The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Lamar State College-Port Arthur had lost two straight coming into Wednesday night’s Region 14 game against Kilgore College. It was another loss that would hobble the Seahawks the most, though, as they fell to the Rangers 77-66 at the Parker Center.
At one point, Ty Allen was among the top scorers in the nation in NJCAA play. Wednesday night, the Seahawks’ offensive leader sat on the bench with a back injury that could keep him sidelined for several weeks. Against Kilgore, his absence was huge.
“We’re going to have to figure out how to win without him on the floor and that’s going to take time,” Hawks Coach Lance Madison said. “Ty is able to stretch the defense out and that gives us some room to drive to the basket. Without him in the game, we’re forced to play more from the perimeter.”
The Seahawks, who fall to 10-3 overall and 4-3 in conference play, were able to drive the lane on occasion but found themselves pushed to the outside, taking too many shots that failed to find the bottom of the net. The Hawks shot just 34.4 percent from the field in the game, hitting 1 of 7 from 3-point range in the second half as they tried to close in on the Rangers’ double-digit advantage.
“We have to compete on every possession,” Madison said. “Part of having a team that is mostly freshmen is teaching that intensity and seeing them convert on every opportunity possible.”
The Rangers, on the other hand, were able to work the baseline, collecting several easy layups to get ahead of the Seahawks by as many as 12 late in the game. Leading that attack was Quinton UpShur with 22 points while teammate Lonnie McClanahan added 14. Chinedu Amajoyi collected a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hawks, who closed the gap to within 3 with 8:47 left in the game, just couldn’t put together that final run they have become known for this season. Lamar State has pulled out several second-half wins this season but against Kilgore, it wasn’t to be.
After a Korbin McClain jumper cut the Kilgore lead to one possession at 54-51, the Rangers pushed their advantage back out to as many as nine with 4 minutes left in the contest.
“We have to come back and regroup, figure out how we’re going to win games without our leading scorer,” Madison said. “We have to learn to compete without him and that will take some time.”
The Seahawks were led by Kieran Woods’ 17 points and eight rebounds, while McClain finished with 12. Anthony Allen scored 11 points with seven boards and seven blocked shots and Jamal Shabazz added 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Hawks return home this Saturday for a non-conference game against Lone Star College-Tomball with a 4 p.m. tipoff at the Parker Center.