MBB Richland College at PJC

Richland College freshman point guard Cameron Jones (2) backs down PJC guard JaQualon Lovette (20) in the post late in the second half.

The Paris Junior College Dragons hosted Richland College in a non-conference matchup at the Hunt Center. The top-ranked Thunderducks were able to use solid defense and steady offense to keep the Dragons at bay en route to a 78-50 victory.

“Richland is a very well coached team and they play extremely hard for each other. They’re number one in the country for a reason,” PJC head basketball coach Bobby Taylor said. “We’ll get back to work in preparation for a really good Weatherford team.”

The Dragons remained within single digits through most of the first half of play. Dragons sophomore post Reggie Daniels muscled in for a layup with 6:48 left before halftime to pull PJC within 22-16. However, the Thunderducks closed the half on a 13-0 run to take a 35-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Starlin Hamilton, JaQualon Lovette and Jeremiah Keys put points on the scoreboard for the Dragons, but the balanced attack from Richland College proved to be too much in the end as its lead continued to slowly swell through the second half.

Current point guard for Richland College and former Paris High School basketball standout, Cameron Jones, entered the game with 2:40 left in regulation. The outcome of the game was essentially decided as the Thunderducks held a 20-point lead, but the Hunt Center crowd erupted when he entered the game, giving the point guard a standing ovation.

The gesture was very meaningful for Jones, who was honored to take the court in front of his hometown once again.

“It was amazing,” Jones said. “It was amazing to have all my friends and family come back and support me. When everyone stood up, it just sent a shock through my body.”

Hamilton led PJC with 18 points, while Miles Macadory, Lovette and Charlie Powell each finished with 7 points.

The Dragons will take the court again at 7 tonight at Weatherford College.

Geoff Heppes is sports editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6967 or at geoff.heppes@theparisnews.com.

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