‘Dawgs reclaim zone lead after Trey’s buzzer-beater

‘Dawgs reclaim zone lead after Trey’s buzzer-beater

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 remaining, Panola’s Jeffrey Boyd sank two free throws after a Shakem Johnson foul, and gave the Ponies a 68-65 lead.

Navarro countered with a bucket and trailed 68-67 with :05.7 left. PC’s Lenell Henry was unable to inbound against pressure within five seconds, so the Bulldogs regained possession in their front court. Pulliam took Xavier Davenport’s sideline inbound a long way in a few seconds for the winner.

NC shot 48 percent from the floor (26-54), including 46 percent from three-point range (11-24).  James Jean-Marie (12) and Ja’Quaye James (11) were the only other Bulldogs to hit double-figure scoring.

NC, which had lost three of its last four contests, improved its record on the road to 6-2 — one of the top marks in Region XIV this season.

SCORE BY HALVES:
Navarro 35 – 34 — 69
Panola 41 – 27 — 68
NAVARRO (69): Rene 16, Jean-Marie 12, James 11, Davenport 9, Johnson 8, Kensmil 4, Patterson 4, Robinson 3, Pulliam 2, Carrasco 0. TOTALS: (26-54)-(11-24)-(6-10)-69.
REBOUNDS: 24 (8/16). Johnson 7, Jean-Marie 5
ASSISTS: 18. Pulliam 6, Davenport 3, James 3
STEALS: 7. James 2, Patterson 2
BLOCKED SHOTS: Johnson 1

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JUNIOR COLLEGE MEN’S SCORES
From Games Wednesday, February 6
(Includes CONF/ALL records in parentheses)

REGION XIV
Navarro (9-3/19-4) 69, Panola (8-4/18-6) 68
Bossier Parish (7-5/18-5) 87, Tyler (8-4/18-4) 78
TVCC (8-4/19-5) 75, Paris (2-10/11-12) 56
Blinn (6-6/18-6) 74, Coastal Bend (3-8/7-11) 72
Angelina (4-8/11-13) 68, Lee (4-8/12-12) 64

REGION V NTJCAC
Ranger (8-1/22-2) 71, McLennan (4-4/18-6) 67
Temple (7-1/21-3) 100, Grayson (2-7/11-11) 79
Collin (6-3/20-4) 70, Hill (2-7/17-8) 61

Thursday’s Conference Game
REGION XIV
Lamar State (5-5/14-8) at Jacksonville (6-5/16-8)