The Seahawks whittled a 19-point second-half deficit to 5 points with 4:10 left in Monday's Region 14 junior college basketball game in Port Arthur but could get no closer to the NJCAA's No. 36-ranked Kilgore Rangers.
Michael Thomas, the season's leading season for the 13-2 team, swished a 3-pointer with 3:45 to go and Kilgore went on to an 82-72 win over Lamar State College Port Arthur.
The Seahawks, who were led by a season-high 24 points from sophomore J'Son Brooks, fell to 7-9 overall and 1-4 in region play.
Kilgore, which took a 15-point, 45-30 halftime lead and outrebounded the shorter Seahawks 48-22, is 4-1 in region play, its only loss coming to Angelina College.
"We got off to a bad start, but give our guys credit," Seahawks Coach Lance Madison said. "We hung in there until the end but Kilgore is a big team and they played physical.
"We've got to get better on the boards, and free throws really hurt us. If we get some free throws, we're probably in the game."
The Seahawk defense forced 26 turnovers by the Rangers. But besides its problems rebounding – collecting just six offensive boards – Lamar State missed 11 of 27 free throws, hitting just 59 percent from the charity stripe.
Brooks, a 6-foot-7 sophomore out of Lake Charles LaGrange High, hit on 8 of 14 from the field but only 7 of 15 from the line. He led his team with six rebounds.
Port Arthur natives Jamyus Jones and Darrell Jones, who played at Memorial and Nederland high schools, respectively, scored 13 and 11 points and Lafayette sophomore Devaughn Thomas made it 14 out of 16 games this season scoring 10 or more, finishing with 10.
The Seahawks go on the road twice later this week, traveling to Paris Junior College for a 7 p.m. game Wednesday. They go to Corsicana to play Navarro College at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Their next home game is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15 against Coastal Bend College.
Kilgore (13-2, 4-1) – 45-37 -- 82
LSCPA (7-9, 1-4) – 30-42 -- 72