Mack earns U.S. Player of Year
What Angelina College Lady Roadrunner Natasha Mack was able to accomplish in her freshman season would have been a remarkable story alone.
However, her path to get there is a story of pure inspiration.
A highly-coveted prospect out of Lufkin High School in Lufkin, Mack fielded offers from numerous Division I programs coveting her basketball talents. Then life got in the way, and the ESPN Top 100 player found herself out of the game she loved.
After spending an entire season away from the game, she reconnected with AC head coach Byron Coleman and assistant coach Randy McKelvey, who had kept in touch only to encourage her to get back in the game.
When she did, she landed with both feet.
Mack has already guaranteed her place in Angelina College history as one of the most decorated athletes in the school’s 50-year history.
On Thursday, March 7, she may have cemented her legacy as the greatest Lady Roadrunner of all time. Mack, a Lufkin native, learned the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association has named her the WBCA Two-Year College Player of the Year.
The Lady Roadrunner sophomore earned the award: She is ranked the No. 1 junior college prospect in the country.
She ranks second nationally in scoring with a 23.9 points-per-game average. She is listed among the top 15 in rebounding and field-goal percentage; and she is at the top in blocked shots list, leading the nation with 5.7 swats per game.
In Region XIV, Mack leads the conference in scoring, field-goal percentage and blocked shots while sitting in second place in rebounding.
In her two years, she has accumulated four NJCAA Division I National Player of the Week awards.
Following her freshman year, a season in which she set the single-season scoring record at Angelina College, Mack was named All-American on two different lists and earned Region XIV Freshman of the Year honors. She was also a First Team All-Region selection in Region XIV.
In February of this season, Mack added to her single-season scoring record from last year by becoming the all-time leader in career scoring at Angelina College, breaking Lesa Jones’ mark set in the 1979-1981 seasons.
In addition, the NJCAA, which did not record blocked shots until recently, will announce that Mack is the all-time leader in the category in junior college history.
Finally, she led the 2018-2019 Lady Roadrunner basketball team to national prominence: AC landed in the Top 10 and finished the season ranked No. 14 in the nation. The team also set a new program mark for wins in a season with 27.
Mack’s parents are Bonnie Lee and Anthony Mack.
No. 8 Lady Roadrunners win against Coastal Bend
Still feeling the sting of their second loss of the season, Angelina College’s Lady Roadrunner basketball players opened the contest Saturday, Feb. 9 with a purpose, exploding for a 21-0 lead to open the game and cruising to an 80-51 win against Coastal Bend Community College at Shands Gymnasium.
AC, ranked No. 8 in the nation, closed the first quarter with a 29-4 lead and never looked back, getting 28 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks from Natasha Mack, 13 points from Taylor Jacob, 12 points and 11 rebounds from Mia Perkins and 10 points from Teeonna Barkley.
AC’s defense forced 30 Lady Cougar turnovers, converting those into 29 points.
The Lady Roadrunners stand at 21-2 for the season and 10-2 in district play.
Hutchinson ends Lady Runners’ historic season
Angelina College’s Lady Roadrunner basketball team saw its historic season come to an end on Wednesday, March 20 with Hutchinson Community College throwing a knockout punch and winning 72-59 at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock.
The Lady Runners got off to a slow start and were just unable to recover. Hutchinson led the game wire-to-wire, jumping out to a 10-0 lead and increasing the margin by as many as 15 points.
The inside-outside strategy that served the Lady Roadrunners so well all season long never hit its normal level of efficiency.
Natasha Mack led all scorers with 29 points and added 13 rebounds, but the Lady Runners converted just one of 20 attempts from three-point range with Mack nailing that one in the fourth quarter.
Simran Mayfield added 13 points as the only other AC player to reach double figures.
“We’ve got three of the top three-point shooters in our league, but tonight we just couldn’t buy a bucket,” head coach Byron Coleman said during the post-game press conference. “We just never got going. Hutchinson did some good things, especially in slowing us down in transition, but some of our shots weren’t even close. That’s rough for a team that usually shoots the ball so well. It just wasn’t our night.”
Hutchinson maintained a double-digit lead through most of the game; however, the Lady Runners showed fight and a spark in the third period. Mack hit her team’s only three-point shot, and AC climbed back into contention by shrinking the Hutchinson lead to five points at 48-43.
“The kids kept fighting, and I thought we were on the verge of getting everything together at one point,” Coleman said. “But we never could get one of those 8-0, 10-0 runs we’re usually able to put together. That’s just the way it falls sometimes.”
The Lady Roadrunners end their season at 29-4 and with a long list of accolades. Along with the program’s first-ever appearance at the national tournament, there were numerous individual and team awards. Mack capped her magnificent two-year career as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,471 points.
Other Lady Roadrunners playing in their final games in AC orange and blue were Mia Williams, Mia Perkins, Alexis Baston, Taylor Jacob, Diamond Johnson and Shelby Brown.
Asked how long it would take to get over the pain of the loss and focus instead on this year’s run, an emotional Coleman simply put his arms around Mack.
“I’m just proud of this group. They gave this program everything they had.”
Lady Roadrunners defeat McLennan in Orange Out Basketball Game
The team’s leading scorer, Natasha Mack, finished with 13 points on Wednesday, Nov. 28 well below her season average of 23 points per game.
The Lady Runners brought more than enough offensive firepower to take down McLennan College 79-60 at Shands Gymnasium to run Angelina College’s season-opening win streak to nine straight games.
Playing in just 23 of the 40 minutes, Mack nevertheless put up big numbers, finishing with the 13 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to notch her seventh double-double in nine games. Britney Thompson nailed four three pointers to lead the team with 14 points, Mia Williams added three more treys for 13 points and Taylor Jacob converted three long-distance shots to finish with 11 points.
AC showed a little rust from a 10-day break, converting just eight of 16 shots from the field and misfiring on all four three-point attempts in the first quarter. Still, the Lady Roadunners led the game 23-11 after eight minutes of play and 40-29 at the half.
Then Teeonna Barkley, who finished with nine points, got AC off to a quick start in the third period, as the Lady Roadrunners extended their lead to 20 points in cruising to a win in the team’s final non-conference game before league play begins on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The Lady Roadrunners stand at 9-0 for the season.
Lady Runners now 8-0 for season!
The Angelina College Lady Roadrunners extended their season-opening winning streak on Saturday, Nov. 17 while the Roadrunners started a new one.
The Lady Runners moved to 8-0 on the season with a 73-56 win againstr Hill College to cap the weekend’s Angelina Classic at Shands Gymnasium. The Roadrunners followed with an 82-70 win against Arkansas Baptist College to snap a four-game losing streak – with three of those losses occurring on the road.
AC’s Lady Roadrunners are not just beating teams during their eight-game, season-opening win streak. They are just plainly running away from people.
AC stayed unbeaten on the season with a convincing 73-56 win against Hill College Saturday, Nov. 17. The Lady Roadrunners’ average margin of victory over those eight games is 20.7 points.
Natasha Mack led AC’s Saturday attack with 26 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. Mia Williams hit four three pointers to finish with 14 points, Teeonna Barkley scored 12 points and Taylor Jacob added 10 in the win.
The Lady Roadrunners rode another strong start to the win, running out to a 22-9 lead duringthe game’s first eight minutes. AC would finish the game with 11 three pointers made, with Britney Thompson nailing three of those and Jacob another two.
After helping boost her Lady Roadrunners to a 5-0 start to open the new basketball season, Angelina College sophomore Natasha Mack has earned the NJCAA Division I National Player of the Week honors, following a three-game stretch in which the Lufkin product averaged 25.34 points and 12 rebounds per game.
The award marks the third time Mack has been named the National Player of the Week; she earned the honor twice in her freshman season.
Thus far in 2018-2019, Mack leads Region XIV in rebounds (11.2 per game) and blocked shots (six per game) and is second in the league in scoring with a 23.6 points-per-game average.
Mack is the daughter of Bonnie Lee and Anthony Mack.
McKelvey named assistant coach of year
Lufkin native instrumental in Lady Runner basketball success
He is an East Texas native and a graduate of Lufkin High School, so it only stands to reason that Angelina College women’s basketball assistant coach Randy McKelvey would use his roots to cultivate local talent.
Now in his fourth year as the Lady Roadrunner assistant coach – he spent the previous three years as a volunteer assistant – McKelvey is seeing his efforts rewarded: On Wednesday, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association named McKelvey the Assistant Coach of the Year for Two-Year Colleges.
McKelvey graduated Lufkin High School in 1999 and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in 2013. Later, he would earn his master’s degree in sports management from Southern New Hampshire University.
Known for his ability to recruit and develop players, McKelvey played a huge role in this year’s Lady Roadrunner team, its recent conference tournament championship win and its advancement to the national tournament, the first AC women’s basketball team in the college history to qualify for nationals. Before this year, he was part of developing seven All-Conference players.
This year, one of McKelvey’s recruits, Natasha Mack, earned the NJCAA Division I National Player of the Year award, as well as the Region XIV Conference Most Valuable Player.
One of his biggest contributions, however, came in the semifinal round of the recent conference tournament. With No. 4 Trinity Valley double- and triple-teaming Mack, McKelvey suggested a change in the game plan that worked well enough to propel the Lady Runners into the finals.
“Randy suggested moving Natasha out of the block and moving Mia Perkins down low,” head coach Byron Coleman said. “It was the perfect call for that situation, and Mia responded with a huge game for us.”
As for the award, McKelvey gave credit to both his head coach and the players.
“I really appreciate Coach Coleman giving me an opportunity to be a part of a program I’ve followed my whole life,” McKelvey said. “This school has given me the chance to grow as a professional. I was a student here at Angelina College.
“This is important to me because when I first got here, I said I wanted to see us put a banner up in our rafters, something we could all come back later and see it hanging and know we had a small part of it. This is all about these kids, this whole group. I feel blessed to be around it.”
McKelvey and his wife Zephanie live in Lufkin with their three children: Z’Nya, Randy III and Kobe.