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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Seahawks picked second in South Zone

Lamar State College Port Arthur is predicted to have a bounce-back season in men’s basketball.

With the addition of three recent Memorial graduates, a former Nederland standout and 12 others, the Seahawks are picked to finished tied for second with Jacksonville College in the NJCAA Region XIV South Zone preseason poll, which was released Tuesday.

Blinn College is picked to win the South Zone with 68 voting points and six first-place votes. Jacksonville College, with five first-place votes, and Lamar State, with two, each have 58 points. Lee College (35), Angelina College (35) and Coastal Bend College (25) round out the South predictions.

Trinity Valley Community College is favored in the East with 80 points and eight first-place votes. Tyler Junior College (75 points, three first-place votes), Panola College (66, 1), Navarro College (44), Kilgore College (41,1), Paris Junior College (30) and Bossier Parish Community College (28) compete that list.

The Seahawks, who went 15-17 and 7-12 last winter, made it to the Region XIV tournament last March and won a first-round game in overtime, but only return Port Arthur native and Kelly graduate Tevin Baker, Beaumont Central alumnus Devin Ellis, Ozen alumnus Justice Vaughn and Houston’s Alex Williams.

Seven of the Seahawks hail from Jefferson County. Darion Chatman, Thailan Wesley and Jamyus Jones led Memorial to its first ever state championship in 5A last March, 2017 Nederland graduate Darrell Jones transferred from Arkansas’ John Brown University and freshman Byron Arceneaux signed out of Central. All of those newcomers are guards.

Lamar State participated in a jamboree in Dallas earlier this month and will play at Wiley College on Wednesday and at LSU-Alexandria on Saturday to complete the preseason schedule. The Seahawks’ regular season begins at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 against Up Tempo Basketball.

— I.C. Murrell

 

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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