Perfect preseason start for Rangers

Kris Dobbins / THE FLARE || Forward Erick Diouf shoots over three defenders in Wednesday’s 98-61 victory over the Tomball club team. The Rangers will have two games this weekend, 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday in Masters Gym.

Kade Morrison and Jeremy Garza
Staff Writers

The KC men’s basketball team is officially 5-0 after defeating Tomball, 98-60, Wednesday night in Masters Gym. The Rangers’ early 6-0 run was too much for Tomball and the Rangers never looked back.

KC’s bench contributed with points while sophomore guard Quinton Upshur put up 19 points, nine rebounds, three-three pointers and had three blocks. To end the half, Upshur hit a three-point buzzer beater to take a 48-31 lead.

Freshman forward Erick Diouf had 14 points, six rebounds and three steals.

The Rangers will play two games this weekend in Masters Gym. The first face-off will be 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, against Northeastern State JV followed, by a 4 p.m. contest Saturday against Eastfield.

The Rangers had two impressive wins in the young season against Stephen F. Austin Club Team 87-36 Friday night and Saturday over Weatherford 61-50 in the Tyler Junior College Sleep Inn Classic at Wagstaff Gymnasium.

KC faced the SFA Club team for the second time this season and outscored the Lumberjacks 42-9 in the first half.

Sophomore guard Lonnie McClanahan led KC with 19 points, and freshman forward Kalif Wright  followed with 13 points.

Head coach Brian Hoberecht felt his guys settled in well against the SFA Club Team.

“Our guys played with the identity we wanted them to have as a team,” Hoberecht said.

On Saturday KC outscored Weatherford 35-26 in the first half.

“Our effort was tremendous,” Hoberecht said. “I thought in the second half we had a little mental lapse during a stretch that made it a closer game than it should have been, but we came through.”

Freshman forward Erick Deof was the leading scorer in the game for the Rangers with 16 points. Sophomore point guard Nardi Bogues was close behind with 11 points.

“Weatherford has a lot of great players. They have great talent at each of the five positions on the court,” Hoberecht said.

KC’s bench had 20 combined points to Weatherford’s 12 points. Key bench points came from Lonnie McClanahan with six points and Andre Horne Jr. with five points. Da-Juan Cooper led the way for Coyotes with  15 points.

Hoberecht feels good about the team’s 5-0 start. He believes the team will face some adversity throughout the season.

KC’s success will depend on the Rangers’ ability to adjust well and identify mismatches on the court that will give the team more opportunities to score.

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