JACKSONVILLE, Texas – The No. 1 seed San Jacinto College men’s basketball team finished the regular season as the regional runner-up after falling to seventh seed Tyler Junior College 72-65 in the championship round of the Region XIV tournament, played Saturday, March 7 at the Jacksonville ISD gym in Jacksonville.
Head Coach Scott R. Gernander had mixed emotions at the conclusion of the game. “It’s not the way we wanted to end the season, but I am proud of the way our guys gave it all they had the entire game, especially when they were up against disadvantages,” Gernander commented. San Jac was short-handed, with three starters out due to injuries – Justin Hollins, Dana Raysor, and Donte Thomas.
Tyler also had a key size advantage over San Jac, with seven players at 6-6 or taller. “Because Tyler had so many big men, it frequently forced our guys to change their shot selections and take more outside shots, so our shooting percentage was way off,” Gernander said. For the game, San Jac’s field goal shooting percentage was 32.4 percent, compared to Tyler’s 40 percent. Also, San Jac attempted many more 3-point shots. For the game, San Jac shot 6 for 29 from 3-point range for 20.7 percent shooting, while Tyler shot 4 for 15 from 3-point range for 26.7 percent shooting. The size mismatches also gave Tyler an advantage in regards to fouls. San Jac had 24 fouls for the game, compared to Tyler’s 18.
Gernander had words of encouragement and praise for the team. “You have nothing to hang your heads about guys,” he said. “You can be proud of what you accomplished this season. You had one of the best regular seasons San Jac has ever had, with 28 wins, and you were the conference champions, so we are proud of every one of you.” Counting the regional tournament, San Jac finished with an overall record of 28-5, and had a conference record of 17-2.
In the championship game, San Jac’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Willie Mangum (Richmond, Virginia / Marshall High School / Western Nebraska Community College), led on offense with17 points. Mangum also had 4 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists. Sophomore guard Michael Carey (Nassau, Bahamas / Lamar Consolidated High School) was also a key contributor, with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal.
San Jac’s men’s basketball team has made 19 national tournament appearances, the last in 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.