Defense Leads Roadrunners to Victory
The Roadrunners opened the Region XVI tournament March 6 with a 79-49 victory over the Mineral Area College Cardinals from Park Hills in the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center. SFCC (15-14) held the Cardinals scoreless for almost four minutes to kick off the game.
“Our guys played well on the defensive end,” said Roadrunners Head Coach Kevin Thomas. “Our defensive intensity was really good at the beginning of the game. We were able to get stops.”
SFCC sophomore wing Antonin Galaya knocked down a three-point shot to give his team a 7-2 lead with more than 15 minutes remaining in the first half. The Cardinals took an 8-7 lead with a run after a timeout. Sophomore guard Alfonzo Houston put SFCC back in front with a jump shot. The Cardinals took a 14-11 lead, but Houston knocked down a baseline jumper to cut the Cardinals’ lead to one.
SFCC closed the half on a 9-0 run courtesy of an offensive rebound and put back to give the Roadrunners a 28-20 halftime advantage. It was a lead they would never surrender. Houston carried the load on the offensive end for SFCC in the first half with 14 points.
“About the five-minute mark I challenged our team to see if we could win the last five minutes,” said Thomas. “We were able to get some stops and buckets and then Antonin (Galaya) got something going. Alfonzo (Houston) did a good job scoring early in the game when nobody else could get the ball to go in the basket. The floodgates opened in the second half.”
The Roadrunners extended their advantage to 70-39 in second-half. The 31-point lead was the biggest for either team. Every SFCC player played and all but one scored.
Houston led SFCC in scoring with 23 points. Galaya contributed 18 points on six three-point shots. Freshman guard Kenny Chery pulled down a team-high eight rebounds along with a team-high eight assists. Houston also contributed a team-high three steals. Houston and Chery recently were named to the All-Region team for their efforts so far this season.
The Roadrunners will play in the first semifinal of the Region XVI tournament against the number one seed Moberly Area Community College Greyhounds. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 9 from Jefferson College in Hillsboro.
SFCC Athletics Department