JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Lamar slips past KC in final moments

Halts 9-game winning streak; Lady Rangers home tonight

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Alabama had an awful night in the College Football Playoff on Monday, and while Kilgore College didn’t get overwhelmed, the Rangers’ night wasn’t much better.

KC lost for the first time since November, falling 72-70 here at Masters Gymnasium to Lamar-Port Arthur, the Rangers’ first Region XIV Conference loss of the season. KC drops to 3-1 in the conference, and they’re 12-3 on the season to date. They had won nine straight games prior to that defeat.

The Rangers are on the road today at 4 p.m. at Lee College in Baytown; they’ll be home on Saturday, a 4 p.m. tip-off against Blinn (and former longtime KC coach Scott Schumacher).

KC’s Lady Rangers have been off for a week. They played two non-conference games on Jan. 1-2, and they’ll jump back into conference play tonight at home against Paris Junior College, a 5:30 p.m. start. On Saturday, the Lady Rangers are on the road at Trinity Valley in Athens, and that tips off at 2.

The ladies are 9-5 on the season, 1-2 in conference play, and haven’t played a conference game since before the holiday break, back in December. Through the season so far, the ladies are led by Sarah Mgbeike and Emely Rosario, who are both averaging just over 12 points a game – Mgbeike is also among the conference’s leaders in rebounds (nine per game).

Lamar State-Port Arthur 72, KC 70 (men): The Seahawks might be out of the NFL playoffs, but Lamar’s Seahawks got up off the canvas, so to speak, and got out of Masters with a win on Monday.

Lamar rallied from a 19-point KC lead and, trailing 69-64 late, grabbed a couple of KC turnovers to get within a point. Lamar’s Terrance Minor drew a foul and gave his team a 70-69 lead.

KC’s Rodrigue Tha Andela returned the favor at the other end of the floor, hitting one of two free throws with just under 18 seconds left to tie the game (70-all).

Lamar just wouldn’t let it happen. Nathan Bailey knocked down a jump shot that gave them a 72-70 lead with four seconds left, and a prayer put up from KC missed – Lamar escaped with the victory.

The Rangers started hot – they hit 7-of-12 three-pointers in the first half – but cooled off, going 1-of-5 in the second. For the first time in quite some time, KC’s bench didn’t have more points than their opponents’ bench (Lamar’s had 25 to KC’s 21). And the Seahawks were able to capitalize off KC turnovers, scoring 22 points.

The loss somewhat overshadowed a good game from KC’s Jordyn Owens, who had 22 points, two assists, and two rebounds. Demiere Brown and Darrian Grays each had 14 points; Grays had two assists and Brown had 11 rebounds and two steals.

Tha Andela had seven points and six rebounds; Assane Ndiaye had eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

Lamar was led by Minor, who had 14 points, and Tevin Baker, who had 13. Jaymus Jones and Bailey each had 11.

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