By Chuck Livingston
The Evening Times Sports Editor
MSCC Sports Information
After as encouraging a loss as you could have against the sixth-ranked division one team last Thursday night, the MSCC Greyhounds began the first of five consecutive road games Saturday in Hot Springs in search of their first win of the new year.
The Greyhounds got it in spectacular fashion, topping Champion Baptist, 110-68, for their 11th win of the season as they shot over 52% from the field in posting their second-highest point total of the season.
MSCC got a well-rounded offensive effort from its team as all 13 Greyhounds scored in the game.
The offense got 18 points from Kaylon Tappin and was bolstered by 11 points each from Justin Harris and Joe Dye, 10 each from Tamania Jones and DeShawn McGowan, nine each from Shaquille Culbreath and Emaje Young, and eight from Tyler Armstrong.
MSCC head coach Chris Parker was all smiles after the game.
"It was good to see us continue to execute and get better in a game that could have gone differently," the veteran head coach explained. "Our defense set the tone early and we did a good job in the second half of staying focused and keeping up our intensity."
MSCC limited Champion Baptist to just 29 first-half points, while the offense was able to come up with 48 of their own in the first 20 minutes.
Tappin hit the lockers with nine first-half points and Culbreath added seven.
The Greyhounds took down a key road win, which is what they'll try to do this weekend when they travel to Harrison, Arkansas to play North Arkansas College.
"We did our best to prepare our team for the environment, and our guys did a great job keeping our focus and playing the game," Parker said of his team's road mentality. "We got production from every person who played, and the second half saw us share the ball as well as we have all season."
That second half yielded 62 points for MSCC, led by McGowan and Jones's eight points apiece in that period.
The ball movement has been a point of emphasis for Parker's crew since tipping the season off, and he liked his squad's effort once again in Hot Springs.
"There's a significant difference when we focus on it," explained Parker. "Now we simply need consistency to make it a habit which could shift our focus to other details."
Parker wasted no time in looking at the Greyhounds' game with North Arkansas. MSCC and North Arkansas met three times last season, and Parker's Greyhounds won two of them, including their first-ever postseason win in Harrison.
"It's always good to win on the road, and hopefully that gives us some momentum going into our biggest game to date, this Saturday at North Arkansas. We will need to play well to get a win in Harrison."
Both members of NJCAA Region 2, MSCC and North Arkansas play twice during the regular season which has playoff implications for hosting the Region 2 Tournament. A North Arkansas sweep will send MSCC back to Harrison while a Greyhound win will ensure the playoff in West Memphis.