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Comeaux knocks down winner for LSCPA

LSCPA sports information

Wednesday night in Lufkin, the Lamar State College Port Arthur men’s basketball team turned the corner and freshman John Comeaux was in the driver’s seat.

A freshman-laden team that has struggled to find its way this season came alive late against Angelina College and the Seahawks toppled the NJCAA Region 14 South Zone second-place team with a 78-77 thriller in Lufkin.

Comeaux, an Ozen High School graduate, hit the game-winning shot with 2.1 seconds left, missing his first attempt off the rim but splitting the Angelina defense in the paint to get his own rebound and dropping the ball in the basket.

“John got a good look and drove the basket,” LSCPA head coach Lance Madison said. “Teams don’t want to foul you in that situation so John got loose and, give him credit, he stuck with it, got the rebound and put us on top.”

Comeaux finished with 20 points to lead his team, while sophomore Petar Radojicic had 19 points and 13 rebounds for his 17th double-double performance of the season.

The Seahawks, now 6-9 in Region 14 play and 16-9 overall, has had five conference losses by five or fewer points this season. On Wednesday night, the Hawks would not be denied.

LSCPA tied the game several times in the first half but never held a lead over the Roadrunners, falling behind by nine points with about five minutes left until the break. That’s when the Hawks went on an 8-0 run to tie the game again at 31-31 with 1:19 left. Angelina scored four straight to take a 35-31 advantage at the buzzer.

“The first half, we were right there,” Madison said. “But Angelina hit some tough shots and they had three or four buckets that shouldn’t have gone in but they got the right bounce.”

The Angelina momentum that started at the end of the first half kept rolling into the second half as the Roadrunners charged out to a 12-3 run for an 11-point, 47-36, lead. The Seahawks answered with their own run to close the game to two at 49-47 on a Madit Daniel three-pointer.

The Seahawks finally found their first lead of the game when sophomore Chase Rutledge hit a 3-pointer to put LSCPA up 62-59. From the 5-minute mark, the two teams battled to four different ties with Angelina (18-7, 10-4) eventually building a four-point lead, 77-73, with 46 seconds left in the game.

From there, Comeaux hit an acrobatic bucket in the paint, drawing the foul and sinking the free throw to pull the Hawks to within one at 77-76.

Angelina headed back down the court but the Seahawks defense forced the turnover as the Roadrunners traveled to give up possession with 18 seconds remaining.

Comeaux put the Seahawks’ play into action with 10 ticks left on the clock and grabbed the biggest offensive rebound of the season for the put-back and the one-point win.

“We’ve gotten behind in some close games and we would put our heads down and not play through it,” Madison said. “Angelina saw something different from us tonight. We have great team chemistry right now and our defense is getting good, it’s getting really good.”