While everyone else was having a quiet little new year’s start, the Kilgore College Rangers were taking care of business – and racking up Region XIV Conference wins that should be very important down the stretch.
The Rangers sank both Victoria College, a new member in the conference, and Lamar State in three days’ time, beating Victoria, 109-67, and then Lamar, 82-72, in Port Arthur.
Coach Brian Hoberecht’s Rangers are one of the hottest teams in the conference right now: Tyler has won 12 in a row; KC has won seven; and league-leading Panola has won six. The Rangers are 13-2 overall, and 4-1 in conference play. Panola is 5-0 in RXIV, and Tyler is 4-0. Those three teams sit atop the East Zone standings.
Angelina, Jacksonville and Blinn, in that order, are the leaders in the South Zone.
The Rangers are unbeaten at home (9-0) and are back home tonight, a 7 p.m. tip-off against Lee College. KC is on the road the next two games: at Blinn in Brenham on Saturday (4 p.m.), and at Trinity Valley in Athens next Wednesday, Jan. 15 (7 p.m.).
Victoria College are the Pirates, and that’s fitting, because so far, VC’s journey into the conference has been rough sailing. The Pirates are 0-8.
KC’s Michael Thomas was smoking hot Friday night against VC, hitting 10 of his 12 shots, going 4-of-6 from three-point range and finishing with 24 points. He had three steals, two assists and two rebounds, as well.
Teammate Tyron McMillian had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists, and Rodrigue Andela had 12 points, nine rebounds, and four blocked shots.
Stephan Morris also had 12 points. Cameron Gooden scored 10 for KC and had six assists and two steals. Assane Ndiaye had seven points, six rebounds, and three assists, and also blocked four shots. Brendon Hoberecht, coach Hoberecht’s son, scored six points and had five assists.
Tysen Banks had five points, three assists and two rebounds; D’Rell Roberts had four, to go with six rebounds and five assists; and Montrell Horsey had three points, three rebounds and four assists.
For Victoria, Jacob Brown had 26 points to lead all scorers, and had six assists. Kenyatis Turner scored 19, and had six rebounds and two steals. Mikael Garza had 13 points, two assists and two rebounds. Victoria’s starters each played all 40 minutes of the game.
Things were a little tighter in Monday’s win at Port Arthur – KC was outscored, 42-37 in the second half – but the Rangers got the job done and escaped with a win. Thomas hit a three with 3:45 left in the game, and the Rangers held on for the win after Lamar State had rallied. KC was up by 15 at the half.
The Rangers overcame 26 turnovers and a 24-point performance from Lamar’s J’Son Brooks.
Lady Rangers: Coach Addie Lees’ ladies had the remainder of the week off, after winning a pair of non-conference games in a mini-tournament at Bossier Parish last Wednesday and Thursday.
KC is 12-3 overall, and back in action tonight, but on the road at Paris Junior College. That’s a 5:30 p.m. start. They’ve got a big one at home on Saturday, though, a 2 p.m. tip-off against always-tough Trinity Valley.
Trinity Valley is 14-1, but just lost (a non-conference game to New Mexico College in that tournament at Bossier). Paris, tonight’s opponent for the Lady Rangers, is 5-8 overall, but 2-1 in conference play. Two of KC’s three losses this season have been in conference: they’re 1-2 in league play.
The Lady Rangers are 4-1 at home, 5-1 on the road and 3-1 at neutral sites (in tournaments at Midland and Bossier). They’re averaging 77 points, 43 rebounds, and 14 assists per game, and have won three in a row dating back to before the holiday break the second week of December.