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By CHARLES RICHARDS
Mike Harmon went berserk from outside Wednesday night, draining seven 3-pointers in a span of 12 minutes, leading Paris Junior College to an 80-65 victory over Panola College..
The win wrapped up the regular season for the Dragons (15-15 overall, 9-10 in conference). Panola fell to 8-20, 0-18.
Eddie Leal and Delvin Dickerson added 11 points each. All of Leal’s points and eight of Mitchell’s came in the first half, providing the spark for Paris’ 36-27 halftime lead.
JaRon Denmark had 19 points and Marquis Yates 16 for Panola, which fell to 0-18 in conference play and 8-20 overall.
In other Region XIV action, Tyler (21-7, 12-6) defeated Navarro 65-58 to sweep its home-and-away series with the Bulldogs and create a first-place tie in the North Zone between Navarro and Kilgore at 14-4.
Trinity Valley beat Bossier 90-72, Blinn clinched the No. 12 seed over Bossier and Panola by beating Coastal Bend 72-62, San Jacinto beat Lee 101-96, and Jacksonville beat Lamar-Port Arthur 90-80.
A 3-pointer by Denmark and a put-back by Josh Brannon pulled Panola with a point at 26-25 with 3:48 to play in the first half. But Antonio Arnold and Harmon answered with 3-pointers to spark a 10-2 run into halftime.
Two goals inside by Mitchell and a three-point play by Dickerson increased Paris’ lead over Panola to 43-29 in the first two and a half minutes of the second half.
Then Harmon took over, hitting 3-pointers on the next three times Paris went down court. Anthony Adams stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a lay-up, and 6-11 Marcus Holt added an exclamation mark with a slam dunk on an alley oop pass.
Paris led 57-41 with 11:20 to play, and Harmon went crazy again, hitting 3-pointers on each of the Dragons’ next three possessions, and the lead was 23 at 66-43.
Paris coach Chuck Taylor emptied his bench in the second half. That was in his game plan anyway, since Panola was going with only seven players and he wanted to keep running fresh players at the Ponies.
Harmon, a 5-9 sophomore from Houston, finished with a game-high 21 points. Mo Mitchell, a 6-6 sophomore from Atlanta, Ga., backed him up with 12 points, all on tough baskets inside, mostly on put-backs.
Paris will be the No. 9 or 10 seed in next week’s Region XIV tournament at the Herrington Patriot Center on the UT-Tyler campus.
Angelina is at Lamar State-Port Arthur on Saturday. If Angelina wins, Paris’ first game in the tournament will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday as the No. 9 seed. If Lamar State-Port Arthur wins, Paris’ first game will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday as the No. 10 seed.
Kilgore can clinch the No. 1 seed in Region XIV with a win at Tyler on Saturday.
For Navarro to get the top seed, Kilgore must lose and Navarro must beat Trinity Valley.
If both Kilgore and Navarro lose, Kilgore will still get the top seed if San Jacinto defeats Jacksonville. Otherwise, Jacksonville would get the No. 1 seed.
Navarro must finish ahead of Kilgore. If both win or both lose, they’ll finish with the same record, and Kigore has the tie-breaker over Navarro. The two teams split their two games against each other, and the next tie-breaker is the record against other teams in the North Zone. Going into Saturday’s games, Kilgore has a 7-2 record against the six other North Zone teams (losses to Navarro and Paris), while Navarro is 6-3 (two losses to Tyler and one to Kilgore).
After winning that tie-breaker with Navarro, the process then is to break the tie with the team from the other zone. Kilgore has the tie-breaker over San Jacinto, which it defeated in inter-zone play 75-66. A Kilgore-Jacksonville tie would be resolved in Jacksonville’s favor because the Jaguars defeated Kilgore 89-82. (Navarro beat Jacksonville, and San Jacinto defeated Navarro, but those results are irrelevant.)
If Tyler does knock off Kilgore on Saturday, it will have the same 13-6 record as the loser of the Jacksonville-San Jacinto game, and Tyler has the tie-breaker advantage over both those teams. However, that is trumped by a conference rule that guarantees two teams from each zone a Top 4 seed and first-round bye.
Having the best record in a zone does not guarantee one of the top two seeds. If both Kilgore and Tyler win, giving them 15-4 conference records, they would be seeded No. 1 and No. 2 respectively; the Jacksonville-San Jac winner would be the No. 3 seed with its 14-5 record; and the loser with its 13-6 record would be the No. 4 seed.
Beating Kilgore -WOULD- assure Tyler of the No. 5 seed. However, if Tyler loses and Lee beats Coastal Bend, both Tyler and Lee would have 12-7 records and Lee would be the No. 5 seed and Tyler the No. 6 seed — because Lee defeated Tyler 73-62 on Dec. 8.
Panola (8-20, 0-18) – Ben Merritt 3 3-6 9, Gilbert Carter 3 2-2 9, Patrick Branch 1 0-0 2, Marquis Yates 6 0-0 16, JaRon Denmark 7 1-6 19, Josh Brannon 4 2-2 10. Totals: 24 8-16 65. Three-Pointers: 9 (Yates 4, Denmark 4, Carter 1). Fouls: 16. Fouled Out: Nonr.
Paris (15-15, 9-10) – Antonio Arnold 3 1-2 10, Mike Harmon 7 0-0 21, Anthony Adams 1 0-0 2, Chris Jones 1 2-2 4, David Tucker 0 0-0 0, Delvin Dickerson 4 3-5 11, Eddie Leal 4 1-1 11, Lamar Walker 1 1-2 3, Sheldon Yearwood 0 0-0 0, Marcus Holt 2 2-5 6, Courtney Austin 0 0-0 0, Mo Mitchell 6 0-0 12, Will Ransom 0 0-0 0. Totals: 29 10-19 80. Three-Pointers: 12 (Harmon 7, Arnold 3, Leal 2). Fouls: 13. Fouled Out: None.