McLennan Highlanders slip at Blinn

McLennan Highlanders slip at Blinn

The McLennan Highlanders dropped a close game on the road to the Blinn Buccaneers 71-68.
 
McLennan's Kirk Smith Jr. opened the game on a 4-0 run on his own. Blinn responded with a 7-0 run to take the 7-4 lead early in the first half. The Buccaneers extended the lead to six, 15-9, with 12:21 to go. The Highlanders rallied to tie the game at 17 on a Chris Pryor 3-pointer from the elbow midway through the half. The two teams traded baskets and the lead down the stretch. McLennan trailed by one 33-32 with one minute to play in the half. A Jan Njock 3-pointer with 10 seconds on the clock gave the Buccaneers the four-point lead at the break, 36-32.
 
The game remained close through the first seven minute of the second half. Blinn led 45-44 with 14:03 remaining in the game. The Buccaneers broke the game open with an 11-0 run over the next two minutes, 56-44. McLennan didn't back down and began to chip away at the Blinn lead. A 3-point play by Rommell Williams followed by a 3-pointer by Dillon Gooding and a bucket by Kirk Smith Jr. pulled the Highlanders within four, 56-52 with 10:07 to go. McLennan continued to rally and took the 59-58 lead on a Forte Prater basket with 6:58 to play. The Highlanders led 68-66 with just over a minute remaining. Blinn tied the game with a Calvin Carpenter bucket then went 3-4 from the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to steal the win.
 
Forte Prater led McLennan with 15 points. Nehemiah Nuckolls and Kirk Smith Jr. scored 10 points each.
 
The Highlanders return to action Monday, hosting Cedar Valley at 6 p.m.
 
McLennan: Forte Prater 6 0-0 15; Dillon Gooding 3 0-0 7; CJ Hall 1 3-3 6; Rommell Williams 3 1-1 7; Jayce Wright 0 0-0 0; Nehemiah Nuckolls 4 2-2 10; Chris Pryor 3 0-0 8; Diego Gonzalez 0 5-6 5; Khalif Allim 0 0-0 0; Cortland Blake 0 0-0 0; Kirk Smith Jr. 4 2-2 10; Javani Brown 0 0-0 0; Totals: 24 13-14 68.
 
Blinn: Calvin Carpenter 8 3-5 22; Maurice Pinnock 0 0-0 0; Tyler Washington 3 0-0 6; Jan Njock 2 4-4 9; Alex Tsynkevich 1 0-0 2; Damian Watson 4 5-7 13; Connor Redrow 1 0-0 2; Connor Raines 5 2-3 15; Azari Woods 0 0-0 0; Sammi Fajana 0 2-2 2; Elias Ngoga 0 0-0 0; Totals: 24 16-23 71.
 
3-pointers: McLennan 7 (Prater 3, Pryor 2, Gooding 1, Hall 1), Blinn 7 (Carpenter 3, Raines 3, Njock 1); Total fouls: McLennan 19, Blinn 16; Halftime score: Blinn 36, McLennan 32; Record: McLennan 9-2.