Sports

Roadrunner soccer team tramples No. 4 Tyler

The Angelina College men’s soccer team pulled off an amazing 1-0 win Saturday, Oct. 5 against No. 4 Tyler Junior College to set off a wild celebration. After three years as a team, the Roadrunners finally had their first win against a ranked opponent.

Jack Price leapt the Tyler goalkeeper on a blocked shot and smoked the ball into the net in the 59th minute for the match’s lone goal, but the work from AC’s back line, including Roadrunner goalkeeper Sven Van den Oever, helped secure the program’s biggest win to date. 

Brad Lowes, Usman Sotomi, Joe Estrada and others continually pushed back on every Apache scoring run with Van den Oever slapping away two critical saves late in the match. When Van den Oever went down with an injury with just 28 seconds to play, Shane Wallace stepped in and, along with the rest of the defense, held off Tyler’s final charge.

The win gave the Roadrunners their second two-match winning streak of the season. More importantly, the win lifted AC into a tie with Coastal Bend Community College for the fourth-place spot in the Region XIV standings. The conference tournament at the end of the month will feature the league’s top four teams, and with five matches remaining in the regular season (all of those on the road), the Roadrunners have an opportunity to qualify for the post season for the first time in the program’s brief history.

Earlier in the day, the Roadrunner women fell 3-0 to No. 2 Tyler.

Both AC teams celebrated Sophomore Day in pre-match ceremonies. Roadrunner women playing in their final home games were Eva Phillips, Italli Suarez, Stefany Lopez, Bety Hernandez, Makayla Lewis, Jasmin Keller, Savannah Keziah, Bailey Bowers, Daisy de Boer and Sasha Moreira. 

Roadrunner men sophomores seeing their home finale were Elmer Hernandez, Jose Estrada, Fernando Marquez, Bryan Nunez, Brad Lowes, Matthew Lannan, Usman Sotomi, Eldi Seiti, Javier Montes and Mikolaj Stan. 

Angelina College’s Bety Hernandez, No. 9, fights off a Western Texas Defender during the soccer match Sunday Sept. 29.

Lady Roadrunners outscore Western Texas College

Fernanda Pena Nieto scored the first goal of the soccer match against Western Texas College on Sunday, Sept. 29 a mere four minutes into regulation time. 

Bety Hernandez scored twice in the first three minutes of the second half, and Daisy de Boer added a goal late to lead the Angelina College Roadrunner women to a 4-2 win.

The win moves AC’s women to 7-3 for the season and 4-2 in conference play and marks the team’s fifth win in the past six tries. 

Pena Nieto capitalized on Hernandez’s ball win in the corner. Hernandez sent a cross to the top of the box, and Pena Nieto did not miss the nets.

Hernandez then opened the second half with two quick scores, followed by de Boer’s open-netter set up with a great run from Pena Nieto.

The Roadrunner men lost 1-0 to the Westerners on Sunday to fall to 3-7-1, 2-5 for the year. AC’s men fought Ranger College to a double-overtime, scoreless draw on Saturday night before Sunday’s frustration.


AC soccer teams sweep Jaguars

In a chippy, testy and physical battle – and one that needed overtime to decide – the Angelina College Roadrunner soccer team pulled out a potential season-saving win on Friday, Oct. 4 at Jase Magers Field.

Scott Gray’s penalty kick in the 93rd minute found the back of the net and set off a wild celebration as the Roadrunners held off Jacksonville College 3-2.

Earlier, the Roadrunner women blanked the Jaguars 5-0 behind a pair of goals from Daisy de Boer.

The men’s win kept the Runners in the hunt for a post-season berth, while the women’s shutout marked the AC women’s fourth straight win to keep the team locked into the third-place spot in the conference standings.

The men jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Bryan Nunez and Ulises Mercado. AC led by those two goals at the half, but the Jaguars evened the match with a pair of scores early in the second half. With both teams just missing out on chances as the clock ticked down on regulation, the match entered overtime.

Just three minutes into the extra frame, the Jaguars were called for a penalty in the box, and Gray calmly stepped up and left-footed the ball past the goalkeeper to set off an energetic celebration. The win kept the Roadrunners just two games back of the fourth-place position in the standings. 

In the women’s game, de Boer was able to put on a show for her parents, who visited this week from Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. After Jasmin Keller and Fernanda Pena Nieto staked AC to a 2-0 lead in the first half, de Boer struck two quick goals in the second half, followed by a final goal from Avery Alexander in the 5-0 win. 

Angelina College’s Avery Alexander, No. 6, fights her way to a goal during the soccer match Friday, Oct. 4 against Jacksonville College. The Roadrunner women won 5-0, and the men followed with a 3-2 win against the Jaguars in overtime at Jase Magers Field.

Six baseball players earn JUCO All-Star positions.

The Angelina College Roadrunner baseball team sent six players to the NJCAA New Mexico/Texas Junior College Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game, the second-most number of players a Jeff Livin-coached team has sent in his time at AC.

Drew Shifflet, Dalton Roblin, Wes Gafford, Sawyre Thornhill, JoJo Munoz and Eric Worden have been named to the coveted event Saturday, Sept. 28 at Abilene Christian University in Abilene. 

Shifflet, a sophomore from Woden High School, appeared in 15 games in 2019 and posted a 4.61 ERA while going 4-2 for the season. His season finale was a gem, as he tossed a complete-game win against Wharton College in the Region XIV conference tournament. Shifflet finished the season averaging 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He also homered in his first official collegiate at-bat. 

Roblin, a sophomore from West Brook High School in Beaumont, evolved into the team’s designated closer. He appeared in 17 games and posted a 3.55 ERA. Roblin also struck out 13.09 hitters per nine innings pitched. 

Gafford, a product from Georgetown High School in Georgetown, developed into one of the team’s most reliable starters down the stretch. He finished with an ERA of 4.37, but closed out the season on a strong note, allowing just six earned runs during his final eight starts. 

Thornhill, who came to AC from nearby Huntington High School in Huntington, showed he is ready for prime time as a freshman. Thornhill hit .370 with 10 extra-base hits and 17 RBI in just 23 games played.  

Munoz from Los Fresnos High School, Los Fresnos, Texas, drove in 22 runs and hit .351 while anchoring the right-field position. Munoz also scored 27 runs and stole eight bases for the Roadrunners. 

Finally, Worden, a product of McCallum High School in Austin, pulled double duty in 2019, starring both at the plate and on the mound. 

He hit .364, drove in 12 runs and scored another 17 for the Roadrunner offense. He also posted a 2.08 ERA with 7.62 strikeouts per nine innings while appearing in six games as a pitcher. 

The baseball showcase opened Thursday, Sept. 26 and concluded Saturday, Sept. 28. 

The 2019-2020 Angelina College Roadrunner men’s basketball team, shown
during the Region XIV Media Day, has been picked to finish first in the South
Zone, according to a coaches’ poll released Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Coaches pick Roadrunner
basketball team for No. 1

Clearly, Angelina College head men’s basketball coach Nick Wade has made an impression and not just with his team’s fan base.

In his very first season at the helm, Wade and assistant coach Zac Kircher guided the 2018- 2019 Roadrunners to an 18-14 record, including a second-place finish in the Region XIV South Zone and a two-deep run in the conference tournament. The team accomplished those feats despite Wade’s having inherited just two returning starters.

At the Region XIV Media Day in Tyler Tuesday, Oct. 15, fellow coaches recognized Wade’s efforts – and progress – by picking the Roadrunners to finish first in the zone in the pre-season coaches’ poll. Blinn was picked second, Lamar State College-Port Arthur third, Jacksonville College fourth, Lee College fifth, Coastal Bend College sixth and Victoria College seventh.

Tyler Junior College was picked first in the conference’s East Zone.

In a pre-season interview held earlier this week, Wade spoke of last season’s successes and how tough it would be to carry them over into the new year.

“Last year was a good first step in this process,” Wade said. “I think the biggest thing I took from it all was the entire process and how important every single detail of the process is. Wins and losses will come and go, but there was a lot to be excited about. Those guys gave a tremendous amount of effort and heart, and they gave us a great first step in our building process here.”

For his second season, Wade will have the benefit of several returning players, and those men are expected to help the new faces transition into the staff’s expectations.

“They (the sophomores) know the foundational piece has been set, and I’ve got to give them credit,” Wade said. “Those returners have done a great job in keeping up with what we started last year and building on that. Guys are where they’re supposed to be, they’re working really hard and they’re representing the college with class. As long as they do that, we’ll continue the trend of doing things the right way.”

Byron Coleman’s Lady Roadrunners, coming off a 2018-2019 conference tournament win and an appearance in the national tournament, were picked fourth in the conference poll behind Trinity Valley, Tyler and Kilgore. The Lady Runners return just two starters from last year.

Following the 2018-2019 run, Coleman earned the NJCAA District L Coach of the Year award while assistant coach Randy McKelvey was named the WBCA’s Assistant Coach of the Year.

The Roadrunners host Up Tempo Academy at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 in the final scrimmage of the year. AC then will host McLennan College in the regular-season opener at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The Roadrunner women open the regular season as participants in the McLennan Classic in Waco (Nov. 1 and 2) and in the Tyler Classic in Tyler (Nov. 8 and 9) before hosting their first home game on Tuesday, Nov. 12 against Southern Shreveport. 

The 2019-2020 Angelina College women’s basketball team, shown during the
Region XIV Media Day, has been picked to finish fourth in the South Zone
by a coaches’ poll released Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Members of the Angelina College soccer team react to the final buzzer in their match Wednesday, Oct. 30. The No. 6 seed Roadrunners upset No. 3 Blinn College 5-4 in regional quarterfinals action in Bellville.

Men’s soccer team wins playoff game

The conditions could not have been any more miserable, but the result could not have been more beautiful for the Roadrunner soccer team.

In a driving rain, howling winds and frigid temperatures, the sixth-seeded Angelina College Roadrunner men’s soccer team upset No. 3 Blinn College’s soccer team 5-4 in Region XIV quarter-final action Wednesday, Oct. 30 in Bellville.

The win marks the first-ever post-season victory for any AC soccer team in the program’s four-year history while setting a new men’s mark for wins in a season with eight. 

This tournament appearance also marks the first time a Roadrunner men’s team has qualified for the playoffs.

The Runners raced out to a 3-0 first-half lead behind goals from Matt Gayle, Ulises Mercado and Edward Alderson, and then the team held off a furious late rally from the Buccaneers to close out the match and advance to the semifinals Saturday, Nov. 2.

Following two second-half goals from Scott Gray (who contributed two assists as well) and Jack Price (who netted the eventual game winner in the 82nd minute), AC found itself fending off Blinn’s late scoring spree. 

The Buccaneerss would score a pair of goals in a three-minute span with Farit Ha converting a penalty kick in the 87th minute to cut the Roadrunner lead to 5-4.

The teams then found themselves sent off the pitch when a storm rolled through, resulting in a 45-minute lightning delay with just 2:22 showing on the game clock. 

When they resumed action, Roadrunner defenders were able to prevent the Buccaneers from creating the equalizer, setting off a long-awaited postseason celebration in the rain. 

Angelina College’s Dwight Simon, No. 34, pulls down a rebound during the basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 5 against McLennan College. The Roadrunners fell to the highlanders 70-64 in their season opener at Shands Gymnasium.

Roadrunners fall to McLennan

For his team’s 2019-2020 debut, Angelina College head men’s basketball coach Nick Wade made sure his Roadrunners were going to jump straight into the fire.

AC’s season opener came against a very good McLennan College team, and the ‘Runners held up well for 34 of the game’s 40 minutes. The Highlanders put together a run starting with just under six minutes to play, eventually pulling away to win 70-64 Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Shands Gymnasium. 

The Runners led 57-54 with 6:32 to play in the contest when the Highlanders’ Akili Vining hit a three-pointer for the 57-57 tie. McLennan then put together a quick 7-0 run and held on late to drop AC to 0-1 to start the season.

AC’s Gwarren Douglas scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the first half. Christyon Eugene added nine points and Travis Henson seven in the loss.

AC soccer season comes to an end

A record-setting season for the Angelina College men’s soccer team came to an end on Saturday, Nov. 2 with the Roadrunners falling to No. 11 Tyler Junior College 3-1 in regional semifinal action in Tyler.

AC’s men had already set a new mark for wins in a season (eight) and qualified for the postseason for the first time in the men’s program history. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Blinn College, the Runners charted the first playoff win in AC’s short four-year soccer history and were a win away from qualifying for a berth in the national tournament.

The Apaches, however, held their home-field advantage, breaking a 1-1 tie at the half with two goals in the final 45 minutes. 

AC’s Taurayi Tugwete netted the Roadrunners’ first goal in the 15th minute, taking a perfect cross from Bryan Nunez and splitting the posts for his team’s lone score.

On Friday, Nov. 1, the No. 2 Apache women knocked out the Roadrunner women by an 8-0 score. 

AC’s men finished the season at 8-11-1 while the women ended 2019 with a 10-7-1 record.

Roadrunner sophomores seeing their final action in an AC uniform included Elmer Hernandez, Jose Estrada, Fernando Marquez, Bryan Nunez, Brad Lowes, Matt Lannan, Usman Sotomi, Eldi Seiti, Javier Montes and Mikolaj Stan.

Roadrunner women sophomores playing their last match included Eva Phillips, Italli Suarez, Bety Hernandez, Makayla Lewis, Jasmin Keller, Savannah Keziah, Bailey Bowers, Sasha Moreira and Daisy de Boer.

Bonanza kicks off basketball season

Craig Reese

Reporter

Angelina College’s Student Life department sponsored a men’s Basketball Tipoff-Bonanza in the AC Activity Center parking lot Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The event included free food and drinks and two bounce houses until 7 p.m. Also, Holy Smoke BBQ food truck was selling its barbeque.

The event preceded the opening AC Roadrunner basketball game for this season against the McLennan College Highlanders.

During halftime of the game, long-time sponsor and supporter of AC athletics Brookshire Brothers was honored.

Roadrunners go to tourney

The Roadrunner men’s soccer team reached a coveted milestone this year. After going 6-8 in conference play, AC’s men qualified for the conference tournament for the very first time. 

The accomplishment caps a season filled with plenty of adversity and uncertainty, with numerous close losses combined with some convincing wins. 

The Runners capped the regular season with a 3-1 win against Blinn Saturday, Oct. 26 in Brenham. Ulises Mercado, who leads the team with nine goals this season, scored a pair of goals, including a spectacular overhead kick to the nets. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the Roadrunners opened the postseason against those same Bucs.

Coach Matt Hubert said the team’s mindset is composed of both confidence and determination. 

“We’re all excited, especially after what happened Saturday night in getting such a big win,” Hubert said. “The past couple of weeks we’ve been right there as a ball club, and some unfortunate things have happened . . . that kept us from experiencing success. But it looks like we’ve gotten over that hump, and things are clicking right now. 

“There’s a lot of confidence among the guys right now. There’s not a guy in the locker room who doesn’t feel we can have some success in the playoffs.”

Travis Henson, No. 1, of Angelina College soars toward the rim for a dunk during the basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 12 against Lone Star College-Kingwood.The Roadrunner raced to a 97-54 win at Shands Gymnasium.

AC Roadrunner basketball teams sweep Southern University, Lone Star College

In their first home doubleheader of the season, the Angelina College women’s and men’s basketball teams put on offensive displays for the crowd with the Lady Roadrunners rolling to an 85-56 win against Southern University-Shreveport and the Roadrunner men coasting to a 97-54 win against Lone Star College-Kingwood.  

Lady Roadrunners 85, Southern University-Shreveport 56

The Lady Roadrunners got points from every player on the active roster in their game on Tuesday, Nov. 12, which they won 85-56 against the Lady Jaguars with Tyeisha Smith leading the way with 18 points in just 16 minutes of floor action. Mycah McDonald added 15, and Lovietta Walker and Tai Porchia each scored 12 points. Simran Mayfield put together a 6-point, 11-rebound, 2-assist night in helping AC’s ladies to their third win of the season.

AC’s defense was none too shabby, forcing 23 Lady Jag turnovers and converting those into 20 points.

Roadrunners 97, Lone Star College-Kingwood 54

Five Roadrunners scored in double figures – and AC’s men got a whopping 64 points off the bench – in the 97-54 win over Lone Star College-Kingwood Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Shands Gymnasium.

Riley Dewitz led AC with 13 points, knocking down a trio of three pointers. Travis Henson added 12 points, Christyon Eugene 11 and Dralyn Brown and Darius Smith pitched in with 10 points each to give the Roadrunners their first win of the young season.

After a bit of a sluggish first-half start, the Roadrunner offense ignited for an 8-0 run to close out the first half and extended that streak to open the second half to build a 20-point lead. 

Every Runner on the active roster scored.

Angelina College’s Mycah McDonald drives for a layup during the basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 12. The Lady Roadrunners rolled to an 85-56 win in their home opener at Shands Gymnasium.

Lady Roadrunners win against Odessa Wranglers

The Angelina College Lady Roadrunners kicked off the Angelina Classic in style on Thursday, Nov. 14 rallying for a 71-69 upset of No. 18 Odessa College at Shands Gymnasium. 

AC’s Derrica Gilbert converted a three-point play with 1:29 to play, giving the Lady Runners a 69-66 lead. 

Tyeisha Smith added a free throw with 1:05 to play, but the Wranglers’ Matilda Ahlberg drilled a three to cut the AC lead to 70-69. 

Another Smith free throw with :12 to play gave the Lady Roadrunners a two-point lead, and with Odessa winding the clock and playing for a final shot, Lovietta Walker swiped a steal following a Wrangler rebound to secure the win. 

All that excitement transpired after the Lady Roadrunners fell behind 10-0 to open the game. Byron Coleman said his team’s offense was not as much to blame as the defense. 

“We started blocking out a little better and playing better defense,” Coleman said. “We can’t score if we don’t get stops. Once we got locked in defensively, we started scoring.

“We didn’t get the ball to our shooters as much as we’d like, and we’ve got to do a little better job making that extra pass.”

The upset provided his team a boost after the previous weekend’s close-but-disappointing loss to the fifth-ranked team (Northwest Florida State) in Tyler.  

“It gives us a major lift, especially after losing to the No. 5 team last weekend,” Coleman said. “We’re hanging in there, but everything we’re doing is setting us up for conference play. 

To come back tonight with a great effort against such a strong team really gives us a big lift.”

Walker and Smith each finished with 22 points to lead AC scorers. Tai’ Porchia added nine points and Simran Mayfield eight.  

Lady Roadrunners win second game of Angelina Classic

A night after pulling off a nerve-wracking upset of the nation’s 18th-ranked team on Friday, Nov. 15, Angelina College’s Lady Roadrunners on Saturday, Nov. 16 put the drama to bed early in blowing past Chattahoochee Valley Community College 95-70 in Day Two of the Angelina Classic at Shands Gymnasium.

Britney Thompson drilled a trio of three pointers in the first quarter to stake the Lady Runners to a double-digit lead midway through the first quarter, and AC would pad that lead to as many as 29 points by game’s end.

Tyeisha Smith led AC’s scoring with 26 points, giving her 48 during the tournament’s first two games. Lovietta Walker added 15 and Tai Porchia another 12 in the win. Simran Mayfield flirted with a triple-double, finishing with eight points, eight rebounds and six assists. Thompson would finish with nine points on the night.

Earlier in the day, Tyler Junior College defeated LSU-Eunice by an 88-77 score, and No. 18 Odessa College held off Panola College 52-48.

Tai Porchia, No. 30, of Angelina College drives against LSU-Eunice defender during the basketball game Saturday, Nov. 16.

Lady Roadrunners round out Angelina Classic with win

Angelina College’s Lady Roadrunners capped the Angelina Classic with an undefeated three-game run, but the team got perhaps its biggest push on the final day, Saturday, Nov. 16.

The Bengals of LSU-Eunice gave the Lady Runners all they could handle, holding the lead throughout most of the first half before AC found another gear to win 90-84 at Shands Gymnasium.

Tai Porchia finished with a double-double to lead AC, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Tyeisha Smith scored 23 points, leaving her with 71 points across three days. 

Simran Mayfield added 13 points, Lovietta Walker 12 and Derrica Gilbert 11 for the Lady Roadrunners, who move to 6-2 on the season.

The Bengals led for all but 30 seconds of the first quarter and regained the lead in the second by as many as seven points. The teams entered the half-time locker rooms tied at 37-37.

AC finally built a cushion with a 10-3 run early in the third period with Gilbert knocking down a three pointer and scoring seven of her 11 points in a two-minute span. 

Porchia and Smith then scored the Lady Runners’ final seven points to help hold off the Bengals.

Angelina College’s Tayvion Johnson, No. 15, throws down a dunk during the basketball game against Victoria College. The Roadrunners won their third straight, beating the Pirates 79-60 at Shands Gymnasium.

Streak of wins continues for men’s basketball team

Angelina College’s Roadrunner basketball team extended its conference winning streak to three straight games after beating Victoria College 79-60 Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Shands Gymnasium.

Earlier in the week, the Roadrunners entered the Texas Hoops Junior College Power rankings for the first time this season, coming in at No. 11 in the nation. 

Christyon Eugene led the ‘Runners with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. 

Braxton Foreman connected for 11 points, and Dwight Simon finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Ovidio Perez added nine points and seven rebounds. 

The Roadrunners finished the game with 45 rebounds, getting 15 second-chance points for their efforts.

A stubborn Victoria team, winless on the season, pushed to within six points of AC’s lead at 64-58 with 5:28 to play. 

But the Roadrunners put together a solid late-game run, outscoring the Pirates 15-2 during the final five minutes.

The Roadrunners now stand at 11-8 for the season and 6-2 in district play. 

Angelina College’s Simran Mayfield, No. 5, drives the baseline past Paris College defender Keuna Cummings, No. 4, during the basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18.

Lady Roadrunners run past Lady Dragons

With their leading scorer on the bench with an injury, the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners were hoping to find at least one player to help pick up the slack in a key conference matchup against Paris College Saturday, Jan. 18.

AC found more than enough scoring in the 76-61 win against the Lady Dragons at Shands Gymnasium.

Tai Porchia finished with a double-double, leading the Lady Runners with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

 She also added four blocked shots to her stat sheet. 

Britney Thompson added 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals; Mycah McDonald finished with 15 points and four steals; and Lovietta Walker added nine points, six assists and three steals. 

Lifting the Lady Roadrunners to a 12-6, 4-3 record.

A glance at the shot chart shows the Lady Roadrunners doing most of their scoring damage in the paint with the AC defense converting turnovers into transition layups. 

The team connected on five three pointers, with Thompson dropping in three of those, while relying on the defense to create scoring opportunities.

The Lady Roadrunners extended a one-point second-quarter lead at 24-23 with a 15-2 run but had to fight off a determined Lady Dragon attack in the third period. 

Paris’s Skye Watts hit three pointers on back-to-back possessions to cut the AC lead to two points at 41-39. 

Only to see McDonald and Porchia string together eight straight points to pad the lead for the good. 

Angelina College’s Lovietta Walker, No. 24, slices between Blinn College defenders Keaundra Eddings, No. 10, and Kristine Ezimako, No. 23, during the basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 22. The Lady Roadrunners fell 82-81 in overtime at Shands Gymnasium.

AC Lady Runners narrowly lose to the Blinn College Lady Bucs in home game

A short-handed Angelina College Lady Roadrunner basketball team battled Blinn College’s Lady Bucs a full 45 minutes in overtime before dropping an 82-81 heartbreaker Wednesday, Jan. 22 at Shands Gymnasium. 

Lady Runner Simran Mayfield hit a free throw with 15 seconds to play in regulation time to tie the score at 71-71, and the AC defense did its job to thwart a potential game winner from the Lady Bucs.

Blinn then built a six-point lead early in the OT frame, only to see the Lady Roadrunners fight back to cut the lead to 82-81 on Lovietta Walker’s bucket with 32 seconds to play. Two missed Lady Buc free throws with 14 seconds to play gave AC a chance, but a pair of field goal attempts in the final seconds refused to drop for the Lady Roadrunners, leaving the Bucs with the one-point win.

Five of the Lady Roadrunners logged more than 35 minutes in the fast-paced contest while the Bucs used a big bench to keep a steady rotation going all game long. Despite playing short-handed, AC managed to build a nine-point lead early in the fourth period. 

But Blinn managed to erase the deficit with a 12-2 run, and the Lady Bucs took sole possession of third place in the Region XIV conference standings.

The Lady Runners stand at 12-7 for the season and 4-4 in conference play.

Angelina College’s Chance Brown, No. 20, hits a tough shot over Lee College defender Cheikh Ndiaye, No. 24, during the basketball game Saturday, Jan. 25. The Roadrunners held off the Rebels 88-83 at Shands Gymnasium.

Roadrunners gain fifth straight win

Prior to Roadruners’ basketball game Saturday, Jan. 25, Angelina College head coach Nick Wade posed for a photo with long-time Lee College head coach Roy Champagne. 

Wade spent three years as an assistant coach with the Runnin’ Rebels and credits Champagne with giving him his start in Region XIV basketball – one of the nation’s toughest leagues.

When the ball went up for the opening tip, however, the student was ready to show his mentor just how much he had learned.

Wade’s Roadrunners made several key plays late to help AC to an 88-83 win at Shands Gymnasium, giving the Runners their fifth straight win in league play. 

Kyron Gibson swiped a big steal with 47 seconds to play and then converted a pair of free throws late to hold off the Rebels. 

In addition to padding the winning streak, the first-place Roadrunners, with a 13-8, 8-2 record for the season, extended their lead in the South Zone standings to three full games over Lee College.

Travis Henson led the Runners in scoring with 17 points, hitting nine of his 11 free-throw attempts. Christyon Eugene added 14 points and Gibson 10 in the win. Dwight Simon pulled down 11 rebounds as part of AC’s 44-29 edge in rebounding. .

The Rebels built an eight-point lead in the first half and led by five points by the break, but the Roadrunners responded with a 17-5 run to open the second half. 

A Cruz-Paris three pointer with 2:54 to play cut the AC lead to 81-80, but free throws from Henson and Riley Dewitz, sandwiched around a Eugene field goal, help keep the Rebels from mounting a final charge.

Photo by  Gary Stallard, AC Athletics

Angelina College’s Tai Porchia, No. 30, lifts a shot over Tyler Junior College defenders during the basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Lady Runners beat No. 10 Lady Apaches

The Angelina College Lady Roadrunner basketball team was so short-handed on Wednesday, Feb. 12 even the assistant coach was missing in action.

Yet with key players out, others struggling with nagging injuries and assistant coach Randy McKelvey out with the flu, the Lady Runners managed to pull off a stunning upset of the No. 10 Tyler Junior College Lady Apaches, winning convincingly 92-75 at Shands Gymnasium. 

Lovietta “Pinky” Walker and Tai Porchia each scored 22 points with Porchia adding 12 rebounds for the double-double. Mycah McDonald scored 11 of her 18 points in the first quarter, and Derrica Gilbert drilled five three pointers to finish with 18 points.

AC’s women raced out to a 13-point lead in the first period with McDonald breaking free for several fast-break layups. Gilbert nailed two of her threes in the same quarter.

Tyler chipped away in the second quarter, eventually trimming the AC lead to just two points at 44-42 right before the end of the half. 

The Apaches again moved to within a bucket at 62-60 with 1:23 to play in the third quarter, but the fourth and final period belonged to the Lady Roadrunners. AC put together a 12-0 run to take control the rest of the way.

The Lady Roadrunners now stand at 14-10 for the season and 6-7 in regional play. 

Photo by Gary Stallard, AC Athletics

Seven-year-old George Hall Henderson V delivers the first pitch prior to baseball’s doubleheader between Angelina College and McLeannan College Saturday, Feb. 8 as part of his birthday celebration.

McLennan College Sweeps Roadrunners

AC baseball player Drew Shifflet appeared to be on cruise control in his Saturday, Feb. 8 start against No. 7 McLennan College.

The sophomore right hander held the Highlanders scoreless for three innings in the opener eventually giving up an earned run in the fourth. 

But in the sixth inning, the Roadrunner defense allowed the Highlanders too many opportunities.

Leading to a six-run McLennan inning and an eventual 10-3 Roadrunner loss. 

The Highlanders completed the sweep with a 4-2 win in the nightcap. 

In the first game, AC took a quick 1-0 lead when MacRae Kendrick led off with a triple high off the wall in center field.

Kendrick then would score on a wild pitch.

In the second inning, Sawyre Thornhill led off with another triple and scored on a wild pitch.

Dylan Bourgeois singled and would also come around to score for a 3-0 AC lead. 

That was all the scoring for the Runners.

s the Highlander pitching staff shut down AC hitters during the final five innings.

In the nightcap’s 4-2 loss, the Roadrunners got RBIs from Thornhill and Josh Youngblood. 

The Roadrunners now stand at 1-5 for the season.

Photo by Gary Stallard, AC Athletics

Angelina College pitcher James O’Neal, No. 44, Saturday, Feb 8.

Roadrunners in practice

Photos by Esmeralda Ramos

Assistant men’s basketball coach  Zac Kircher guides basketball players at practice in Shands Gymnasium on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
AC Roadrunners basketball team practice in Shands Gym on Tuesday, Feb. 11.