Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


March 9, 2013

Navarro Hoops: Bulldogs fall in Region XIV Final

Lee headed to Hutch after 92-77 victory over Navarro

TYLER —  Navarro won more conference games than any team in Region XIX this season. And the Runnin' Bulldogs aren't going to Hutch.

Navarro lost for the first time in the Region XIV Championship Game during the Johnny Estelle era, falling to No. 5 seed Lee College 92-77 on Saturday night at UT Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center.

The second-seeded Bulldogs were regular season co-champions in Region XIV and they won twice in the tournament before losing to the Runnin' Rebels. Navarro's 17 wins against conference opponents gives them one more than Kilgore and Lee, but both of those are the teams that are headed to the NJCAA Natioanl Tournament.

Navarro at 25-7 still could be alive for one of the at-large bids handed out for the first time for the national tournament, but with two teams already going to Hutch from Region XIV, and several upsets in other regional tournaments, the Bulldogs are a long shot to make it.

Navarro had two chances to win and get in -- once in the regular season against Kilgore (the Dawgs lost by 10) and one last opportunity Saturday night against Lee. But the Rebels out-shot, out-rebounded and got to more 50-50 balls than the Bulldogs and led for all but five minutes of the game.

"We couldn't get over the hump," Estelle said. "Lee played great. The first-round game is the key game. They hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer against Blinn and that got them on a roll."

Lee, which didn't get one of the four first-round byes, won 76-73 against Blinn in the first round, then rolled over three of the top teams in the tournament.  The Rebels beat No. 4 Jacksonville, 101-96, No. 1 seed Kilgore 88-73 and No. 2 seed Navarro.

The Bulldogs will look back at two things -- a first half they didn't close out and a second half where they couldn't break through and put pressure on a Lee team that hadn't played in the tournament final in years.

Navarro, which led twice early in the game, fell behind by 12 points at 26-14 with 7:57 left in the first half, then made a slow march back. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 31-25 with 1:47 left and had a chance for a fast break to get within four, but a travelling call on David Woodard with Toney Foster breaking free for a dunk halted Navarro's momentum.

Lee outscored Navarro 7-2 after that, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Rebels guard William Knowles as the Bulldogs trailed 38-27 at the half.

Lee kept its lead in double digits for most of the second half, but the Bulldogs did make a late run to cut the lead to 71-65 on free throws by Harrison Hawkins with 4:12 left in the game. Don Thomas hit a clutch 3-pointer for a nine-point lead, but Princeton Onwas scored and David Woodard drew a foul and two free throws with 2:59 left in the game.

Woodard, who played brilliantly in the tournament, missed both free throws and Lee's Trahson Burrell converted a 3-point lead to take a 77-67 lead with 2:45 left. The Bulldogs pulled back within eight points on two free throws, but Lee closed out the win with 15-6 run.

It was a stunning ending for Estelle and the Bulldogs. Navarro was 13-1 in the regional tournament and had won all three championship games under Estelle before Saturday's loss.

Now it's time for the Bulldogs to regroup and get back to Hutch next year.

"Selfishly I want to win every game," Estelle said. "But we're humble at Navarro, we give Lee credit and now it's time to get back to work. The guys will come back hungry and ready to win again."

Text Only
  • Area schedule for the week

    Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.

    April 18, 2014

  • GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball

    Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
    Heck, they need all of them.
    That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
    One down, two to go.
    “It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''

    April 18, 2014

  • GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title

    Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.

    April 18, 2014

  • CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball

    The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks

    April 18, 2014

  • GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly

    There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
    Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
    But never from Connor.
    He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.

    April 18, 2014

  • Frost Lady Polar Bears Area Champions.jpg GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet

    The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • RON MORGAN.jpg Morgan:The new endangered species

    Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
    High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

    April 17, 2014

  • 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.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18-14Roman.jpg 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.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo