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The Lady Dragons of Paris Junior College finished the game on a 13-0 run, closing out a 47-33 victory over Kilgore on Saturday in a game in which they were tied twice but never trailed.
Voche’ Martin scored 14 points to lead PJC. Kelsei Ewings added 12 points, Shanice Vaughan 10, and Ashley Johnson 8. Amanda Lawson led Kilgore’s Lady Rangers with 11 points.
With the victory, Paris improved its chances of making the post-season conference tournament, which will be played from March 6-9 at UT-Tyler’s Herrington Patriot Center.
Paris is only 3-9 in Region XIVl, but the win is the Lady Dragon’s second in three games, and their four remaining regular season games are against Tyler, Panola and San Jacinto – all of whom also have nine or more losses.
“We control our own destiny,” Lady Dragons head coach Sean LeBeauf said. “And three of our last four games are at home.”
PJC’s three victories have come against better teams in the league – third-place Angelina, fourth-place Jacksonville, and fifth-place Kilgore.
Paris hosts Tyler (3-10) on Wednesday, San Jacinto (2-9) on Feb. 25, and Panola (5-9) on Feb. 27 before wrapping up the regular season at San Jacinto on March 2.
Only the top eight of the nine women’s teams in the conference will be in the tournament.
You might say both teams got a late start in Saturday’s game. It was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., but the officials assigned to referee the game thought it was a 4 p.m. start. So, the game got under way and finished about an hour behind schedule.
The Lady Dragons jumped off to a 10-2 lead and enjoyed a 24-12 lead before Kilgore scored six straight points, including a 10-footer just before the halftime buzzer on an in-bounds play.
“Then basically our first three possessions of the second half, we didn’t score,” LeBeauf said. But after letting Kilgore get to within 24-20, Paris opened up a 32-22 lead – their largest lead until the Lady Dragons made seven of eight free throws in the last two minutes to win by 14 going away.
“Defensively, we actually did a good job. We just didn’t rebound as well as we should have,” LeBeauf said.
Although Martin had 14 points and nine rebounds, she had trouble finishing around the basket,
“She really got down on herself, and I probably didn’t do a good job lifting her up,” he said.
Neither team made a 3-pointer, but the Lady Dragons only attempted two, while Kilgore put up 15 shots from outside. Paris had a big edge at the free throw line, making 15-of-18 to Kilgore’s 5-of-10.
Paris had a big edge on points scored “in the paint” – 26 to 10.
Both teams committed 19 turnovers. Kilgore scored 17 points off Paris’ errors, six more points than the Lady Dragons scored off the Kilgore turnovers.
In other Region XIV women’s games on Saturday, Trinity Valley remained undefeated in 13 conference games, beating Jacksonville (6-6) by 76-57, second-place Blinn improved to 11-1 with an 86-81 triumph over Angelina (8-5), and Panola defeated Tyler 59-56.
By CHARLES RICHARDS