JUCO BASKETBALL: Bailey’s hot hand helps Seahawks quench Dragons’ fire

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2019

When shooting from the floor did not serve Lamar State College Port Arthur well, free throws — which haven’t always been great to the Seahawks — did.

Nathan Bailey then heated up from the floor, and he didn’t have to hit a buzzer-beater this time.

The hero in the Seahawks’ past two games, the 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore scored 16 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, leading the team to its fifth straight win, 71-60 over Paris Junior College on Wednesday at the Carl Parker Center. The win is their fourth straight at home.

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“I just came out and played my game,” said Bailey, a New Orleans native. “Shooters shoot, and I shot the ball pretty well.”


Bailey nailed 5 of 6 three-point attempts, a bright spot in an otherwise struggle from the outside for Lamar State (6 of 25).

Lamar State, a 66.7 percent foul shooting team before Wednesday — made 25 of 33 for 75.8 percent but finished 20 of 56 from the floor for 35.7 percent. The Seahawks shot 47.3 percent from the floor for the season going into the game.

The Seahawks (12-5, 4-2 in Region XIV), who were 15-17 a season ago, have won five straight, one longer than their longest streak of last season, which ended with a loss in the Region XIV tournament. Among their recent victories was an 86-85 nailbiter last Friday at home over then 10th-ranked Trinity Valley Community College (now 16th).

“We’ve got a lot of momentum right now,” Seahawks coach Lance Madison said. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence. We’re good basketball.”

Now, the Seahawks are leading the South Zone of the region, which they won in 2012 and 2016. Second-place Angelina College fell two games behind the Seahawks after losing 82-80 to Panola College.

Recent Memorial graduates Darion Chatman and Jamyus Jones had nine and seven points, respectively, for Lamar State. Chatman snagged five rebounds.

Devin Ellis of Beaumont had seven points and nine boards, and Terrance Minor made six steals to go with four points.

Lamar State hit 14 of 17 free throws in the first half and made 11 straight in a stretch that went into the second half.

The Dragons (9-6, 1-4 in Region XIV East) trailed 34-24 at halftime but began the second half with an 8-0 run aided by seven of Johnny Knox’s 16 points. Colin Just stopped the rally with a successful three-point play, but Bailey took over from there, scoring 10 points within the first 6 minutes of the half.

Bailey made 8 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 4 at the line. He also had nine rebounds.
Jalon Pipkins hit 15 points and totaled eight rebounds and five assists, and Quantes Jackson scored 13 points for Paris. The Dragons made 22 of 52 (42.3 percent) including 6 of 17 from three-point range and was 10 for 16 (62.5 percent) at the line.

Next for the Seahawks is Navarro College (15-1, 5-0), which leads the East Zone. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Carl Parker Center.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

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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