PORT ARTHUR – The Lamar State College-Port Arthur Seahawks men's basketball team will take off on Nov. 1 for a Florida tournament, hoping to start a run that leads them to the NJCAA National Tournament in Kansas next March.
Lamar State-Port Arthur released its 2013-14 schedule this week with news that the season would open at the Select Therapy Invitational in Pensacola on Nov. 1-2. The Seahawks, who finished with a 21-win season under first-year head coach Lance Madison this past season, will take on Gulf Coast State at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, with a game on Saturday, Nov. 2 against Pensacola State at 7:30.
"Florida is a great region for NJCAA teams and we'll see some great competition while we are over there," Madison said. "We're looking at every game as an opportunity to get ready for the conference games that are ahead of us."
In fact, the Hawks will see their first NJCAA Region XIV game with a road trip to Tyler Junior College on Nov. 26. The game tips off at 7:30 p.m.
"Every year there are different challenges as you play conference games," Madison said. "We have a good group of returning players and so that makes how we approach games different than last year." Madison came into the recruiting season late last season as he took the Lamar State-Port Arthur job with no one returning from the prior season's program. This year, the Hawks have six sophomores back from last year's team.
The Seahawks will host a New Year's Classic on Dec. 30-31, hosting games against El Centro College at 6 p.m. on the 30th and Pensacola State at 4 p.m. on the 31st. Mineral Area College challenges Pensacola State in the first day of the tournament at 4 p.m., while Mineral Area gets El Centro at 2 p.m. on the second day. Mineral Area advanced to the NJCAA national tournament last season, making this the second year the Seahawks have hosted a team in their tournament who had accomplished that feat the season prior.
After the holiday break, the Hawks get into Region XIV play hardcore, opening up against Bossier Parish Community College on the road on Jan. 4 before hosting their first home conference game with a contest against Navarro College at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8.
Overall, the Hawks have 18 home games this season. All home and away games, starting with the Nov. 26 conference game against Tyler JC, will be broadcast live with video at the Seahawks website, athletics.lamarpa.edu.
Lamar State-Port Arthur offers an All-Season Pass for $100, allowing the pass holder entrance to all home basketball and softball games during the 2013-14 school year. That equates to a savings of $75 compared to paying gate fees the day of games. Parking at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center and Martin Field, where the Seahawks softball team play, are always free. Students, faculty and staff are admitted free to all LSC-PA events.