And just when Lincoln Trail extended its lead again to 11 points, DACC fought back and trailed only 62-58 with just over two minutes to play. That’s as close as the Jaguars would get, though, and they suffered their sixth loss of the season.
“That’s been our situation all season,” Gouard said. “We just can’t seem to get over that hump. I think it’s having a lot of young guys. It’s not an excuse, but they don’t understand those situations when it’s time to get stops, when it’s time to take care of the basketball, when it’s time to get those easy layups.
“It’s going to take us having a few games like this, hopefully not many more, for them to realize what they need to be doing in certain situations. I think we’re getting there.”
DACC freshman Joseph English scored a team-high 20 points, while Carter scored 14 and had two steals and five rebounds. Martin Campbell also scored 11 for the Jaguars.
Former Danville High guard Dennis Hightower scored 15 points for the Statesmen and grabbed six rebounds. A friendly battle between Hightower and Carter, perhaps built up more by those outside of the respective programs than the players themselves, left the two friends wanting to do all they could to will their team to a win in front of the hometown crowd.
Early in the contest, Hightower went up for a layup only to have it swatted away by his friend and former high school teammate. The next time, however, Hightower got his shot to fall.
“He’s really athletic and I knew that going up over him was going to be a challenge,” Hightower said. “I was either going to get it in, or he was going to block it. The first time, he blocked it. If at first I don’t succeed, I try again. The second time, I finished it.”