They weren't able to beat Trinity Valley in the final game of the regular season, but the Kilgore College Rangers certainly made their point when it mattered most on Thursday.
Playing in the quarterfinals of the Region XIV Conference men's tournament, KC knocked off top-seeded Trinity Valley, 81-73, early Thursday afternoon, and the Rangers, who struggled in conference play most of the season, are two wins away from winning a conference title and moving on to the NJCAA men's national tournament.
Trinity Valley (27-4) came into the game on a 10-game winning streak, with KC the most recent victim. But the Cardinals couldn't answer the bell late in the game against the Rangers, and KC moves on.
Coach Brian Hoberecht's KC squad (18-12 overall on the season) will play a semifinal game at 6 p.m. Friday night, back at John Alexander Gymnasium on the old campus of Lon Morris College. If KC wins that game, it would play for the conference championship on Saturday night.
KC got a masterful performance once again from sophomore Chad Bowie to beat Trinity Valley -- Bowie had 21 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
Also for KC, Demeire Brown was superb: 20 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Right behind was Darrian Grays, putting in 19 points, maybe his best game of the season.
Davon Newton had five points, four rebounds and three assists; Daytone Jennings and Lansana Nwosu each had four points; Malachi Davidson and Samory Gueye each had three; and James Conteh had two.
KC held the Cardinals to just 20 rebounds in the game. Damarri Parris did score 25 for TVCC, who awaits a bid in the national tournament without a conference title to show.
The KC Lady Rangers, now, will try to duplicate this feat on Friday. KC's ladies are also playing Trinity Valley, with a spot in the semifinals on the line. They'll do so at 3 p.m. Friday, also at John Alexander Gymnasium. It's a rematch of last year's ladies conference title game.
The Lady Rangers haven't beaten Trinity Valley since the 2010 season.