Highlanders slip to New Mexico in regional quarterfinals

Highlanders slip to New Mexico in regional quarterfinals

The McLennan Highlanders fell to the New Mexico Thunderbirds 66-62 this afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the NJCAA Region V Tournament in Abilene.
 
New Mexico opened the game on a 5-0 run with a bucket and 3-point shot from Keaton Hervey. McLennan got on the board with a jumper from Lorenzo Anderson with 18:34 to play in the first half. A layup by Cameron Copeland cut the New Mexico lead to one, 5-4, less than 30 seconds later. The Thunderbirds used a 7-0 run over the next three minutes to begin pulling away as the Highlanders struggled to find an offensive rhythm. New Mexico took its largest lead of the half at 18-8 with 11:22 remaining before intermission. McLennan didn't give in, the Highlanders rallied with an 8-0 run to pull within two, 18-16. The Highlanders continued to fight and took their first lead of the game at 23-22 on a Rayquan Brown jumper with 4:30 remaining in the first half. New Mexico took the lead on a put-back basket by Terence Lewis and led by three at the break, 31-28.
 
Another Lewis put back began the scoring for the Thunderbirds in the second half. New Mexico pulled away again, extending the lead to 10 with 13:42 to play in the game, 44-34. Once again the Highlanders came roaring back. A 7-0 run, comprised of a pair of buckets from Rayquan Brown and capped off by a nothing-but-net 3-pointer from Chris Pryor, pulled the Highlanders within three 44-41 with 12:21 to play. The McLennan shooters went cold, allowing New Mexico to build an 11-point lead three minutes later, 52-41. The Highlanders stepped up and rallied again. With 6:59 to go, McLennan trailed 55-46. Rodrique Massenet drained a 3-pointer from the corner and Rayquan Brown got a steal and dunk to pull the Highlanders within four, 55-51. Lorenzo Anderson added a free throw and Brown hit another 3-pointer in front of the bench to tie the game at 55. Antonio Bridy put the Thunderbirds back up by three with a bucket and foul shot. A Chris Pryor layup would put McLennan within one before Bridy added a pair of free throws for New Mexico. Lorenzo Anderson hit a runner and the front end of a one-and-one to tie the game at 60 with 2:54 remaining. Terence Lewis then hit a shot from the lane to give the Thunderbirds the two-point lead but once again Rayquan Brown stepped up for McLennan. The Highlander threw down a dunk off an Anderson assist to tie the game at 62. Lewis added another bucket for New Mexico with 57.8 seconds to go to give the Thunderbirds the lead for good, 64-62. McLennan had the ball and a chance to tie with 25 seconds to play but an offensive foul by the Highlanders gave the Thunderbirds the ball back. A McLennan foul put Keaton Hervey on the line with 11 seconds to go, and he hit both free throws to seal the win.
 
Rayquan Brown led the Highlanders with 18 points and Lorenzo Anderson added 17. Chris Pryor rounded out the Highlanders in double figures with 12.
 
The Highlanders end the season with an overall record of 19-12.
 
New Mexico: Mareng Gatkuoth 1 0-0 3; Gideon George 4 2-4 11; Toug Dol 0 0-0 0;
Matthew Strange 20-0 6; Keaton Hervey 7 5-8 22; Antonio Bridy 2 3-3 7; Joao Camargo 0 0-0 0; Terence Lewis 7 3-3 17; Totals: 23 13-18 66.
 
McLennan: Akili Vining 0 0-0 0; Lorenzo Anderson 6 5-8 17; Rodrique Massenat 2 0-0 6; Cameron Copeland 1 0-0 2; Chris Pryor 5 1-2 12; Rayquan Brown 9 0-2 18; Tre Thomas 2 0-0 5; Claven Wilson 0 0-0 0; Asare Otchere 1 0-0 2; Tyrese Taylor 0 0-0 0; Totals: 26 6-12 62.
 
3-pointers: New Mexico 7 (Hervey 3, Strange 2, Gatkuoth 1, George 1), McLennan 4 (Massenat 3, Thomas 1, Pryor 1), Total fouls: New Mexico 11, McLennan 22; Fouled out: McLennan (Otchere); Halftime score: New Mexico 31, McLennan 28; Record: McLennan 19-2 (10-4).