The KC Rangers headed into Wednesday night’s game at Paris Junior College with a 17-2 record (7-2 in conference) ranked No. 15 in the nation. They left with a tough loss, falling 62-58 to the Dragons.
Paris started fast with a 7-0 run in the opening minutes of the contest and never trailed. Sophomore guard Quinton UpShur (Norfolk, Va.) led the Rangers with 18 points. The Dragons out rebounded the Rangers 40-30, something head coach Brian Hoberecht contributed to being a reason for the Rangers’ defeat.
“Tonight they (Paris) controlled the aspects of the game that had to be controlled,” Hoberecht said. Sophomore guard Eddie Leal (Dallas) led the Paris squad with 24 points.
The Rangers managed to close the gap to 27-25 at the half; however, Paris opened the second half on an 8-0 run. Kilgore fought hard and closed within two, 60-58, following a three-point shot by UpShur with 19 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Rangers were forced to begin intentional fouling to prevent Paris from running out the clock. In the end the Dragons hit their free throws following the intentional fouling and held on for a tough victory.
The Dragons were 16 for 22 from the charity stripe for the night while the Rangers went 14 for 26. The rebounding and free throw issues plagued the Rangers.
“This is going to give us something to get better at and hopefully we take advantage of it,” Hoberecht said.
The Kilgore Rangers now sit at 17-3 (7-3 conference) for the season. The Rangers will host Bossier Parish Community College 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, in Masters Gym.