gary Blackston 13, Jason Towery 11, Angel Bullock 8, Quinton Bush 2. TOTALS: 17-5-(16/26)-65.
NAVARRO (56): Javier Roper 13, Randall Broddie 11, D’Angelo Hunter 10, Eric McCullom 6, Saint Hilaire 6, Emmanuel Egbuta 5, Calvin Anderson 5. TOTALS: 16-3-(15/33)-56.
HALFTIME: Angelina 35, Navarro 33.