Seahawks win in first game at New Year's Classic - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Seahawks win in first game at New Year's Classic

Lamar State-Port Arthur returns from holiday to rout El Centro College 104-50

PORT ARTHUR – In Ivan Jelencic's home country of Croatia, it was 3 a.m. as the sophomore forward decided it was time for him to make his mark.

With his dad watching via the Internet in the middle of the night, Jelencic led the Lamar State College-Port Arthur Seahawks to a 104-50 non-conference win over El Centro College in the first day of the Seahawks New Year's Classic.

"We watch a lot of American basketball late at night in Croatia," Jelencic explained. "I was excited to know that my dad was watching me play tonight and that he had the opportunity to see me do well."

"Do well" is a bit of an understatement for Jelencic as he racked up a personal-best 25 points with 11 rebounds. This is his fourth double-double performance of the year.

"Ivan had a great game," Head Coach Lance Madison said. "He's a skilled basketball player and he gives us some depth. Ivan is a good rebounder around the rim and at the same time, he can step out and shoot it."

Jelencic was one of five players scoring in double-figures against El Centro College with sophomore Jamal Shabazz also posting a double-double show with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Tre Bennett hit for 17 points, sophomore D.J. Blanks hit for 14 points with six steals and five rebounds, and freshman Erik Durham knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in collecting 10 points in the game.

"With having 18-19 days off (for the holiday break), you never know but I thought we came out focused and did a good job," Madison said. "Defensively we played a zone and that got us going. D.J. got some steals and had some dunks and kicked out momentum up."

The Seahawks return to the court today for a 4 p.m. game against Pensacola (Fla.) State College in a rematch of a game earlier this season in which Lamar State-PA picked up its first loss of the year.

"Pensacola is a good team. They're not going to beat themselves," Madison said. "They do have some size so we have to be tougher and not give them second chances at scoring. We don't want to take quick shots on offense. We want to make sure we have good strong possessions ever trip down the floor."

In the early game Monday, Pensacola State defeated Mineral Area College 65-58. Mineral Area gets the first game of the day today with a 2 p.m. game against El Centro College. Both games today take place at the Carl Parker Center on the campus of Lamar State College-Port Arthur.

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