Article Courtesy of Phil Hicks, Tyler Morning Telegraph
JACKSONVILLE - When the game got tight, Tyler Junior College coach Mike Marquis went to his playmaker to make sure there was no first-round upset on Tuesday.
Freshman point guard Brian Warren scored eight of his team's final 11 points to lead the No. 18 Apaches to an 81-72 victory over the Navarro Bulldogs in a Region XIV Basketball Tournament game at Jacksonville ISD's John Alexander Gymnasium.
No. 5 seed Tyler Junior College (24-4) advances to meet No. 4 Lee College (20-10) at 3 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs ended their season at 12-18.
After enjoying as much as a 16-point lead, the Apaches saw their advantage shrink to 73-71 and Navarro coach Michael Landers called a timeout with 2:00 on the clock.
That's when Warren, who has the nickname of Kip, stepped up.
He worked the clock down and scored on a left-handed layup for a TJC advantage of 75-71. After a free throw by Navarro's Eric McCollum, Warren came through again, driving to the bucket for an old-fashion, three-point play that put the Apaches ahead 78-72 with 57.5 seconds showing.
"I just wanted to step up for my team," said the freshman from Indianapolis who scored 10 of 12 points in the second half.Later Warren made two free throws to seal the win.
Marquis said he wanted to put the ball in the hands of Warren and his other lefties, Hinson and McCauley.
"My left-handers if they were in Major League Baseball they would be all millionaires," quipped Marquis. "I thought Brian really controlled the game. He made some excellent passes and we shared the ball well."
McCollum had a double-double for the Bulldogs with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Saint Hilaire led in points with 18.
Ewing had seven rebounds for Tyler with McCauley adding six. Warren had six assists while McCauley and Hinson had five and four, respectively. Ewing also had three steals.
Davante Cooper protected the rim with four blocks for TJC.
The Apaches also took care of the ball with four turnovers to 13 for Navarro, however the Bulldogs out-rebounded TJC 40-28.
SMOKE SIGNALS: Legendary former Trinity Valley coach Leon Spencer was in the crowd as well as number of Division I coaches, including SFA and former TJC coach Kyle Keller. ... Former All Saints and TJC player Aston Francis, who now plays at Wheaton College near Chicago was at the game. He said everything is cool about the Windy City except for the harsh winter. ... Former TJC All-American and former Apache Ladies coach Herb Richardson and former TJC tennis coach and Hall of Famer John Peterson were in attendance as usual.
Region XIV Tournament
No. 5 Tyler JC 81, No. 12 Navarro 72
Navarro 29 43 - 72
Tyler 37 44 - 81
NAVARRO - D'Angelo Hunter, 12; Saint Hilaire, 18; Jordan Parker, 0; Cameron King, 0; Emmanuel Embuta, 12; Randall Roddie, 15; Eric McCollum, 13; Fritz Lucien, 2; Calvin Anderson, 0; Xavier Fogler, 0. FT: 10-18.
THREE-POINT GOALS - NC (6 of 20): Hunter, Hilaire (2), Broddie (3). TJC (6 of 13): Hinson (2), Ewing, Jackson (2), Agee.
FOULS - Navarro 21, Tyler 18,
RECORDS - Navarro 12-18; Tyler 24-4.
NEXT UP - Navarro season complete; Tyler vs. Lee, 3 p.m. Thursday, Jacksonville.