BY MIKE MONTFORT —
Navarro got double-figure scoring from four players, hit 11 three-pointers and sank 20-of-25 free throws to secure its 85-81 Region XIV men’s basketball win Saturday over Blinn.
The Bulldogs (14-3/5-2) rallied on three occasions from deficits of 8 points or more, seized the lead for good with 7:40 left and opened up as much as a nine-point lead (77-68) by the 2:19 mark.
Jahlil Nails scored a team-high 21 and Dondre Griffin added 17 that included 5-of-8 beyond the arc. Emmanel Egbuta turned in his third conference double-double and fourth of the year with 15 points and 10 rebounds, plus two blocked shots.
The game featured 20 three-pointers (11 by Navarro and 9 by Blinn). Antione Lister and Markques Houston each hit two of Blinn’s 5 three-pointers during the first five minutes as the Buccaneers exploded to a 17-4 lead. Houston led Blinn with 16 points; Lister added 15.
Blinn led 40-32 at halftime.
The Bulldogs won their third straight game and improved to 10-1 at the Wolens Center . NC’s four-point win raised its record to 6-0 in games decided by two possessions or less.
The Bulldogs’ win Saturday was their 19th in 23 meetings with Blinn at the Wolens SEC, and extended the homecourt win streak over the Buccaneers to 13 straight games, dating back to the 2000-01 season.
Navarro ‘s win also contributed to the North Zone’s dominance over the South as the final set of zone crossover games concluded Saturday. The North Zone won 19 of the final 21 meetings with the South and fashioned a cumulative record of 38-11 from seven sets of conference games. Of the South’s 11 wins, six were by 5 points or less and one required overtime.
In-zone fighting is scheduled to begin Wednesday. Teams will play their zone opponents in 12 home and away matchups from now until the end of the regular season March 3.
Elsewhere around Region XIV Saturday:
PARIS 77, JACKSONVILLE 75
Sophomore guard Darius Williams scored 31 points to lead Paris to victory over Jacksonville.
Jacksonville redshirt freshman guard Kevion Blaylock missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have given the Jaguars the win.
Jacksonville threw up a torrent of 3-pointers in the first half that found nothing but net. With four minutes to play in the first, the Jaguars led 36-25. Paris rallied to cut the deficit to 45-42 by halftime.
The 3-pointers stopped falling for the Jaguars, and Paris took its first lead with 13:55 left in the game. A minute and a half later, the Dragons were up 59-55, which was the Dragons’ biggest lead of the game.
PANOLA 78, LEE 75 (OT)
Sophomore guard Marlon Taylor scored seven points in overtime and 6-4 freshman guard Jeffrey Boyd added the Ponies’ final four points inside the final :19 as Panola shook off Lee’s upset bid and won its sixth straight game. Regulation ended 64 apiece after Lee’s Ezeoha Santiago missed a corner three at the buzzer.
Freshman guard Jeremy Roscoe led the Ponies with 20 points, followed by Boyd with 15. Taylor and 6-8 sophomore center Alex Holcombe each accounted for 12 points in a game that was tied six times and featured 15 lead changes.
Lee, in dropping its fourth straight, got a game-high 30 from 6-2 sophomore guard Collin Means that included 8 three-pointers. Sophomore guard J’Von McCormick hit 16 and Santiago, who dropped five three-pointers and finished with 15.
TVCC 93, SAN JACINTO 74
TVCC crushed San Jacinto behind 6-10 freshman forward Robinson Idehen’s double-double (20 points and 12 rebounds) and 6-3 sophomore guard Wendell Mitchell’s 18 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and four steals. The Cardinals hit 11 three-pointers and 50% beyond the circle.
San Jacinto, which trailed 45-27 at halftime, got 21 points and 13 rebounds from Kabir Mohammed (6-5 sophomore guard).
BOSSIER PARISH 93, ANGELINA 84
Sophomore forward Mubarak Muhammed totaled 27 points from 10-of-16 shooting plus 11 rebounds to lift the Cavaliers to their fourth straight win and kept them unbeaten in Region XIV East after seven cross-zone games.
Freshman guard Zach Cummings came off the bench with 17 points, featuring 4-of-5 shooting from the perimeter. Dezmond McDaniel added 17 points and five assists for BPCC, which led 49-42 at halftime. Brandon Moore netted 12 points and eight boards.
LAMAR STATE-PORT ARTHUR 67, KILGORE 48
The Seahawks thrashed Kilgore for their first conference win as Travious Grubbs scored 18 points and cleared 11 rebounds.
Kilgore shot a miserable 29.3% from the floor (18-of-61), including 3-of-21 from three-point range. Malachi Davidson scored 14 points to pace coach Brian Hoberecht’s club, which was held to its lowest scoring output of the season. The Rangers scored only 20 points during the second half of play Saturday at Masters Gymnasium.
REGION XIV EAST
TEAM ALL CONF
TVCC 16-2 7-0
BPCC 14-3 7-0
Paris 16-1 6-1
Tyler 15-2 5-2
Navarro 14-3 5-2
Panola 12-5 5-2
Kilgore 11-5 3-4
REGION XIV SOUTH
TEAM ALL CONF
Blinn 10-6 2-5
Angelina 10-8 2-5
San Jacinto 9-8 2-5
Coastal Bend 7-7 2-5
Jacksonville 11-7 1-6
LSC-PA 7-10 1-6
Lee 7-11 1-6
RESULTS SATURDAY, JAN. 13
Navarro 85, Blinn 81
Paris 77, Jacksonville 75
Panola 78, Lee 75 (OT)
TVCC 93, San Jacinto 74
Tyler 87, Coastal Bend 71
BPCC 93, Angelina 84
LSC-PA 67, Kilgore 48
GAMES TUESDAY, JAN. 16
Coastal Bend at Jacksonville
Lone Star-Tomball at Blinn (non-conference)
GAMES WEDNESDAY, JAN. 17
Navarro at Paris
TVCC at BPCC
Tyler at Kilgore
San Jacinto at Lee
LSC-PA at Angelina
GAMES SATURDAY, JAN. 20
Panola at Navarro
Paris at TVCC
BPCC at Tyler
Blinn at San Jacinto
Jacksonville at LSC-PA
Lee at Coastal Bend