The game was close throughout the first half. Navarro built a six-point lead at 23-17 with 7:46 to play in the half. The Highlanders used a 7-0 run in the next minute to take the 24-23 lead and held the 41-34 advantage at the half.
McLennan took the first double-digit lead of the game at 52-41 with 15 minutes remaining. The Bulldogs cut the lead to four less than two minutes later. The Highlanders extended the lead back to 10 midway through the half. Navarro fought back, cutting the lead to two with 47.27 to play. McLennan held the off the charge by going 5-6 from the free-throw line in the final 40 seconds.
Sophomore Wayne Langston led McLennan with 17 points. D.J. Weathers, Joe Lundy and DaMarcus Whittington scored 14 points each. Jalen Jones added 13.
The Highlanders will play Angelina at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the Lewis Orr Classic at Navarro College in Corsicana.