Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

March 6, 2013

Navarro Hoops: Bulldogs back on track as they try to get back to Hutch

Navarro opens regional tournament against Lamar State

Corsicana — Fresh off a momentum-turning victory over Trinity Valley, the Navarro Runnin’ Bulldogs departed for Tyler late Wednesday afternoon a calm and collected group.

Mentally, the Bulldogs appear to be back where they want to be with three wins in three nights needed at the Region XIV Tournament. That if Navarro wants to get back to Hutchinson, Kan. for the fourth time in five seasons.

“We’ve got our confidence back,” sophomore guard Princeton Onwas said. “We needed that Trinity Valley win to get back on track.”

Navarro (23-7) won at Trinity Valley on Saturday, 67-56, putting an end to a two-game losing streak that kept the Bulldogs from having a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament already wrapped up.

It gives Navarro a head of steam going into Thursday night’s quarterfinal game against Lamar State-Port Arthur. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. at UT-Tyler (KAND-AM 1340).

Lamar State (21-10) has some momentum of its own after Tuesday’s 90-68 victory over Paris. The Seahawks and Bulldogs played in the regional semifinals last season, a game Navarro won.

The teams played a thrilling game this season. Navarro survived at home, winning 81-79 in overtime. Freshman Toney Foster made an 18-footer at the buzzer to win the game on his birthday.

 Foster had 15 points in that victory. He’s been one of Navarro’s most consistent scorers down the stretch, boosting his scoring average to 9.3 points per game.

“I feel like I’ve been playing my best basketball when it counts,” Foster said.

The key to dealing with Lamar State is stopping its guards. It’s a tall order. Ty Allen and Tre Bennett combined for 37 points in Tuesday’s victory over Paris.

“We have to stop them on the perimeter with their guards,” Onwas said. “We have to get back on defense. We can’t allow easy baskets.”

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