For Kilgore College’s basketball Rangers, it’s almost a shame Christmas break has arrived.
The Rangers are hot, having edged Jacksonville College, 68-63, Wednesday night here in Masters Gymnasium for their seventh straight win. They’re 3-0 in Region XIV Conference play, and now, somewhat unfortunately, they’ll be off until a non-conference home game against Houston Community College Dec. 29.
KC is 10-2 on the season so far.
The Lady Rangers got the bad taste of losing their conference opener out with a home win over Blinn, 77-50, on Wednesday night, but they still have one more game before the holiday break: they’ll visit Panola College in Carthage on Saturday, a 2 p.m. tipoff.
Then, the Lady Rangers are off for the rest of the month, and will jump back into action New Year’s Day in a mini-tournament at Bossier Parish Community College; they’ll face Hinds (Miss.) on New Year’s at 1 p.m., then play New Mexico Junior College the following day, also at 1.
KC’s ladies are 8-3 overall, and 1-1 in conference play.
Kilgore College 68, Jacksonville College 63 (men): In a rarity, the Rangers scored first and did not trail a single second in the game, although Blinn stayed with it and didn’t give up – a pair of free throws by JC’s Jallin Brown got the Jaguars within four (62-58) with about a half-minute left.
Michael Asante, Kevin Buckley and Demiere Brown all hit free throws in the final moments to help KC hang on – they combined for a 4-of-6 final stand at the charity stripe.
Brown finished with 14 points, five rebounds and an assist; Buckley and Rodrigue Tha Andela each had 12 points; Andela had 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. Malachi Davidson had seven points, three rebounds, and two steals. Kaleb Flavors and Jairus Stevens each had four points; Flavors had four assists. Jordyn Owens and Assane Ndiaye each had two points; Owens had five rebounds. Asante had one point on a free throw.
For JC, Brown finished with 14 and Kalyn Pennie had 10. Brown had six rebounds; Joel Plius had seven, and six points.
Kilgore College 77, Blinn 50 (women): The Lady Rangers had little problem here, although they did trail early. They held Blinn to just nine total points in the second and third periods.
TaShawnna Riggs led the way for KC with 20 points. She also had four rebounds and two assists. Patience Idoko had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and three steals, as well. Ireneshia Johnson had 10 points and six rebounds, and Sarah Mgbeike and Alex Popham each scored seven; impressively, Mgbeike had six blocked shots. Carah Burdette had nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
Kristine Ezimako had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Blinn; Imani Wimbish-Gay added 11 points.