The Lamar Community College men's basketball team closed the regular season with a win over Northeastern Junior College on Monday night, 68-63. It was a special night for the Lopes since it was the sophomore appreciation night.
Right before the game started, the sophomores were recognized for being great student-athletes at Lamar Community College.
"This group is very special to me, since I have recruited all five sophomores during my first year in LCC," said Head Coach Serg Fenerci. "These young adults have been a great addition to our program for the past two years and they will move on to next level to continue on their academic and athletic careers. We will definitely miss them all."
Lamar was red-hot right out of the gate, getting a jump on the NJC Plainsmen and leading by as much as 18 points during the first half. The score was 39-26 going into intermission in favor of the Lopes.
"We knew that no game is easy in Region IX this year; no team quits, they battle to the end. We emphasized that during our half time talk," said Coach Fenerci.
Coach Fenerci was proven right in the second half; even though LCC had a comfortable lead, NJC began chipping away during the last several minutes of the game. The Lopes were up 9 points with less than two minutes to go, but the lead disintegrated when LCC made several mistakes and NJC made several key shots. This put the Plainsmen as close as 3 points with 21 seconds to go. However, LCC hit 3 out of 4 free throws to seal the win at the end, 68-63.
Chris Lewis had another enormous rebounding night with 15 rebounds, 6 points, and monster block at the end to help LCC with the win.
The win pushes the Lopes to 19-10 overall and 10-6 in South Division play, securing a second place finish.
"Our guys executed very well on the defensive end and held NJC to 27% from the field and 21% from behind the arc," said Coach Fenerci. "This team worked so hard to get to this point since the last week of August when we started our pre-season workouts. They deserved this finish a lot."
The Lopes men will host the first round playoff game for Region IX on Saturday, February 27, at 7:00 pm at Wellness Center.