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Paris Junior College burst out of the gates like a house afire Wednesday night, racing to a 64-39 halftime lead over the Texas Wesleyan junior varsity before pulling back for a 93-64 victory.
Dragons coach Chuck Taylor cleared his bench, getting extended minutes out of all 15 players on his bench as PJC improved to 7-2 on the season, with both losses coming by close margins to nationally ranked teams.
Backup center Nouhoum Bocoum led the way for the Dragons with a season-high 20 points. Starting center Ronnie White and backup point guard Brandon Scott added 14 points each.
The Texas Wesleyan JV unit got almost half its points from shots outside.
The Rams, who brought only nine players, made 10-of-23 three-point tries. Patrick Listach led the way with 14 points, Drew Nunley added 12 points and Vance Montgomery added 10 points.
The Dragons easily got inside for most of their points, trying only 12 three-pointers and making only two.
Bocoum, a 6-9, big-bodied sophomore from Brooklyn, got his points on 9-of-13 shooting inside and 2-of-2 free throws and also pulled down 5 rebounds and picked up a steal.
White, a quicker, leaner 6-9 sophomore from Chicago, added 14 points on 6-of-9 field goals and 2-of-4 free throws with 6 rebounds, 1 assist and a huge 6 blocked shots.
A third 6-9 player, Xavier Dupree of Houston, who plays more like a power forward, had 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block shot.
Two other centers also got significant playing time — 6-8 freshman Phil Roberts of Independence, Kan., had 8 points and 3 rebounds; 6-6 freshman Andre Barnes of Conroe, Texas, had 4 points and 3 rebounds.
Taylor said the Dragons easily dominated the rebounds, as he had expected they would, winning that battle 53-to-22. Most times, it was “one and done” for the Texas Wesleyan JV, as Paris pulled down most of the missed shots.
The Dragons have one more game at home, at 2 p.m. Saturday against Division II Eastfield College of Dallas, before opening Region XIV play here at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Blinn, which lost 88-84 to a tough McLennan team on Wednesday in a game matching two unbeaten teams.
McLennan, at 10-0, is one of two remaining undefeated Division I men’s junior college teams in Texas, along with South Plains College (7-0).
Blinn (7-1) is the third Texas team to lose its unbeaten status in a week’s time. Ranger College, after an 0-8 start, inflicted two of the setbacks.
A day after PJC pulled away from a 21-19 lead to defeat Ranger handily, 52-37, on Friday in a four-team tournament in Athens, Ranger handed Trinity Valley (now 7-1) its first loss, 52-46, on the same court.
Tuesday night, Ranger improved to 3-8 with a 68-66 win in overtime over previously unbeaten Howard County (now 7-1).
But records before conference play begins aren’t always meaningful. None of Blinn’s seven wins came over Division I junior conference teams. The Buccaneers beat the Houston Blaze 111-107, Houston Community College 122-83, Lone Star-Kingwood 133-83, Lone Star-Tomball 127-48, Texas Southern Club team 118-92, and Victoria College by 106-62 and 65-62.
Paris’ two losses were 79-75 to still unbeaten South Plains, ranked No. 9 in the preseason junior college poll, and 77-72 in overtime to Coffeyville (Kan.), whose only loss was to Trinity Valley 76-63, in a then battle of unbeatens in Athens, the same day that Paris beat Ranger.
Paris’ wins were by 74-71 over Collin County, 70-56 and 70-57 over Murray State, 52-37 over Ranger, 74-70 over North Lake Community College of Dallas, plus two wins over junior varsity teams — 96-49 over Oklahoma Baptist JV and 93-64 over Texas Wesleyan JV.
The Dragons’ game here against Blinn on Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, wraps up a four-game homestand.
Eight days after its home game against Blinn, Paris has its longest road trip of the season, a trip of about 450 miles to Beeville (50 miles northwest of Corpus Christi), to play Coastal Bend (5-1), which is in its second year in Region XIV.
Texas Wesleyan JV 39-25–64
Paris Dragons 64-29–93
PARIS (7-2) — Jo’vone Haynes 2-4 0-0 6, Delvin Dickerson 2-6 0-0 4, Trevon Seymore 2-3 0-0 4, Ronnie White 6-9 2-4 14, Jovan Austin 4-7 0-0 8, Keith Shivers 2-5 0-0 4, Brandon Scott 5-5 4-4 14, Henoc Bienne 0-2 0-0 0, Phil Roberts 3-6 2-5 8, Drew Arredondo 0-2 0-0 0, Qua Doster 2-4 0-0 4, Nouhoum Bocoum 9-13 2-2 20, Xavier Dupree 1-3 1-1 3, Andre Barnes 1-2 2-2 4, Tsvonti Daniesl 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 39-72 13-18 93. Three-Pointers: 2-12 (Haynes 2-3, Seymore 0-1, White 0-1, Austin 0-2, Bienne 0-1, Doster 0-2, Dupree 0-1, Daniels 0-1). Rebounds: 53 (White, Shivers, Dupree 6 each). Fouls: 11. Fouled Out: None. Assists: 15 (Austin 4). Blocked Shots: 8 (White 6). Steals: 9 (Seymore, Shivers, Scott 2 each).