Three of Jacksonville College's seven sophomores stepped up Tuesday on Sophomore Night, ironically enough, to help propel the Jaguars to a 90-80 win over Lamar State Port Arthur in a Region XIV affair that was held at Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse in Jacksonville.
The win shot the Jags (22-7, 13-5 Region XIV) to the top of the South Zone standings where the Purple and White lead San Jacinto by a half game — San Jac was slated to have battled Lee College on Wednesday night (results not available as of press time).
The Seahawks slipped to 19-10, 9-9 following the loss.
The win allowed the Jags, who have now won their last six-straight conference games, to avenge a 97-72 defeat that the Seahawks doled out to the Jags when the two units faced off in Port Arthur a few weeks ago.
“We played a lot tougher (Tuesday)”JC head coach Jody Bailey said. “When we played them down there, we played soft, which is not characteristic of our ball club.”
Bailey said that the Jags got contributions from everyone this time around against Lamar St.
“Everyone that played contributed to the win,” he said.
Freshman Tyrell Springer led the Jags in scoring with 23 points — 21 of those came in the final half.
“Tyrell put our team on his back in the second half and carried us the rest of the way,” Bailey quipped.
Leading just 40-38 to start the final half, a huge second half was exactly what JC needed.
Other key contributors were a trio of JC sophomores.
Nimrod Hillard, Jr. tossed in 13 points, followed by Daniel Skinner and Chris Singhateh, with 10 apiece.
Bailey said it was a Singhateh three from the corner that pushed JC to a 82-79 lead, one that they were able to hold on the rest of the evening.
The Jags conclude the regular season by visiting San Jac (4 p.m. Saturday)
JC and San Jac have wrapped up the top-two spots out of the South Zone and first-round byes in next week's Region XIV Championship Tournament which will be played at UT-Tyler.
Should JC knock off San Jac on Saturday the Jags will be the South Zone champions.
JC has not won a zone title since 1985 according to Bailey.