By GARY STALLARD
AC Athletics (Photos by Daisy de Boer)
Travis Henson’s swat of a Rangers’ shot with 20 seconds to play in overtime helped preserve the Angelina College Roadrunners’ 78-75 win in Saturday’s conference opener at Shands Gymnasium.
With the ‘Runners’ clinging to a 76-75 lead and the clock winding down, Henson rose above the rim to reject Kilgore’s Tysen Banks’ shot, and AC’s Christyon Eugene grabbed the rebound. Draylon Brown knocked down a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to play in the extra frame, and Dwight Simon sealed the win with a steal in the paint as the clock ticked down to zeros.
The wild finish seemed fitting for a game in which the largest lead for either team after the beginning of the second half was four points. Eugene’s short jumper with 1:42 to play in regulation tied the game at 70-70, and defensive stops from both teams forced the extra period.
Henson led the Roadrunners with 18 points, seven rebounds and two big blocks. Eugene added 15 points and three assists, and Simon finished with 10 points and six boards.
Cameron Gooden led the Rangers with 22 points; Rodrigue Andela added 17.
The Roadrunners (2-5, 1-0) will take a break from conference play to host this week’s Lufkin Coca Cola Thanksgiving Classic beginning on Thursday. Eight teams will play 11 games over three days of tournament action.
Thursday’s schedule features Howard College vs. Navarro College at 3 p.m., Southwestern Christian College vs. New Mexico Junior College at 5 p.m. and the Roadrunners vs. Louisiana Christian Prep at 7 p.m.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is email@example.com.