By MIKE MONTFORT —
Bulldog basketball’s 52.4 percent shooting Wednesday against Lee not only contributed to the end of a three-game losing streak, but may have injected some sorely-needed confidence and momentum as the team prepares for Saturday’s Region XIV game against Blinn at Brenham.
Navarro rediscovered its shooting prowess in Wednesday’s 86-73 win over the Rebels.
Most notably, a team that struggled through a four-game conference shooting malaise at 35.3 percent showed signs of breaking out. It recorded its first 50-plus percent team shooting since November 27, 2016. NC reached its single-game high-scoring output in league play, far and away exceeding the team’s previous five-game average (68 points). Five players hit double-figure scoring and sources came forward with rewards off the bench.
Sophomore Eric ‘Scooter’ McCollum recorded his third double-double of the season with a personal-season high 21 points Wednesday to go along with 14 rebounds, split evenly on both ends. McCollum hit 9-of-12 shots underneath.
Saint Hilaire added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Bulldogs beat Lee on the Wolens SEC homecourt for the seventh consecutive game.
Randall Broddie pitched in 12 points with a team-high six assists. D’Angelo Hunter came off the bench with 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and a team-high three steals as Navarro secured its 10th win of the year and evened its East Zone record at 3-3.
Freshman Josh Washington logged his most significant minutes and contributed 10 points from 4-of-7 shooting with three rebounds.
Lee had several four-point leads in the first half — the last (31-27) coming with 3:34 remaining. Navarro went on a 10-2 run to finish the half and never relinquished the lead.
Broddie’s three-ball at 11:11 of the second half pushed Navarro’s edge to 13 points for the first time (58-45). Lee was unable to draw closer than seven points the rest of the way.
LEE (73): LaDarrius Chester 21, Kajon Brown 15, Tony Farmer 9, Andre Pierce 8, Roc Johnson 7, Andre Edwards 6, J’Von McCormick 5, Javonte Cooper 2. TOTALS: 27-4-(7-18)-73.
NAVARRO (86): Eric McCollum 21, Saint Hilaire 15, Randall Broddie 12, D’Angelo Hunter 11, Josh Washington 10, Jordan Parker 8, Cameron King 6, Emmanuel Egbuta 3. TOTALS: 28-5-(15-25)-86.
HALFTIME: Navarro 37, Lee 33.
TECHNICAL FOULS: Lee — Coach Champagne; Tony Farmer. Navarro — Coach Landers
REGION XIV SCORES JANUARY 11
Navarro 86, Lee 73
San Jacinto-Central 74, Tyler 66
TVCC 82, Blinn 70
Panola 75, Jacksonville 71
Angelina 76, Paris 57
Bossier Parish 82, Lamar State-Port Arthur 80
Coastal Bend 72, Kilgore 71
SCHEDULE SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
Navarro at Blinn, 4 pm
TVCC at San Jacinto-Central, 4 pm
Kilgore at Lamar State-Port Arthur, 4 pm
Bossier Parish at Angelina, 4 pm
Paris at Jacksonville, 4 pm
Tyler at Coastal Bend, 4 pm
Panola at Lee, 6 pm