KC wins first game in national tourney, 80-58; will play second seed noon Wednesday

Kris Dobbins / THE FLARE || Kilgore's Lonnie McClanahan goes up for a basket during Monday's game against Shelton State (Ala.) in Hutchinson, Kan.
Kris Dobbins / THE FLARE || Kilgore’s Lonnie McClanahan goes up for a basket during Monday’s game against Shelton State (Ala.) in Hutchinson, Kan.

Staff Writer

HUTCHINSON, KAN.- The Kilgore College Rangers rolled into the second round of the National Junior College Athletic Association basketball tournament with an 80-58 victory over Shelton State from Tuscaloosa, Ala., Monday night.

KC controlled the game from the opening tip with an 11-2 run in the first six minutes of play.

The Ranger defense stifled Shelton State holding them to 22 points in the first half.

Lonnie McClanahan led KC in scoring with 19, shooting 70 percent from the field and making five of seven free-throws attempted.

Maurice Taylor contributed 13 points, while Erick Diouf added nine.

KC head coach Brian Hoberecht said he was pleased with the way his entire team contributed to the victory.

“I really do feel like we got good quality minutes from everybody on our team,” Hoberecht said. “I was really pleased with the contribution that everyone made tonight.”

D’arieal Franklin and Ladarius Tabb led Shelton State with 14 points each, and Jacob Perry added 10.

The Rangers and Shelton State both had 23 turnovers in the contest, but KC was able to get 30 points off of the give-aways  while Shelton State managed 17.

The play of the KC bench was a factor in the victory as they outscored Shelton State’s 49-26. The Rangers shot 52 percent from the field to Shelton State’s 32 percent.

Kilgore advances to face the No. 2 seed Spartanburg Methodist that sits at a perfect 32-0 on the season. Facing a team that has yet to be defeated will not prevent the Rangers from continuing to focus on playing their style of basketball.

“I think the biggest key to Wednesday is going to be developing a game plan that fits our team,” Hoberecht said. “It’s going to be as much about Kilgore and us being good at what we do as it is going to be trying to disrupt them.”

KC will face Spartanburg Methodist College from Spartanburg, S.C., at noon Wednesday, March 20, at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson, Kan.