Weak finish dooms PJC Dragons in 76-70 road loss to Lamar State

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Charles “Trey” Bennett scored 14 straight points for Lamar State-Port Arthur as the Seahawks finished on a 19-3 run Wednesday night to rally from a 10-point deficit late in the game to defeat Paris Junior College 76-70.

It was a crushing defeat for the Dragons, who have blown late leads in three of their four losses this season.

Joe Haynes scores on lay-up to increase PJC's lead to 38-29 over Lamar State early in the second half. (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)

Joe Haynes scores on lay-up to increase PJC’s lead to 38-29 over Lamar State early in the second half. (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)

“Anytime you go on the road, you got to be road tough. You’ve got to finish. Unfortunately we didn’t finish tonight,” PJC head coach Chuck Taylor said at courtside after the game.

“It was a valiant effort, but you don’t win for playing 38 minutes or 37 minutes. We’ve got to learn to play 40 minutes to beat good teams. We’ve got to go back to the lab and keep working at it. It was a tough loss, but we’ve got to grow from it.”

Bennett led Lamar State with 26 points, backed by 22 points from Jovan “JoJo” Mooring, as the Seahawks improved to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in Region 14 play. Paris fell to 8-4 and 1-1.

Joe Haynes led Paris with 18 points, and Jovan Austin and Nouhoum Bohoum scored 16 points each.

With 4:30 to play, the Dragons led 67-57 and Bennett had only 10 points. Then, with Paris unable to score on its possessions, Bennett hit back-to-back 3-pointers followed by three free throws when he was fouled on his next 3-point shot, and it was 68-66 with 3:08 to play.

Bohoum’s put-back padded PJC’s lead to 70-66 at 2:41, and that was to be the last time the Dragons would score.

Bennett drove the lane for a basket, pulling Lamar State to within 70-68 at 2:24. After a miss by Haynes, the Seahawks pulled down the rebound and got the ball to the guy with the hot hand. Bennett threw down his fourth 3-pointer of the second half to give the Seahawks their first lead of the game at 71-70 with 1:40 to play.

A turnover resulted in a Lamar State fast break bucket for a 73-70 lead with 51 seconds to play, and the Dragons committed two more turnovers that forced them to foul, resulting in three more free throws as Lamar State nailed down a 76-70 victory.

Early in the game, PJC appeared on the verge of a runaway victory.

Haynes hit a 3-pointer just 16 seconds into the game, and Paris jumped out to a 15-6 lead at 15:06 of the first half. Lamar State got with 15-12, but Austin scored six points and Bohoum five points during an 11-0 run that gave the Dragons their biggest lead of the game at 26-12 with 7:25 left in the first half.

The Dragons led 32-18 with 3:06 to play in the first half, but Lamar State scored 11 of the next 13 points, cutting Paris’ lead to 36-29 at halftime.

In the second half, Paris’ lead ranged from four to nine points until Mooring converted on a couple of drives down the middle to tie the game at 47-47 with 11:48 remaining.

PJC's Ronnie White receives medical attention after he falls in pain after grabbing a rebound and throwing down a slam dunk at 7:56 of the second half. (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)

PJC’s Ronnie White receives medical attention after he falls in pain after grabbing a rebound and throwing down a slam dunk at 7:56 of the second half. (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)

Ronnie White scored inside and added a free throw, and Trevon Seymore made two free throws as Paris opened up a 52-47 lead. White scored twice more off rebounds, including a thundering slam dunk with 7:56 left for a 59-51 lead.

But White fell to the floor in pain after the dunk and after about five minutes was helped to the dressing room with an injury to the right knee or leg. He did not return, and there was no report on the extent of his injury.

Another basket inside by Bocoum and Xavier Dupree‘s 3-pointer made it 64-55, and a free throw by Bohoum an d a shot by Austin gave the Dragons a 67-57 lead with 4:30 to play — a lead that was not to last.

Anthony Allen, the Seahawks’ 7-foot-1 center scored 12 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and blocked six shots.

Although it was largely Bennett’s 3-pointers that did the Dragons in late in the game, Lamar State was successful throughout the game driving the lane and not only scoring, but drawing a foul in the process. Six times, the Seahawks made a basket in which they were fouled, and only once did they fail to complete the 3-point play.

Twice, PJC fouled a Seahawk while shooting a 3-pointer. Lamar State made five of the six free throws on those two opportunities.

For the game, Lamar State made 23-of-29 free throws (79.3 percent) to 11-of-16 (68.8 percent) for Paris.

The Seahawks made 7-of-21 three pointers, to 3-of-17 by Paris.

In other Region 14 men’s games on Wednesday, San Jacinto defeated Bossier Parish 97-70, Navarro defeated Coastal Bend 79-74, Lee defeated Tyler 94-91, Panola defeated Angelina 86-84, and Kilgore defeated Blinn 88-83 in overtime.

In the North Zone, Kilgore and Trinity Valley are atop the standings at 3-0, followed by Navarro at 2-1, Panola and Tyler at 2-2, Paris at 1-1, and Bossier Parish at 1-2.

In the South Zone, Lee is at 3-0, Lamar State at 3-1, San Jacinto at 2-1, Coastal Bend at 0-2, Blinn and Jacksonville at 0-3, and Angelina at 0-4.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra


PARIS (8-4, 1-1) — Jovan Austin 7-19 2-2 16, Trevon Seymore 0-4 1-2 1, Keith Shivers 1-5 0-1 2, Joe Haynes 6-12 4-5 18, Nouhoum Bocoum 7-9 2-3 16, Brandon Scott 0-4 0-0 0, Xavier Dupree 2-6 1-2 6, Qua Doster 1-3 0-0 2, Ronnie White 4-8 1-1 9, Phkil Roberts 0-4 -0 0. Totals: 28-74 11-16 70.

LAMAR STATE (9-3, 2-1) — Charles “Trey” Bennett ;8-13 6-6 26, D.J. Blanks 0-2 0-0 0, JoJo Mooring 6-17 8-9 22, Ivan Jelencic 1-3 0-0 2, Jamal Shabazz 3-6 3-4 6, Evan White 0-2 0-0 0, Erik Durham 0-2 00-0 0, Antonio Dawson 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony Allen 4-6 4-7 12, Cirkook Riak 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-54 23-29 76.

Halftime: Paris 36-29. Three-Pointers: PJC 3-17 (Austin 0-3, Seymore 0-1, Shivers 0-1, Haynes 2-3, Scott 0-3,, Dupree 1-5, Doster 0-1), Lamar State 7-21 (Bennett 4-7, Blanks 0-1, Mooring 2-5, Shabazz 0-1, White 0-2, Durham 1-5). Fouls: PJC 18, Lamar State 14. Fouled Out: Bocoum. Rebounds: Paris 35 (Seymore 10), Lamar State 39 (Jelencic 9, Allen 9).  Assists: PJC 10 (Austin 5), Lamar State 12 (Bennett 4, White 4). Blocks: PJC 1 (White), Lamar State 8 (Allen 6). Steals: PJC 10 (Austin 4), Lamar State 4 (Bennett 2).


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About the Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.