Basketball

By MIKE MONTFORT --    Navarro (19-4/9-3) has regained sole possession of Region XIV's East Zone lead after a wild Wednesday night, and will try to strengthen its grip Saturday when the Tyler Apaches (18-4/8-4) challenge the Bulldogs here at Lewis Orr Court in the Wolens Special Events Center. The Bulldogs emerged victorious 69-68 Wednesday at 0:00 in their co-leader showdown with Panola at Carthage. They scored an incredible, come-from-behind road victory at the buzzer when sophomore Trey Pulliam circled left to right, drove inside, and hit a game-winning, dagger layup. Pulliam saved his best for last. The winner was his only basket of the game. Panola, which gained worthy NJCAA-ranking consideration this week at Navarro's expense, had won 10 of its last 12 and was 13-1 at Arthur Johnson Gymnasium before Pulliam and the 'Dogs ruined the evening. The Ponies (18-6/8-4) led almost the entire contest. Panola led 41-35 at halftime and extended advantages to as many as nine points throughout the game, but the Bulldogs refused to go away. Nicholas Rene, with a team-high 16 points, hit a three-pointer that forced a tie at 52 with 8:00 left. From that point, the teams traded results and created many of the game's five ties. With :21.9...

BY MIKE MONTFORT Photos by Keith Speer ---  Region XIV East Zone leader Navarro got double-figure scoring from five players in its 78-60 win here Saturday over the Paris Dragons. Sophomore Gavin Kensmil joined Jean James-Marie as Bulldogs with five double-doubles this season. Kensmil scored 10 points, cleared a team-high 12 rebounds and blocked a shot for the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs (18-2/8-1). It was Kensmil's second double-double in conference play -- the most recent of 22 points and 12 rebounds coming two weeks ago in a 77-75 win over Lamar State at Port Arthur. Kensmil, second in NJCAA field-goal shooting percentage at 73.7, scored the bulk of his points Saturday from the foul line with a 6-of-9 effort to go with a modest 2-of-5 shooting chart. Shakem Johnson, who is third among NJCAA players in field-goal shooting percentage at 72.7, turned in his team-high 16th double-figure scoring game by totalling 15 points from 7-of-10 shooting Saturday. Johnson added six rebounds and blocked two PJC shots. Freshman guard Ja'Quaye James bucketed a team-high 21 points in the win -- his fourth game of 20-plus scoring this season. James went 7-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-8 beyond the arc. James also managed three rebounds, three assists and a steal...

By MIKE MONTFORT Photos by Keith Speer --  Sophomore Gavin Kensmil scored a personal-season-high-equaling 31 points to lead the Bulldogs (17-1/7-0) to their 15th straight win. Kensmil hit an efficient 11-of-13 from the floor, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots in the victory. The Bulldogs shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57), but also turned in perhaps their finest defensive effort of the season -- particularly during the first half when they raced to a 41-19 lead. The Cavaliers, averaging 90 points per game, featured two of Region XIV's Top 6 individual scorers in Eric Parrish (20.3 per game) and Jason Holliday (18.4). Parrish and Holliday finished with five points apiece, and Holliday fouled by the 10-minute mark of the second half --the first of three BPCC players to foul out. Parrish's three-pointer pulled BPCC within 10 (22-12) at the 10:30 mark of the first half. Navarro turned up more defensive intensity that spawned a 19-7 run to the finish and included nine unanswered points during a span of 4:30. The Cavs managed only two buckets inside those final 10 minutes of the half -- both on breakaways. Bossier Parish, one of the last 11 unbeaten NJCAA Division I teams on January 5, dropped its third in its last...

After four polling periods of landing just outside the NJCAA Top 25, Navarro Bulldogs basketball broke through Tuesday and climbed into the No. 24 slot in the latest Men's Division I rankings. The Region XIV East Zone leading Bulldogs (16-1/6-0) carry a 14-game winning streak into league play when they host the Bossier Parish Cavaliers (14-2/4-2) at 7 pm Wednesday on Lewis Orr Court at The Wolens Special Events Center. Navarro, the only unbeaten team remaining in Region XIV conference play, shares the best overall record among Region XIV and V programs with No. 21 Collin and second-ranked South Plains (16-1).  Navarro, Collin, South Plains and No. 23 Hill all claim the most wins among Region XIV and V teams. Nine Navarro players are among Region XIV's Top 20 statistical leaders in nine different categories. The Bulldogs have six players who average in double figures: Gavin Kensmil (17.0), Shakem Johnson (15.6), James Jean-Marie (15.4), Ja'Quaye James (12.6), Trey Pulliam (12.5) and Xavier Davenport (11.6). Kensmil (72.7 percent) and Johnson (71.7 percent) now rank among the NJCAA's Top 5 in field-goal shooting percentage for an NC squad that leads the NJCAA (55.8 percent). Faculty, students and fans are encouraged to come out Wednesday and support the...