The Tyler Junior College basketball teams split a pair of games on “Sophomore Day” at Wagstaff Gymnasium.
In the first game, the Apache Ladies defeated Blinn College, 92-75. In the men’s game, the Apaches started strong but could not hold off Lamar State-Port Arthur, falling to the Seahawks 70-55 in an entertaining Region XIV contest.
Both TJC teams will be in the Region XIV Tournament, which begins next week at Wagstaff Gymnasium.
The Apache Ladies are the No. 2 seed and will play No. 7 seed Angelina at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The Apaches are the No. 7 seed and will play the No. 10 seed Kilgore at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Freshman Keaira Arion scored 21 points to send her upperclassmen to the Region XIV tournament with a No.2 seed, breaking a two-game skid in the process.
Sophomores honored were Ericka House, Markisha Hawkins, Amber Ames, Ashley Benjamin, Cecilia Okoye, Shawnee Johnson and Jasmine Davis.
Benjamin contributed 19 points for Tyler with Okoye adding 13 points and Hawkins and Johnson each scoring nine.
Tyler led 40-34 at intermission and steadily pulled away from the Lady Bucs.
The largest lead by Tyler was when Okoye connected on 1 of 2 free throw attempts for a 84-61 advantage around the four-minute mark of the second half.
Shaniqua Dogins led Blinn with 15 points.
The Apaches recognized their two sophomores prior to their contest as Jaron Johnson and Abdi Nur received jerseys for their stay in Tyler.
TJC got off to a good start when they went on 17-0 run in the opening minutes of the contest as Hershey Robinson scored eight points and Johnson added four during the spurt.
Lamar State answered back with an 18-3 run at the nine-minute mark of the first half to take the lead 27-26 on two free throws from Shondel Stewart with 3:32 left before intermission.
The Apaches led at halftime 34-32.
With the game tied at 61-61 with 4:23 left in the contest the Seahawks scored six consecutive with four coming from Eldridge Moore and Jayon James connected a driving layup.
The Apaches pulled within two at 68-66 on two charity tosses from Trent Washington with 38 seconds left in the contest.
Robinson led the Apaches in scoring with 14 points and Johnson contributed 10 points with Tyler Brunson and Daniel Edozie each having nine points.
Lamar State was led by Elijah Pittman’s 17 points and 12 points from James.
Tyler 95, Blinn College 75
BLINN COLLEGE - Miki Turner, 10; Denise White, 8; Christie Mooney, 10; Joslinn Douglas, 8; Shaniqua Dogins, 15; Rebekah Cluley, 5; Velencia White, 6; Khalisha Lee, 2; Alycia Price, 8; Breanna Barnett, 3.
TYLER - Ericka House, 6; Markisha Hawkins, 9; Amber Ames, 6; Carolina Lopez, 7; Ashley Benjamin, 19; Keaira Arion, 21; Tayishia Hunt, 2; Cecilia Okoye, 13; Shawnee Johnson, 9.
THREE POINT GOALS - BC: Cluley, Douglas (2). TJC: Hawkins, Arion (2).
RECORDS - Blinn 21-8 (9-8). Tyler 23-7 (14-4).
NEXT UP - Paris at Blinn, 5:30 p.m. Monday. Region XIV Tournament: Angelina at Tyler, 6 p.m. Thursday.
Lamar State-PA 70, Tyler 66
LAMAR STATE COLLEGE - Lakeem Duncan, 6; Elton Roy, 3; Eldridge Moore, 8; Jayon James, 15; Elijah Pittman, 17; Brandon Peters, 9; Shondel Stewart, 12.
TYLER - Jaron Johnson, 10; Trevor Berkeley, 4; Trent Washington, 8; Tyler Brunson, 9; Hershey Robinson, 14; Kameron LaTouche, 2; Chris Coleman, 6; Ta’Jon Welcome, 2; Abdi Nur, 2; Daniel Edozie, 9.
THREE POINT GOALS - L: Roy, Pittman, Peters. T: Johnson, Washington, Robinson (4).
HALFTIME SCORE - Tyler 34, Lamar State 32.
RECORDS - Lamar State 23-7 (15-4). Tyler 17-11 (10-9).
NEXT UP — Region XIV Tournament at Wagstaff Gymnasium: No. 2 Lamar State vs. Tyler-Kilgore winner, 6 p.m. Friday; Tyler vs. Kilgore, 6 p.m. Wednesday.