MEN’S BASKETBALL: Seahawks close home schedule beating Ravens

Published 7:45 pm Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lamar State sports information

Saturday was a celebration of lasts for Lamar State College Port Arthur.

It was the last time the Seahawks will play San Jacinto College in a regular-season game. It was also the last time five Seahawks sophomores would play on their home court at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center.

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Most important, though, is that the Hawks have now won five of their last seven games, giving them a decided momentum heading into their final game of the regular season and the postseason NJCAA Region XIV tournament.

The Seahawks beat San Jacinto College 79-71 Saturday in the final game between the two teams in a regular-season situation. The Ravens are playing their farewell campaign after a decision by the college to end the program based on financial reasons.

For LSCPA two-year letterman Travious Grubbs, who played his final game at the Parker Center on Saturday, it was a bittersweet moment.

“Over the years, we’ve developed a great rivalry with San Jac,” the Silsbee High School graduate said. “It’s sad they won’t be around anymore. We’ve played some great games, just like the one today.”

Saturday’s showdown was all it was expected to be with two of the league’s hottest teams facing off almost basket-for-basket through the first 30 minutes of the game.

The Ravens, who were just two games out of first place at 7-8 in league play, jumped out to a quick first-half lead. The Seahawks battled back, though, with the game tied on five different occasions through the first 10 minutes.

Over the next few minutes, the Ravens took off on a 9-2 run, claiming a 25-16 lead with 9:39 left until half. The Seahawks turned up the defensive pressure and answered with a 13-3 run of their own to reclaim the lead at 29-28 with 4:48 left.

The two teams clubbed it out over the next nearly five minutes and San Jacinto went to the locker room with a three-point advantage, 38-35.

Sophomore Rodney Brown led the Seahawks’ efforts in the first half with 10 points, while redshirt freshman Ethan White hit for eight. Matej Gaspert, another LSCPA soph, was perfect from the field, hitting three baskets in critical situations to help keep the Hawks close.

The Seahawks, who are now 6-12 in conference and 13-16 overall, stayed with their patented pressure on defense, forcing the Ravens into several turnovers early in the second half. LSCPA capitalized, staying close through the first seven minutes of the half before opening up a good lead.

San Jacinto came back again, regaining a one-point lead, 58-57, with 6:59 left in the game.

That’s when White and Brown went to work for the Seahawks, leading them to a 17-4 run that gave LSCPA an insurmountable lead at 74-61 with just 1:47 left. The Ravens managed to cut that advantage to six with 30 seconds remaining, but it was too little too late as the Hawks claimed the Sophomore Night win for the home crowd.

“This was a great win for us because it really gives us a lot of momentum heading into the regional tournament,” said Grubbs, who finished with six points, 13 rebounds and four assists. “We’re really coming together as a team right now and it’s great timing for us. We’ve stuck together as a team and it’s paying off right now.”

White led the Seahawks in scoring with 21 points, while Brown added 17 with nine rebounds. Freshman guard Alex Williams scored 15 points with six assists and Gaspert dropped in 11. Lamar Hamrick led all scorers as he paced San Jacinto with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Seahawks have one last game before the regional tournament as they travel to Beeville to take on Coastal Bend College this Wednesday. Tipoff for that game is 7 p.m.