The KC Rangers headed into action Wednesday, with a record of 18-4 (8-4 conference) and walked out with an impressive victory over a tough Tyler Junior College (18-4, 9-3 conference) squad 54-45, snapping TJC’s nine-game win streak in the process.
TJC jumped out to an early 7-2 lead within the first five minutes of play. The Rangers then surged back with a 9-0 run to grab the lead, which they never relinquished.
The first half ended on a high note for KC with Quinton Upshur (Norfolk, Va.) draining a three-pointer with just seconds left to send KC to the locker room up 28-20 at the break.
Upshur led the Rangers in scoring with 14 points. Maurice Taylor (Toledo, Ohio) had 11, and Lonnie McClanahan (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) added eight points.
KC shot 35.4 percent from the field as a team, while hitting 17 of 25 from the line for 68 percent. The Rangers also added 17 points off of turnovers and won the battle for points in the paint with 17 to TJC’s eight. KC controlled the boards as well as out rebounding TJC 39-29.
Coach Hoberecht was pleased with the way his team bounced back from the 69-59 loss to Navarro.
“I thought we played a lot closer to what our identity has been for the majority of the season tonight,” Hoberecht said. “But even more importantly we just played better.”
TJC managed to close the gap to 40-36 with 8:36 to go in the second half with a 7-0 run over a span of 1:24. KC responded with poise and toughness to maintain the lead.
“I thought our guys showed a lot of resolve tonight,” Hoberecht said.
Six games remain for the Rangers before the Region XIV Tournament begins, an event which is sure to be hotly contested this year. Hoberecht knows there is still work to be done for his team.
“You want to be playing your best basketball during this time of the year,” Hoberecht said. “We’re consistently every day trying to re-emphasize the things we think are important work on the things we think are important, and give us the best chance and opportunity to win each individual game.”
One statement the head coach made best sums up the attitude of this KC squad: “We’re just trying to stay humble and trying to stay hungry as we go down the stretch,” Hoberecht said.
KC will be in action 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, when they travel to face Panola (8-14, 0-12 conference) in Carthage.