Rangers survive late Ponies’ charge, 73-60

JORDAN MOSS
Staff Writer

The No. 23 ranked KC Rangers (19-4, 9-4 conference) came into Saturday night’s contest with the Panola Ponies (8-15, 0-13 conference) looking to build on their win against Tyler Junior College last Wednesday. They walked out of Carthage having done just that with a 73-60 victory in an overtime thriller.

KC controlled the majority of the game, trailing once in the first half that ended with the Rangers up 25-24.

Panola showed what it was made of in the second half by fighting back to tie the game 58-58 at the end of regulation.

In overtime Maurice Taylor (Toledo, Ohio) dominated the game for the Rangers scoring nine of their 15 points in an overtime period that saw KC outscore Panola 15-2.

Coach Brian Hoberecht was pleased with Taylor’s efforts in overtime.

“He was able to step up and make some plays,” Hoberecht said.

The Rangers were led in scoring by Quinton Upshur (Norfolk, Va.) with 16, Eric Diouf (Senegal) with 13, Maurice Taylor added 11, and Kalif Wright (Oak Hill, W. Va.) tacked on 10.

Joshua Brannon (Houston) led Panola with 18 points and Marquis Yates (Manassas, Va.) added 13.

KC shot 50.9 percent for the game, 75 percent from the line and out rebounded Panola 33-22. The Rangers dominated the points in the paint winning the battle down low 26-8.

Hoberecht knew that despite Panola’s record getting a win was no easy task.

“Anytime you’re on the road in a conference game it’s difficult,” Hoberecht said.

Despite the game nearly slipping away from the Rangers Hoberecht was glad his team was able to pull out the victory.

“For five minutes we played really hard there in overtime,” Hoberecht said.

Hoberecht remains committed to making improvements as the regular season heads down the home stretch.

“We didn’t play great tonight, I’m not sure I coached great tonight,” Hoberecht said. “I promised them that I would be better down the stretch and that we would be a lot better as team down the stretch.”

The Rangers sit at 20-4, 10-4 in conference for the season. KC will be in action 7:30 Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Masters Gym against Trinity Valley (16-9, 7-6 conference).

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