Not going anywhere for a while?
You might have needed a Snickers Tuesday at Navarro, where the Bulldogs pulled out a huge 63-57 win over Jacksonville in the Region XIV opener on a night when the two teams combined to shoot 67 free throws.
That’s no misprint: Navarro made 22 of 36 and Jacksonville dropped in 19 of 32 free throws. The Jaguars went through a stretch of almost 11 minutes (10:42) without scoring a basket from the floor in the second half.
And at the end of the day, that’s what this game was really all about -- Navarro’s in-your-face defense that simply smothered the Jaguars and gave the Bulldogs a chance to win on a night when the home court rims betrayed them.
Navarro missed 10 shots in a row during a painful stretch in the first half and shot just 29 percent (17 for 58) for the night from the floor.
You know what? It doesn’t matter.
“It’s better to be 1-0 than to be 0-1,” Navarro first-year Coach Michael Landers said afterward. “In this league when you get an opportunity to win a game, you have to win it. It’s one that we can build on, and that’s what we’re going to do.’’
Even when Navarro struggled the most in the first half, Jacksonville couldn’t run away and it took a free throw by Davvin Hill with 37 seconds left to give Jacksonville a 27-26 halftime lead.
Hill finished with 11 points, and Jacksonville’s Anthony Sharp and Chris Campbell also scored 11 for the Jaguars. Jake Eynon, who is from Ipswitch, England, hit a pair of 3s and finished with eight points.
In the second half Navarro started finding the basket and little by little took control of the game. After falling behind 33-28, Jamar Goodwin, who led Navarro with 16 points, hit a 3, and Toney Foster, who scored 12, followed that play with a baseline drive to knot things at 33 with 14:50 left.
That spurt seemed to ignite the Bulldogs, and Jaleel Cousins had back-to-back inside moves to score four of his eight points to lift Navarro to a 43-41 lead. Duan Wright, who scored 12 of his 13 points in the second half, buried two free throws and then went on a coast-to-coast steal and drive to give Navarro a 47-42 lead with 7:38 left and the Bulldogs never trailed after that.
Jacksonville (4-6, 0-1) went on that long drought without a basket from the floor, but stayed in the game by going to the free throw line 10 times during that stretch, making 12 of 20.
It didn’t matter.
Once Navarro (6-3, 1-0) seized the lead it was a different game. Cousins’ back-to-back act started a 17-5 run that was topped off with a 3 from Khory Ross, who scored five points all night, and a drive and reverse by Foster that gave Navarro a 56-46 lead with 2:02 left in the game.
“They gave us problems with their zone, and we couldn’t get any rhythm,’’ Landers said. “We were really good defensively, but we couldn’t put any baskets together. We finally got a little separation (in the second half). But couldn’t hit a free throw down the stretch.’’
Navarro missed eight of 12 free throws in the final 1:02 to allow Jacksonville to close the gap to six points. But in the end, it didn’t matter.
“This was the first (Region XIV) game and we needed to win it,’’ Landers said. “It feels really good to win the first conference game. Offensively, we’re going to get better. We had good looks at the basket and I think we are going to make those shots (in the future). We found a way to win the first conference game.
“I think defensively we were solid, and we made just enough shots in the second half to get separation.”
There’s also that big separation from being 0-1 to being 1-0 -- and that’s the one that matters.
Not going anywhere for a while?
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
GC Basketball; Kerens' Ames signs with Cloud (Kan.) Community College
There's nothing quite like signing day, and Taylor Ames was all smiles and beaming about her future Wednesday when she signed a letter-of-intent, accepting a basketball scholarship to Cloud County Community College in Kansas in front of family, friends and coaches at Kerens, where Ames leaves a legacy like no other.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris
Minutes after Navarro split a doubleheader with Paris on Wednesday, Navarro softball Coach Jessica Karenke was told her Bulldogs had just been nationally ranked and are now No. 16 in the NJCAA national softball poll.
She had no idea.
And she didn't care.
Karenke is worried about what happens on the diamond, and she had some concerns after Navarro made four errors in the second game that opened the door for Paris to pull off a 7-2 win after the Bulldogs and Ciara Luna controlled the first game with a 4-1 win.
GC: Mildred's O'Sullivan and Bland chosen to play in FCA All-Star games
Mildred’s Devin O’Sullivan and Callie Bland have been selected to play in the FCA’s All-Star games on June 1.
CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win
Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.
GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College
She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
“I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.
CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region
Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0 (Adds Dawson-Hubbard baseball)
Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.
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