by DOMINICK PUENTE//Editorial Assistant
The South Plains College men’s basketball team has dominated throughout the season against tough opponents.
With an undefeated season on the line, the No. 1-ranked Texans went on the road to defeat Odessa College 93-80 on Feb. 9.
Being ranked fourth in the nation, the Wranglers attempted to stall the Texan offense early. However, SPC’s offensive attack worked quickly to take an early lead in the opening minutes.
The Texans’ defense limited the Wranglers’ offense in the early minutes in the first half, yet Odessa College found ways to trail the Texans by a few points going into halftime.
SPC put up 42 points in the first half, while Odessa managed to score 37 points.
In the second half, the Texans continued to fuel their offensive attack and limit a tough Wrangler offense.
SPC continued to pile up points, but the Wranglers stayed within arm’s reach of the lead.
The Texans finished the second half with 51 points to preserve the victory and continue their undefeated season.
Sophomore guard Josh Webster led the Texans with 23 points, while sophomore guard Jordan Brangers continued to be a factor, finishing the game with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore forward Montell McRae contributed 18 points, while freshman forward Jahlil Tripp chipped in 10 points.
With Western Junior College Athletic Conference play nearing the end, the Texans defeated Frank Phillips College 90-61 on the road on Feb. 6 in Borger.
The Texans began the game with a strong offensive attack, finding open lanes and getting to the basket for easy points.
Defensively, the Texans derailed the Plainsmen’s offense, allowing only 22 points in the first half.
The Texans put up 44 points, taking a 44-22 lead going into halftime. In the second half, SPC continued their offensive dominance, scoring 46 points in the second half.
Brangers finished the game with a team-high 23 points for the Texans. Tripp and freshman guard Raquan Mitchell added14 points.
With a shootout victory on the road, the Texans showed their dominance at home with a 112-87 victory against Midland College on Feb. 2.
Defense proved to be key for the Texans, as they allowed only 30 points in the first half.
With a 60-30 lead over the Chaparrals by halftime, SPC continued their dominant performance in the second half.
The Texans were outscored in the second half, 57-52, but still finished the game with the victory and an undefeated record.
Mitchell led all scorers in the contest with 26 points. Brangers contributed 21 points, while sophomore forward Shawntrez Davis was able to come off the bench and finish the game 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Tripp added 12 points for SPC, while sophomore guard Grantham Gillard tallied 11 points off the bench.
The Texans continued their run with a 103-97 victory on the road in overtime against Western Texas College on Jan. 30.
With an evenly matched offensive attack, the fourth quarter became a shootout for the Texans and the Westerners. The Texans gained an 87-84 lead with 50 seconds left in the game, until the Westerners were able to find an open look to shoot a 3-pointer and send the game into overtime.
As the Westerners were able to shift momentum in their favor at the end of regulation play, the Texans remained calm with the game doing down to the wire in overtime to stay victorious.
Both SPC and Western College exchanged early baskets in overtime, until the SPC defense found answers to stall the Westerner offense, only allowing 10 points.
Although the Texans had played four long quarters of basketball, they still found the energy and emotional stability needed to finish overtime on a positive note with 16 points.
In the first half of the game, the Texans trailed the Westerners, 42-41.
The Texans traded the lead with Western Texas multiple times before going into halftime, but stayed within single digits of the Westerners.
SPC finished the second half with 46 points, while allowing 45 points for Western Texas before entering overtime.
Despite the intensity, the Texans kept their composure throughout the final stretch of the game to push past Western Texas.
The Texans finished the game with 44 rebounds and forced 20 turnovers.
Brangers led the Texans with 35 points. Sophomore guard Roberto Gallinat finished the game with 22 points, while Tripp added 13 points and a team-high 15 rebounds.
Webster tossed in 11 points for SPC.
[Photos by DOMINICK PUENTE/PLAINSMAN PRESS]