Hail to the champions!!!
It was a Trinity Valley kind of Wednesday night.
Overcoming a slow start, the sixth-ranked Cardinals came back in the second half to score a 79-70 win against Navarro in Corsicana. Then, word came from Carthage of Panola's 88-75 upset of 14th-ranked Tyler, giving the Cardinals a three-game lead in the conference race with two games remaining.
Translated: The Cardinals are the Region XIV Conference champions and will be the No. 1 seed at the regional tournament March 6-10 in Jacksonville.
The win improved second-year head coach Guy Furr's Cardinals to 25-3 on the year and 16-1 in conference. Navarro dropped to 16-10 and 7-9.
"We were sloppy early, but a win is a win," Furr said. "I am really proud of this group of guys and what they've accomplished, but we all know there is more work to do and things to accomplish."
The Cardinals trailed 41-33 at the half after Navarro closed the final two minutes on a 12-3 run. Once the Cardinals regained the lead, they took care of business and won for an eighth straight time against the Bulldogs.
Lorenzo Phillips led the Cardinals with 17 points. He also had eight assists and six rebounds.
Jaime Echenique turned in a double-double for the Cardinals with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Robinson Idehen and Andres Ibarguen also had double-doubles. Idehen had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Ibarguen had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Damari Parris also scored in twin figures with 11 points.
The Cardinals, who are riding an eigh-game winning streak, have an open date Saturday and are scheduled to return to action at home Wednesday, Feb. 28 against Tyler. Action begins at 7:30 p.m. after a 5:30 p.m. women's contest. Both games will be webcast on the Cardinal Sports Network (www.tvcc.edu).