College basketball: BPCC men fall in first round of Region XIV tournament

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The No. 5 seed Bossier Parish Community Cavaliers came up short in the first round of the NJCAA Region XIV men’s basketball tournament Tuesday afternoon, falling to No. 12 Coastal Bend 87-76 at the Centenary Gold Dome.

The Cavaliers finished 20-11, the program’s first 20-win season since 2004-05. Coastal Bend (12-18) plays No. 4 Blinn in the quarterfinals Thursday at 3 p.m.

BPCC stayed within striking distance of Coastal Bend most of the game. The Cavaliers trailed 38-34 at the half, and the Cougars extended the lead to 12 early in the second.

BPCC cut the lead to three on a couple of occasions late in the second half. But Coastal Bend always had an answer whether it was a crucial tip-in or a big 3-pointer.

BPCC freshman guard Paul King got off to a torrid start, scoring nine of the Cavs’ first 11. He had 17 points in the first half and finished with 25.

Freshman forward Diamante Brown scored 16. Sophomore guard E.J. Clark added 13 and sophomore guard Aaron Gregg had 11.

Guard Kendrick Christian led Coastal Bend with 26 points. Emmanuel White hit 4-of-5 3-pointers and scored 16.

The Cougars made 9-of-20 (45 percent) 3-point attempts. The Cavs hit 9-of-25 (36 percent).

Coastal Bend made 50 percent (31-of-62) of its shots from the field. BPCC made 41.5 percent (22-of-53).

BPCC was almost perfect from the free throw line, sinking 23-of-26. 

In the other first-round games, No. 9 Jacksonville defeated No. 8 Panola 100-92, No. 10 Lamar State-Port Arthur downed No. 7 Trinity Valley 76-69 and No. 11 Lee got past No. 6 Kilgore 93-87.

The women’s tournament starts Thursday.

No. 1 Trinity Valley (29-1) faces No. 8 Jacksonville (6-22) at 1, No. 4 Tyler (22-8) takes on No. 5 Kilgore (22-8) at 3, No. 2 Blinn (24-6) plays No. 7 Paris (11-17) at 6 and No. 3 Panola (16-12) meets No. 6 Angelina (17-12) at 8.

Trinity Valley is the No. 1 ranked team in NJCAA Division I.

The men’s quarterfinals are Friday. The men’s and women’s championship games are Saturday.