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ATHENS, Texas — Paris Junior College appeared Wednesday night to have overcome the pre-game ejection of starting guard Trevon Seymore, but a couple of lapses in the final minute cost them in a 75-70 defeat at the hands of Trinity Valley Community College.
The win lifted the No. 9 nationally ranked Cardinals (20-2, 10-1) to not only undisputed first place in the North Zone of junior college Region 14 but the best record in either zone.
PJC’s Dragons, losing for the first time in nine games, fell to 16-5 overall and 9-2 in league play, tied with Kilgore, which beat Navarro 65-54 on Wednesday.
Paris’ Delvin Dickerson led all scorers with 25 points, backed by Joe Haynes with 16 points and Nouhoum Bocoum with 10 points.
Josh Robinson and Patrick Ingram led four TVCC players in double figures, with 14 points each. Octavius Ellis, the Cardinals’ 6-10 center, and Dedrick Basile added 12 points apiece.
Because of the technical called against Seymore for the pre-game altercation, the game began not with the usual tip-off between opposing centers, but with Trinity Valley getting two free throws, followed by possession out of bounds.
That got the Cardinals off to an early 6-0 lead, and then their largest lead of the game at 12-5 after seven and a half minutes.
But Dickerson scored 10 points, including two of his three 3-pointers, and the Dragons closed to 35-34 on Haynes’ jumper that just beat the halftime buzzer.
The lead changed hands several times in the second half before four baskets by Haynes and three by Dickerson gave the Dragons a 61-55 lead with 8:01 left in the game.
Ingram led Trinity Valley on an 11-5 run over the next four minutes for a 66-66 tie. Haynes drove for a lay-up that tied the game again at 69 with 2:06 to play.
Robinson made one of two free throw for a 70-69 Trinity Valley lead at 1:43, and when Dickerson’s 3-point shot rimmed out, the Cardinals got the big rebound with 1:07 to play.
PJC Coach Chuck Taylor needed one big stop from his team and got it. The Cardinals worked the 35-second shot clock but the Paris defense was tough. With one second left, Trinity Valley threw up a shot from outside. It missed.
Two PJC players were in position, but … Trinity Valley’s Basile wanted the ball more. He came out of nowhere, racing through the lane to seize the offensive rebound.
Instead of Paris getting possession trailing by a point with 31 seconds to play, Basile had the ball, Paris was forced to foul him, and he made one of two free throws to increase Trinity Valley’s lead to 71-69 with 31 seconds left.
With 17.7 seconds left, guard Jovan Austin drove the lane and missed, but was fouled in the process.
For most of the night, going to the free throw line was frustrating again, continuing a season-long void there. Austin made his first free throw to pull the Dragons within one point again at 71-70, but missed the second and when Robinson grabbed the rebound, the end was near.
Paris had to foul, and Robinson went to the line for a 1-and-1 with 16.1 seconds to play. A miss on the first try would have helped the Dragons, but that was not Robinson’s plan. He made both free throws to make it 73-70.
Taylor called a final time out at 0:13 to lay the plan for a 3-point shot that was needed to send the game into overtime. The ball came to Dickerson, who had already made half of Paris’ six 3-pointers in the game.
His shot with eight seconds left in the game missed, but Paris got the rebound, but another 3-point try with 3 seconds left also went awry.
Basile was there for the rebound, ending all hope. Paris fouled him with 2.7 seconds to play, and he added two more free throws for a 75-70 Trinity Valley win.
“Tough loss,” a somber Paris coach said. “You know, going on the road, the effort was good, but we just did some bad things at bad times.”
He added: “Some unforced turnovers. We just threw the ball to them at times, and we’ve got to rectify that. Right, wrong or indifferent, we lost to a good team. We’ve got a ways to go to get to where we need to be.”
Taylor wasn’t on the court at the time of the ruckus that resulted in Seymore getting ejected.
“Again, I’m proud of the effort. I’m not proud of a guy getting thrown out of the game. This was a tough game for something like that to happen to us,” Taylor said. “I’ve got to see the tape to find out what happened.”
One of seven eParisExtra photographs of the skirmish appears to show a member of the PJC group (not a player) threatening to throw a basketball at a Trinity Valley player. (Click pictures at the bottom of this page to enlarge.)
The coach said he isn’t sure what penalty remains under NJCAA regulations for Seymore, whom he has frequently described as “our glue. He’s what makes us tick.”
Paris (16-5, 9-2) — Delvin Dickerson 9 3-4 24, Joe Haynes 6 2-3 16, Nouhoum Bocoum 5 0-0 10, Jovan Austin 2 2-4 6, Brandon Scott 2 0-0 5, Ronnie White 2 1-3 5, Qua Doster 1 2-3 4. Totals: 27 10-17 70. Three-Pointers: 6 (Dickerson 3, Haynes 2, Scott 1). Total Fouls: 17. Fouled Out: Austin. Technical Fouls: Trevon Seymore, ejected for throwing a punch in a pre-game scuffle at mid-court.
Trinity Valley (20-2, 10-1) — Josh Robinson 4 3-4 14, Patrick Ingram 5 3-5 14, Octavius Ellis 6 0-1 12, Dedrick Basile 3 6-8 12, Malcolm Riley 2 2-2 6, Clarence Williams 2 2-2 6, Kentrell Washington 2 0-0 4, Dilepso Blanco 0 3-4 3, Aldonis Foote 1 0-1 2, Kevin Jordan 1 0-0 2, Nicholai Brown 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 19-27 75. Three-Pointers: 4 (Rob inson 3, Ingram 1). Total Fouls: 20. Fouled Out: None.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra
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