Sophomore-heavy Seahawks tipping off with Uptempo Basketball

Published 12:17 am Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The season begins for junior college basketball this Friday, and the Lamar State Seahawks invite Uptempo Basketball Academy to the Carl Parker Center as their first opponent.

“We’re excited that we’re finally going to get to play,” head coach Lance Madison said. “We’ve been practicing a lot. The guys have been practicing hard, and it’s nice to have some competition beside ourselves.”

Uptempo, a post-high school prep program that helps train recent graduates for collegiate basketball and academics before moving on into a college team, will travel from Houston to Port Arthur for the first of a series of non-conference games the Seahawks will play before their first Region XIV contest against Tyler on Nov. 23.

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Last year the Seahawks started their season with a strong 113-52 win against Uptempo. Several players who likewise made strong debuts in 2018’s season opener have returned this year, including Memorial High School alumni Darion Chatman and Jamyus Jones, who both scored in the double digits against Uptempo.

The Seahawks are a bit older this year overall with 11 sophomores, with several like Jones and Chatman. Madison noticed a good bit of talent demonstrated during the Blue and White intrasquad game last week in his crop of freshmen, as well.

“We had a freshman from West Orange-Stark that really played well — Terron Brown,” Madison said. “I thought the sophomores played well — they had experience — but one of the surprises was Brown. Darrell Jones played well too in our intrasquad game. Darrell’s from Nederland High School. He transferred in from John Brown University and redshirted for us last year. He’s gotten bigger and stronger.”

Last Thursday’s Blue and White game was close and came down to the final possession, but Blue edged out White 77-75.

“We need to do work on some transition defense,” Madison said. “We need to get better blocking out and rebounding and better at being able to make our free-throws.”

The Seahawks will have several more non-conference games to help tune up before Tyler. After Uptempo, Lamar State will travel to Lewisville High School for the Texas East vs. West Challenge, where they will play against Clarendon and South Plains.

“Hopefully we’ll continue to play well,” Madison said. “We’ll get into the meat of our schedule when we go to Dallas for our East-West Challenge the next weekend. We’ll play two teams that are ranked in the top 20.”

Afterward the Seahawks will face LSU Eunice and Baton Rouge, both in Port Arthur, before Tyler comes to town. Then the Seahawks will hit the road again, traveling to Pensacola, Fla., for the Pensacola Thanksgiving Classic.

“Our schedule’s pretty challenging. When we go to Florida for our Thanksgiving tournament we’ll be playing a team that’s also ranking top-15, Tallahassee,” Madison said. “It’s a very good non-conference schedule, and then the conference itself is very challenging.

“It’s going to be as good as ever. There’s been some really good players that have transferred in from different schools, there’s going to be a lot of parity in our conference. Region XIV is one of the best in two-year colleges and it’s got some good coaching, so it’s going to be a challenge as it always is.”

Lamar State will host a tailgate event before the Uptempo game on Friday with free links and drinks as well as music from 4:30–6:30 p.m. in the Carl Parker Center parking lot before tipoff at 7 p.m.