This Region XIV Conference thing – it’s hard.
It’s a night-in, night-out grind for both men’s and women’s divisions every time you take the court. Previously-undefeated conference leader Tyler found that out last weekend here at Masters Gymnasium, when they went down to Kilgore College in overtime. And unfortunately, the Rangers themselves were reminded of it on Wednesday night in Corsicana.
KC fought down to the wire, but dropped a paper-thin contest of its own to Navarro, 73-71.
The Rangers had a flurry of activity at the end: a shot attempt was launched, knocked down and rebounded, and Navarro’s fans held their breath – as the final shot was missed.
The loss drops coach Brian Hoberecht’s team to 17-5 overall, and 8-4 in conference play. Prior to that game, KC had worked its way up to second in the men’s East Zone standings, behind only Tyler. That loss, combined with a Panola win, allowed Panola to slip in front of KC by a half game.
Ironically, Panola is Saturday’s opponent for the Rangers, here at 2 p.m.
KC got 22 points, three rebounds and three assists from Michael Thomas. Cameron Gooden had 11 points and five assists, and Rodrigue Andela had 10 points and eight boards, and blocked three shots.
Tyron McMillian had eight points; Stephan Morris had six, and five rebounds; D’Rell Roberts had seven points and three assists; and Assane Ndiaye and Montrell Horsey each had two points. Navarro’s Akol Mawein had 26 points to lead all scorers, and also had seven rebounds.
Lady Rangers: The Lady Rangers were off Wednesday night. They’re back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday in Lufkin at Angelina College, in a rematch of the conference opener between both teams in Kilgore late last year that Angelina won in overtime.
They’ll return home to Masters Gym next Wednesday to take on Blinn, a 5:30 p.m. tip-off, and then it’s back on the road next Saturday, Feb. 8, at Panola College.
Coach Addie Lees’ Lady Rangers are on a two-game winning streak, and have won three of their last four, including last Saturday at home against Jacksonville College. KC’s ladies are 16-5 overall, 5-4 in conference play and currently alone in fifth place, behind Trinity Valley (9-0 in conference), Tyler (7-2), Blinn (6-3), and Panola (6-3), the final two in that group tied for third.
Four young ladies average double figures: Ireneshia Johnson (15.9 points a game), Sarah Matthews (15.6), Annilla Dawn (12.9) and Jada Hood (12.5). Johnson also leads the team in rebounds per game (8.5), but Tara Kessner is right behind (7.3).
KC is averaging 77 points, 42 rebounds and 14 assists per game. They’ve got two of their next three on the road, but that might not be a bad thing: the Lady Rangers are 7-1 in true road games this year.