Tyler Junior College trimmed a 16-point deficit to five with 2:57 to play.
Then, as he had done throughout the game, San Jacinto College’s Corey Davis made some big buckets.
Davis scored a game-high 27 points, including nine in the final two minutes, to propel No. 5 San Jacinto to a 74-66 win over No. 13 Tyler in a battle of unbeatens on Wednesday at Wagstaff Gymnasium.
In the first game of the Region XIV doubleheader, the 17th-ranked Apache Ladies defeated Paris Junior College 74-57.
Eden Ewing led the Apaches (13-1, 5-1 Region XIV) with 18 points and eight rebounds while Jaqwan McCauley, Brian Warren, TiAndre Jackson and Tajuan Agee all hit double-digit scoring.
Only Tay Hardy with 13 points joined Davis in double figures from San Jac (16-0, 6-0 Region XIV), but Davis and Hardy combined to shoot 8 for 13 from beyond the arc. The Ravens went behind 7-3 early but reeled off the next nine points and never trailed again.
“All the credit goes to San Jac; they played terrific,” TJC coach Mike Marquis said. “We made a great run but the back-to-back turnovers when we cut it down to (five) kind of bit us at the end.
“They’re a very good team. Their ranking is well-deserved and we let one get away.”
San Jacinto led 61-45 with 6:31 to play before the Apaches clawed their way back by attacking the basket.
Agee scored six straight points by driving to the rim before Warren hit a jumper to cap an 8-0 burst that pulled TJC within 61-53.
The run was momentarily stymied when a Davis steal led to a layup by James Kirksey (nine points, 11 rebounds, three steals).
Undeterred, TJC charged forward with Warren draining a 3-pointer and Ewing hitting an elbow jumper to make the score 63-58.
Davis took over from there, hitting a long-range jumper with his foot on the 3-point line then swishing a corner 3-pointer with 1:27 left to put San Jac up 70-59 and put the game out of reach.
The teams finished with near identical shooting percentages from the field: 48 percent for the Ravens and 49 percent for the Apaches.
However San Jac shot 41 percent from beyond the arc, with Davis and Hardy hitting four apiece. Seven of the Ravens’ nine 3s came in the first half.
Tyler hit 5 of 19 (26 percent) from long range and 6 for 14 on free throws. TJC missed two chances to finish 3-point plays and the missed front end of a 1-and-1 during its attempted rally in the second half.
“That was an old-fashioned Juco game: fairly physical, two teams playing pretty hard,” Marquis said. “The team that made the most shots won this thing.”
Former Pine Tree standout Sky’lynn Holmes racked up 20 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and two steals to power the Apache Ladies (14-2, 5-1) to their sixth straight victory.
Holmes shot 10 for 13 from the field for TJC, which shot 47 percent as a team compared to 26 percent for Paris (4-12, 1-5).
Antionette Shrepee added 10 points while Nautica Grant, Lakendra Bassett and Jordan Towery each added eight points.
“I felt like tonight was a team effort, those extra passes, those extra little things,” TJC coach Trenia Tillis-Jones said. “I felt like everyone gave something.”
The Apache Ladies were in control leading by as many as 28 in the first half before Paris made things interesting with a run in the third quarter.
The Lady Dragons pulled within 57-47 on a 3-pointer by Takiyah Lopez with 8:54 to play before TJC reestablished control, starting with a counter 3 by Grant, and Paris never pulled within single digits.
“We are so awful in the third quarter and we were trying to figure it out,” Tillis-Jones said. “I think it’s almost to the point it’s mental. When we come out, first quarter, second quarter we play phenomenal basketball. Third quarter is rough on us and the fourth quarter we find a way to turn it up.”
Evelyn Omemmah paced the Lady Dragons with 15 points and nine rebounds while Lopez chipped in with 10 points.
Region XIV Women
No. 17 Tyler Junior College 74, Paris Junior College 57
Paris 10 10 23 14 - 57
Tyler 23 21 13 17 - 74
PARIS-Brianna Thomas, 2; Ramiah Henry, 5; Takiyah Lopez, 10; Leigh Westbrook, 0; Leah Jossell, 6; Evelyn Omemmah, 15; Stephanie Charlies, 4; Tamia Hewitt, 8; De’Janice Hamilton, 1; Samantha Quilantan, 2; Makaela Mosley, 4. FG: 21-80. FT: 13-19.
TYLER-Nautica Grant, 8; Lakendra Bassett, 8; De’Janie Graves, 0; Jordan Towery, 8; Erin Smith, 0; Ashley Clayborn, 5; Jordan Campbell, 4; Antionette Shrepee, 10; Catherine Okwilagwe, 2; Sky’lynn Holmes, 20; Erykah Campbell, 2; Victoria Blankenship, 7. FG: 31-66. FT: 7-9.
THREE POINT GOALS-PJC (2-10): Lopez (2). TJC (5-16): Grant (2), Bassett (2), Clayborn. REBOUNDS-PJC 47 (Omemmah 9); TJC 48 (Holmes 14). STEALS-PJC 8 (Henry 3); TJC 11 (Bassett 3). ASSISTS-PJC 10 (Lopez 3, Henry 3); TJC 18 (Bassett 5). BLOCKS-PJC 2 (Charles, Mosley); TJC 8 (Bassett 3). TURNOVERS-PJC 17; TJC 23. FOULS-PJC 14; TJC 17.
RECORDS-Paris 4-12 (1-5); Tyler 14-2 (5-1).
NEXT UP- Kilgore at Paris, 2 p.m. Saturday; Tyler at Panola, 2 p.m. Saturday.
Region XIV Men
No. 5 San Jacinto 74, No. 13 Tyler Junior College 66
SAN JACINTO-Daejour Adderley, 0; James Kirksey, 9’; Jorden Duffy, 6; Chris Harris, 0; Britt Grant, 2; Corey Davis, 27; Lamar Hamrick, 6; Tay Hardy, 13; Konstantin Kulikov, 6; Mamadou Kamara, 0; Kabir Mohammed, 2; Elton Dyer, 3. FG: 26-54. FT: 13-20.
TYLER-Will Brooks, 0; Jaqwan McCauley, 11; Brian Warren, 11; Kwinton Hinson, 3; Desmond Balentine, 3; Davante Cooper, 0; TiAndre Jackson, 10; Eden Ewing, 18; Trenton Sandifer, 0; Tajuan Agee, 10. FG: 26-53. FT: 6-14.
THREE POINT GOALS-SJ (9-22): Duffy, Davis (4), Hardy (4). TJC (5-19): Warren (2), Hinson, Balentine, Jackson (2). REBOUNDS-SJ 43 (Kirksey 11); TJC 36 (Ewing 8). STEALS-SJ 8 (Kirksey 3); TJC 3 (Brooks, Balentine, Hinson). ASSISTS-SJ 9 (Duffy 3); TJC 7 (Warren 4). BLOCKS-SJ 3 (Kirksey, Harris, Mohammed); TJC 6 (Cooper 4). TURNOVERS-SJ 17; TJC 19. FOULS-SJ 17; TJC 17.
HALFTIME SCORE-San Jacinto 39, Tyler 28.
RECORDS-San Jacinto 16-0 (6-0); Tyler 13-1 (5-1).
NEXT UP-Trinity Valley at San Jacinto, 4 p.m. Saturday; Tyler at Coastal Bend, 4 p.m. Saturday.