Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

February 16, 2013

Navarro hoops: This time it's Goodwin's turn to lead the way

Freshman reserve scores 21 in Bulldogs' 75-47 win over Bossier

Corsicana — The Navarro Runnin' Bulldogs are a difficult team to beat because opponents never know where their scoring is coming from, starters or bench players.

It was reserve guard Jamar Goodwin's turn in Saturday's 75-47 throttling of Bossier Parish at the K. and Ida Wolens Special Events Center.

Goodwin poured in 21 points off the bench, the second time this season he has led the Bulldogs in scoring. It was the first time the freshman from Ennis has led the way in a conference game.

Goodwin helped Navarro (22-5, 14-2) maintain a two-game lead on Kilgore (which beat Paris on Saturday) with three games left in the regular season. The Bulldogs have an open date Wednesday and then play at Kilgore on Saturday. A win against the Rangers will clinch the regular-season title and an automatic berth to the NJCAA National Tournament next month.

"It will be good to get a break," Navarro coach Johnny Estelle said. "The players and the coaches have been going hard. Now we can get ready for these final three games against Kilgore, Tyler and Trinity Valley."

All will be tough games -- only Tyler is at home -- so the Bulldogs could use unexpected scoring like they got from Goodwin on Saturday.

Goodwin scored most of his points on drive-and-kicks from his guards. Goodwin made three 3-pointers and scored all of his points from the field. He was averaging six points a game coming into Saturday and made six field goals to go with his threes.

"Coach Estelle said to be aggressive," said Goodwin, who also had eight rebounds. "I started knocking down shots."

Navarro needed Goodwin's scoring off the bench because as a group the Bulldogs played a sluggish first 10 minutes. Navarro led 13-6 with 9:57 left in the first half.

That's when Goodwin went off. He made a 3-pointer to take the lead into double digits. In all Goodwin scored nine points over a span of the next six minutes, as Navarro went on a 19-10 run to build a 32-16 lead with 3:59 left in the first half.

Bossier answered with an 8-0 run to get the lead down to 32-24 with 1:06 left in the first half. But Toney Foster, another freshman, made a 3-pointer with two seconds left before halftime for a 35-24 lead. Foster had 14 points for the second game in a row off the bench to go along with two rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Navarro's lead dipped to 37-31 early in the second half before point guard Johnathan Benn ignited a 16-2 run. Benn made a nifty pass to Goodwin for a layup, then made a pass in transition to Duan Wright for a dunk for a 45-31 lead. Foster made a 3-pointer after that and the rout was on for the Bulldogs.

It was the Benn of last year, a catalyst in Navarro's national tournament run.

 "Johnathan was playing well today," Goodwin said. "He was distributing."

Navarro will have to work through the sluggishness it had early Saturday, but there is a week of practice before Kilgore. And a tough schedule looming after dropping Bossier Parish to 2-13 in conference.

"We have to get to where we're not committing so many mental errors," Estelle said. "We want to get to the point where we can finish strong."

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