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TYLER — Delvin Dickerson scored 18 points, all in the second half, to lift No. 1-seeded Paris Junior College to an 82-67 victory Thursday over No. 8-seeded Blinn College in a Region XIV quarterfinal game.
The Dragons (24-7) will play fourth-seeded Lamar State-Port Arthur (25-6) at 6 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Lamar State defeated No. 12 seed Angelina 93-82 on Thursday afternoon.
Paris had to rebound from a lethargic first half against Blinn (18-14), whom the Dragons had defeated 87-76 in Paris in December.
Jovan Austin led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Dickerson with 18, and Trevon Seymore with 16. For Blinn, Cornell Barnett scored 15, Jourdan Stickler 14, and Jalan McCloud 10.
Seymore kept the Dragons in the game the first half, when most of his teammates couldn’t seem to get a shot to fall. He made 4-of-9 field goals in the first 20 minutes, including a 3-pointer, plus 3-of-5 free throws for 12 of the Dragons’ 29 first-half points.
Austin also had a decent first half offensively, scoring seven points the first half and 13 the second half.
But the rest of the team struggled in the first half. Freshman guard Joe Haynes went 0-for-6 and uncharacteristically missed two wide-open lay-ups.
Taylor said: “I think a lot of that had to do with a new environment and the background being different. I’m pretty sure he saw those chairs or something. He threw one right into the rim, and I’ve never seen him do that.”
Brandon Scott, another freshman guard, went 0-for-3 the first half, and both Xavier Dupree and White went 0-for-2.
The second half was like daylight and dark, with the Dragons in total domination. Austin hit a quick 3-pointer to cut Blinn’s lead to 33-32, then made another basket for a 34-33 lead, and Paris never trailed again.But the rest of the team struggled in the first half. Freshman guard Joe Haynes went 0-for-6 and uncharacteristically missed two wide-open lay-ups.Taylor said: “I think a lot of that had to do with a new environment and the background being different. I’m pretty sure he saw those chairs or something. He threw one right into the rim, and I’ve never seen him do that.”
Brandon Scott, another freshman guard, went 0-for-3 the first half, and both Xavier Dupree and Ronnie White went 0-for-2.
The second half was like daylight and dark, with the Dragons in total domination. Austin hit a quick 3-pointer to cut Blinn’s lead to 33-32, then made another basket for a 34-33 lead, and Paris never trailed again.
“I thought we played a great first half,” said Blinn coach Scott Schumacher, a former Dragons head coach. “We were very focused and executed our offense.”
The numbers don’t lie: In the first half, Blinn shot 44 percent from the field to Paris’ 27 percent; the Bucs were 43 percent from 3-point land to Paris’ 11 percent; and Blinn shot 100 percent (6 of 6) on free throws to Paris’ 60 percent (12 of 20).
Paris changed the game early in the second half.
The Dragons, who trailed by four at halftime, went on an 11-2 run to take a 40-35 lead with 16:26 to play.
With the momentum swing, Paris switched to a full-court press that disrupted the offensive production Blinn put up in the first half.
“That hurt us,” Schumacher said. “They were able to take control of the game after that.”
Just six and a half minutes into the second half, the Dragons lead had outscored Blinn 25 to 6 to turn the 33-29 halftime deficit into a 54-39 lead.
Paris shot 53 percent from the field in the second half to Blinn’s 28 percent, and the Dragons drained 57 percent of their 3-pointers to Blinn’s 11 percent.
The most telling statistic of the game, Schumacher said, were Paris’ 15 offensive rebounds.
“When you get offensive rebounds, you don’t have to worry about running your offense, you just have to worry about putting the ball back up,” Schumacher said.
Taylor said he was pleased with his team defensively even in the first half.
“You know, I thought we did a great job defensively in the first half. We just didn’t score many baskets. Blinn shot a little better than we did, but not much. Our defense kept us in the game. We stepped up our defense even more in the second half, and that prevailed for us.”
After going 0-for-3 in the first half along with two rebounds, Dickerson was a man possessed over the last 20 minutes. He went 7-for-9, including a 3-pointer and including a slam dunk on Austin’s alley-oop pass that drew a standing ovation from his teammates
Dickerson made 3-of-4 free throws and pulled down eight rebounds..
White was a force on the backboards in the second half. He finished with eight points and nine rebounds,
“Defensively, Ronnie does so much for us. He really sets the tone defensively . We wouldn’t be where we are without him, that’s for sure,” Taylor said..
Nouhoum Bocoum, the Dragons’ other 6-9 center, had eight points and four rebounds.
“My message at halftime was, we was we’ve got to stay poised and focused on the defensive side of the ball. We’re going to defend, we’re going to cut down transition, and we’re going to make sure we protect our basket,”Taylor said.
Taylor said he told his sophomores the game was on their shoulders during the second half.
“I told them Joe Haynes is a terrific freshman, but he’s still just a freshman, and it’s up to you sophomores to step up your game,” Taylor said. “They responded terrifically. Our defense the second half was unbelievable. That’s what we’re all about.”
Taylor said he thought the day’s play on Tuesday because of icy weather worked to Paris’ advantage because Blinn was forced to play the Dragons without an extra day of rest.
“I think we were able to wear them down defensively because they did play yesterday,”he said.
”It’s been a fun year. You know, you think about it, we’ve been the top team two out of the last three years, and that’s what Paris basketball is about. i didn’t start this. This is something I inherited from Scott Schumacher, Bill Foy and Ross Hodge and Tom Schuberth, and last year wasn’t a lot of fun.”
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra