LUFKIN, Texas — The San Jacinto College men’s basketball team pulled out a come-from-behind 78-75 win over conference foe Angelina College on Thursday, March 3, in round 1 of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIV tournament at Angelina College in Lufkin.
Down by 4 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game, San Jac turned the tide thanks to a huge blocked shot by sophomore forward Candido Sa (Lisbon, Portugal / Colegio Bartolomeou Dias), followed by two critical 3-point shots by freshman forward Donovan Greer (Houston / Hillcrest Academy).
With the win, San Jac will face the nation’s number 1 ranked team Trinity Valley Junior College in round 2 on Friday, March 4 at 6 p.m.
“We talk a lot about handling adversities during a season and during a game, and we certainly overcame adversity in the game against Angelina,” commented Head Coach Scott R. Gernander. “We happened to draw the hometown team, who has been on a hot streak and who recently beat us, and who also had a large crowd cheering them on. I thought our guys showed a lot of determination to pull out a win in that kind of atmosphere.”
Gernander admits that San Jac will be the underdog when they face the tournament’s number 1 seed Trinity Valley (30-1, 19-0 conference record), yet he says it is possible to pull off an upset win.
“On paper we are overmatched,” he said “They beat us by 37 points the one time we played them this year, and we don’t match up well against Trinity Valley, but no team in the conference does. Yet, we can beat them. It will take an all-out effort, but we can win.”
In the win over Angelina, Greer was the top scorer with 19 points, hitting 6 for 11 from the field, and draining 4 for 9 from beyond the arc. Sa was solid on defense with 9 blocked shots and 9 rebounds. He also chipped in 9 points. Sophomore forward Josh Huntley (Lauderdale Lakes, Florida / Deerfield Beach High School) had an all-around solid game with 14 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal, and only 1 turnover. Freshman guard Jorden Duffy (Upper Marlboro, Maryland / Bennett High School) also had a solid game with 9 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.
The winner of the regional tournament advances to the national tournament, set for March 14 through March 19 in Hutchinson, Kansas. The San Jacinto College men’s basketball team advanced to the national tournament last season as an at-large selection, the first trip to the national tournament since 2006.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.