All the things that were going right with the Panola College Ponies went wrong for a 10-minute period of the second half Wednesday night in the Arthur Johnson Gym.
The 3-pointers that have been a main stay all season stopped falling.
They didn’t shoot much better from regular range either.
They just looked like an ordinary team that had shown up to get a whipping — and they did.
The Angelina College Roadrunners stayed close in the first half, gained control midway through the second half and then pulled away late to come away with a 97-98 upset win over the No. 14 Ponies.
“They out-competed us and they out-toughed us out there by 100 percent,” Panola College Coach Aaron Smith said. “We didn’t deserve to win. That game was not even close. They played hard, got all the 50-50 balls and all of the offensive rebounds. They just played harder.
“And they did it without their two best players — a Player of the Year Candidate and a All-America Selection.”
But Smith wasn’t about to give up the ship or cancel the season for the Ponies after falling to a team that had won eight of its last nine games.
“I don’t think we got selfish our there; I just think they did a good job of guarding us,” Smith said. “We’ve got to come out and work now and get ready for Coastal Bend. We need to get us a road win and finish our games against the South strong on Saturday.”
The Ponies held the lead for much of the first half, but every time they threatened to pull away, the Roadrunners quickly caught up. Thanks to a three-point play by Cameron Carson, the Ponies held a 47-43 at the half.
Panola opened up a 56-46 lead within the first 15 minutes of the second half, when a scoring discrepancy on the scoreboard caused a flareup at the table.
The Ponies were still on top 64-59 when everything was straightened out, but things were still badly shaken.
And the Roadrunners got hot from 2-point range, hitting three free throws on two occasions, and banging in three more 3-pointers to just one for PC’s Kamari Brown — only their second one of the second half and just fourth of the ballgame — to tie it at 77-77.
Ovidio Perez hit his only 3 for the Roadrunners and they never trailed against 80-77.
Angelina had an answer for every Panola College basket and several when the Ponies didn’t score as the lead grew to 90-81 before Stanton Rose cashed in his one 3-pointer, to make it 90-84. It was mostly free throws the rest of the way for the visitors to build up the eight-point edge at the buzzer.
Kelyn Pennie led the Ponies with 18 points, two assists and a steal, while Dominique 14 points and three rebounds, Rose had 13 points, 3 rebounds, three assists and two steals; Brown had 13 points, eight rebounds and two steals; Jerrel Kelly had 11 points, six rebounds and a block.