Kilgore time out

Kilgore High School boys basketball coach Jeff Coleman (front) addresses an official (not pictured) during a time out in a recent game. Kilgore won one and lost one Thursday in a tournament in Paris. The Bulldogs will wrap that up, then open District 16-4A play at home next Friday night against Gilmer; Kilgore’s girls host Gilmer that night, as well.

Kilgore High School’s boys basketball team is using the days after Christmas to spend some quality time together in Paris – and the Eiffel Tower isn’t involved.

Coach Jeff Coleman’s Bulldogs are competing once again in the Paris (Texas, of course) Holiday Tournament, and split a pair of games on Thursday: the ‘Dogs beat Hope (Ark.), the childhood hometown of former President Bill Clinton, 43-29, and then lost to North Forney Thursday night, 57-38.

Kilgore was to continue the tournament on Friday with host-team Paris, currently ranked 12{sup}th{/sup} in Class 4A in the state poll.

Coleman, who is in his second stint at Kilgore, has a young team on his hands with just one senior (Jeremiah Hoskins) who had playing time before this season. But Coleman knows how to turn things around.

Upon his arrival from Oklahoma back in 2011 for his first stint at KHS, Coleman inherited a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in almost 30 years, since the glory days of coach Donnie Oden and players like Vic Williams back in the early ‘80s.

But Coleman turned Kilgore’s program around, getting the Bulldogs all the way to the regional tournament in Commerce. He left not long after that for Tyler Lee, and also spent time at Gladewater and even as Kilgore’s girls coach for a season. But he’s back at the helm of the Bulldogs, and Coleman is determined to make another turnaround.

“If we can just take care of the ball and limit turnovers, we can win,” Coleman told the News Herald Thursday night.

Hoskins had 17 points to lead Kilgore against Hope, and Jake Thompson added 11. C.J. Ingram had seven points for the ‘Dogs. Bryson Parker had five and Rowdy Rieke chipped in with a free throw. Against North Forney, the points were fewer: Hoskins led with 11, and Rieke and Ingram each had eight. Thomas Hattaway added six. Thompson had three, and Jaylon Guice had two.

The Bulldogs are in their last meaningful action before District 16-4A play begins next Friday, Jan. 3. Kilgore’s boys and the Lady Bulldogs are both at home that night against Gilmer.

Also in 16-4A are Spring Hill, Cumberland Academy, Chapel Hill, Henderson and Bullard.

Coach Trushundra McGill’s Lady Bulldogs are competing (varsity only) in a tournament at Hallsville this weekend, and are off until hosting Gilmer next Friday.

West Rusk: Coach Chad Hlavaty’s Raiders are playing this weekend in a tournament at Hawkins, and beat Alba-Golden, 48-43, Thursday.

Talon Winings had 20 points. Logan Patterson scored 12, Myles Foster, nine, Gavin Smith had five, and Jaxon Farquhar had two, to go with 11 rebounds. Jamal Ford added three assists for West Rusk, who plays at Tyler Grace at 1 p.m. Tuesday (beginning with junior varsity), then opens District 16-3A play at White Oak next Friday, again starting with JV, this time at 5.

The Lady Raiders have been off since Dec. 20, and also are off Tuesday. They, too, open district play next Friday at White Oak.

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