• 66°

JUCO BASKETBALL: Seahawks drop second straight, fall into 3-way tie for first

Angelina 79, Lamar State 75

Nathan Bailey of Lamar State drives for a layup against Ovidio Perez of Angelina in the first half Saturday in Port Arthur. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Darion Chatman of Lamar State gets up after diving for a loose ball against Angelina on Saturday. Chatman is from Port Arthur. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Jamyus Jones of Lamar State pulls up for a basket against Da’Vaughn Gauno of Angelina College in the first half Saturday. Jones is from Port Arthur. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Devaughn Thomas of Lamar State dunks the basketball against Angelina College on Saturday. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Lamar State College Port Arthur shot 76.2 percent from the field in the first half against Angelina College on Saturday.

The downside is that the Seahawks still trailed by one point.

“We’ve got to make better decisions with the basketball,” Seahawks coach Lance Madison said, pointing out his team committed 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

Angelina, which endured its own struggles this season, held Lamar State to 35 percent shooting in the second half and picked up a 79-75 win at the Carl Parker Center.

What was a two-game lead in the South Zone for the Seahawks (13-8, 5-5 in Region XIV) two weeks earlier is now a three-way tie with Blinn College and Jacksonville College for first place in the Region XIV South Zone. Blinn defeated Jacksonville 89-85 on Saturday to create the logjam, three days after beating Lamar State in Port Arthur.

“Angelina played well,” Madison said. “I thought they came in here and hit some tough shots. They were physical and I thought they hurt us on the boards. They played a good game.”

The Seahawks have lost three of their last four games, each one decided by five or fewer points. Their last win came Jan. 16 at Lee College, 72-71.

“We’ve got to get back to playing our basketball,” said Terrance Minor, who had 14 points. “Staying solid as a team, trusting each other, and the way we practice and the way we play, everything is going to come back to the way things were before.”

A three-point basket by Hunter Janacek — his fifth of the game — took the wind out of Lamar State’s sails with 1:05 remaining, expanding Angelina’s lead to 77-71. Alex Williams answered with a field goal for Lamar State, but Kevin Norman’s dunk with 30 seconds to go proved to be the proverbial dagger.

Janacek had a game-high 19 points, shooting 5 for 7 all from three-point range. Norman added 18 points, Da’Vaughn Gauno had 14 and Walter Prevost scored 11 for the Roadrunners (9-12, 3-7), who were tied with Coastal Bend College at the bottom of the six-team zone.

Devaughn Thomas led Lamar State with 15 points, making 6 of 10 from the field. Minor scored 14 points (5 of 8 from the floor), Nathan Bailey had nine and Devin Ellis and Williams tallied eight each.

Lamar State still finished 29 of 56 from the floor for 51.8 percent, but made only 3 of 14 from three-point range. The Seahawks made 14 of 20 free throws.

Through the first 20 minutes, they hit 16 of 21 field goal tries.

“As a team, we stayed solid and moved the ball,” Minor said. “Us staying aggressive in the game led us to get open, easy shots. It was easy like a walk-through-type feel. Everybody was clicking, and that’s how we shot so successful from the field.”

The Roadrunners shot 27 for 50 from the floor for 54 percent, including 10 of 19 from long distance, and made 15 of 24 free throws for 62.5 percent. They jumped to a 6-0 lead and led 43-42 at halftime, when Memorial graduate Darion Chatman drove coast-to-coast for a layup to beat the buzzer.

Lamar State responded from the slow start to lead by as much as 20-14, midway through the first half. Chatman, Minor and Bailey each had seven points at halftime, but Chatman didn’t score again.

The Seahawks will finish a three-game home stand with a Tuesday night game against Lone Star College-Cy Fair (7 p.m. tipoff) and travel to Coastal Bend in Beeville for a 4 p.m. tip next Saturday to resume Region XIV play.

“It’s a long season,” Madison said. “It’s a challenging conference. You’re going to have your ups and downs. We’ve got to stay Steady Eddie. We’ve got to get back to the basics and play some good team basketball.”

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.

email author More by I.C.