Phil Hicks, email@example.com
The number 13 is not embraced by many, but for Tyler Junior College it has been lucky.
Thirteen basketball players will be honored between games Wednesday on “Sophomore Night” at Wagstaff Gymnasium.
The first game of the Region XIV doubleheader has the No. 12 Apache Ladies meeting Kilgore College at 5:30 p.m.
The men’s game between the Apaches and Rangers is scheduled to start around 7:30 p.m.
Apache Ladies coach Trenia Tillis-Jones and her assistant Precious Ivy will honor seven players who helped TJC to a national tournament berth a year ago, reaching the Elite Eight. In two seasons they have won 55 games with only nine losses. This season Tyler is 25-3 overall and 16-3 in Region XIV.
The sophomores are wing Jade Jones (Round Rock), guard Victoria Kemokai (Houston), wing Amber Driver (Spring), shooting guard Brittny Norris (Dallas), forward Jasmine Prophet (Houston), point guard Sandy Jackson (North Little Rock, Arkansas) and forward Chelsi Watson (Monroe, Louisiana).
The Lady Rangers, coached by former TJC player and coach Roy Thomas, are 7-18 and 4-14.
For the men, last year the Apaches were ravaged by injuries. This season, the sophomores have been a key in the bounce back year for Tyler.
Apaches coach Mike Marquis and his assistants Johnathan Edwards and Mitch Marquis will honor six players who have helped TJC to a 20-8 overall record and 10-8 in league play.
The sophomores are forward Levi Yancy (White Oak), guard Dominique Shaw (Lufkin), forward Faith Pope (Mount Pleasant, Iowa), center John Paul (Saint Lucia), forward Dale Jones (Waterloo, Iowa) and Tyler Miller (Milwaukee).
The Apaches would like to end the regular season a good note by defeating their rival Rangers (19-8, 11-6).
SMOKE SIGNALS: With the success of the UT Tyler women’s basketball team, it may mean the Region XIV Tournament may be moved from the Herrington Patriot Center next week to the Jacksonville ISD Gymnasium located on the old Lon Morris College campus in Jacksonville. The Region XIV tournament is scheduled to begin Tuesday, but if UT Tyler wins the American Southwest Conference tournament this weekend, the Patriots, ranked No. 1 in the South Region, may be awarded a regional next week, which would conflict with the Region XIV tournament. A decision will be announced as soon as possible Dr. Tim Drain, TJC athletic director, said.