TJC vs Blinn

TJC's Desmond Balentine drives the ball against Blinn College at TJC's Wagstaff Gymnasium in Tyler, Texas on Monday, January 8, 2018.(Schuyler Wick/Tyler Morning Telegraph).

Micah Thomas got the Apaches going and Desmond Balentine took them to the finish line as No. 22 Tyler Junior College defeated Blinn College 85-73 on Monday at Wagstaff Gymnasium.

Thomas, a 6-7 freshman sharpshooter from Memphis, Tennessee, hit his first five shots — four of which were 3-pointers — to jumpstart the Apaches (14-1, 3-1 Region XIV).

When Blinn pulled within five in the second half, it was ball-handling skills of Balentine that helped TJC pull away.

Balentine, who hit 8 of 9 free throw attempts, led TJC with 21 points, followed by Thomas with 17. Trenton Sandifer and Brian Warren were next with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Tajuan Agee led TJC with eight rebounds, while Edra Luster had seven boards.

Gianni Ford led Blinn (10-4, 2-3) with 18 points with Markques Houston adding 14 points. Big Tony Lewis added 12 points and seven rebounds.

TJC returns to play on Wednesday, traveling to Pasasdena to meet the San Jacinto Ravens. Blinn plays host to Trinity Valley.

The Apaches will be home on Saturday to face Coastal Bend at 4 p.m., following the Apache Ladies game with Panola at 2 p.m.

In other men’s games on Monday: Bossier Parish 83, Coastal Bend 76; Panola 88, Angelina 79; Trinity Valley 84, Lee 69; Navarro 84, Jacksonville 82; Kilgore 78, San Jacinto 67; and Paris 79, Lamar State-Port Arthur 63.

———

No. 22 Tyler JC 85, Blinn 73

Blinn                              35   38    — 73

Tyler JC                         46   39    — 85

BLINN—Fred Tottenham, 3; Anthony Rice, 0; Antione Lister, 7; Gianni Ford, 18; Tyrus Grayson, 1; Curtlon Wesley, 4; Bradley George, 2; John Brown, 4; Markques Houston, 14; David Johnson, 2; Kae’ron Baker, 3; Jaylen Rhone, 3; Tony Lewis, 12.

TYLER JC—Joseph Clark, 0; Cameron Johnson, 8; Brian Warren, 10; Micah Thomas, 17; Desmond Balentine, 21; Lukas Bergang, 4; TiAndre Jackson-Young, 2; Edra Luster, 5; Trenton Sandifer, 11; Tajuan Agee, 7.

THREE POINT GOALS—BC: Tottenham, Lister, Ford (4), Houston (4), Baker, Rhone. TJC: Thomas (4), Balentine, Sandifer (3), Agee.

FREE THROWS—Blinn 7 of 10; Tyler 24 of 29.

RECORDS—Blinn 10-4 (2-3), Tyler 14-1 (4-1).

NEXT UP—Trinity Valley at Blinn, 7 p.m. Wednesday; Tyler at San Jacinto, 7 p.m. Wednesday.

TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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