Happy 2017 – but it didn’t start too happily for Houston Community College.
Kilgore College’s Rangers resumed their 2016-17 basketball season at home Monday afternoon, and didn’t look to have much rust, dealing the visiting HCC Eagles a 91-56 loss.
Of course, that wasn’t a Region XIV Conference game. The Rangers – 10-3 on the season, and 1-2 in conference – will jump back to RXIV play on Friday, again at home, against Blinn, a 9-3 team that’s also 1-2 in conference play.
The KC-Blinn game, a rare Friday game, will tip off at 7:30 here at Masters Gymnasium.
KC’s Lady Rangers were to play Tuesday in Little Rock against Arkansas Baptist. The Lady Rangers – just one loss this season, with an 11-1 record – also get back to conference play this weekend, visiting Tyler Junior College at Floyd Wagstaff Gymnasium on Saturday at 2 p.m.
KC 91, HCC 56 (men): Many times, the first game back after a long layoff (and it was a long layoff – KC hadn’t played since Dec. 10), the rust is there, particularly in shooting.
Not this time.
Coach Brian Hoberecht’s Rangers came out firing, and while they only went 4-of-14 in three-point shots in the game, they were 30-of-51 overall, a good 58 percent. For good measure, the Rangers went 27-of-32 from the free throw line, including an 8-of-9 performance by guard Tre Evans, who had 17 points.
Evans’ 17 points, along with 17 points by teammate Davon Newton, led the Rangers. Ndene Gueye had 13, and Cheikh Diallo had 12. Chad Bowie scored nine, Cheikh Fall and Radwan Bakkali each had six, Samory Gueye had five, Jamar Sandifer, four, and Trez O’Quinn had two.
Ndene Gueye’s seven rebounds were a team high; as a team, KC only ended up with 26 boards, but HCC had less (22).
Bowie had eight assists; Bakkali had four. Bowie also had three steals; Fall and Sandifer each had two.
KC led at halftime, 46-29, and by the final buzzer, the had scored 24 points off of 20 HCC turnovers.
Darryl Thomas led the Eagles with 13 points; Dylan Owens chipped in 12.