Rangers drop first match to San Jac

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O. Rufus Lovett / Special to The Flare

The KC Rangers dropped their first game of the season Wednesday night, losing 85-78 on the road to San Jacinto College to drop to 13-1 and 4-1 in conference play.

The Ravens went on a 20-2 surge in the second half with 14 unanswered points to give San Jacinto the lead. San Jacinto had 54 free throw shot attempts in the game. KC was 12-of-17 from the free throw line. KC’s Stefan Moody led all Ranger scorers with 22 points.

“I didn’t think we played well enough to win on the road in that environment,” Coach Brian Hoberecht said. “It was a good game. We gave ourselves some opportunities, but we were not able to capitalize down the stretch.”

Prior to the loss the Rangers were ranked No. 2 nationally in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll, trailing only Northwest Florida State College.

As the second half of the season begins, Hoberecht is pleased with the team’s performance.

“These guys have been very receptive to our philosophy,” he said. “They have worked hard, listened, and been very coachable.”

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The Rangers took a convincing win in Masters Gym last Saturday over Coastal Bend, 67-51.

Jamarcus Weatherspoon led with 16 points, including one 3-pointer, while Jonathan Milligan hit a trio of 3-pointers to rack up 13 points overall. That was matched by Stefan Moody, who also had seven assists and three steals.

Kalif Wright pulled in seven rebounds, followed by Weatherspoon and Tom Bush Wamukota with six apiece.

KC shot 38.5 percent in the first half and improved to 42.9 percent in the second stanza. They shot 75 percent from the free-throw line and were 8-21 from 3-point range for 38.1 percent. The defense held Coastal Bend to a 32.8 percent shooting percentage.

Through 13 games as of Jan. 4, the Rangers were shooting at a 60 percent 2-point field-goal percentage, while hitting two-thirds of their shots from the free-throw line. From beyond the 3-point arc, the squad was averaging 41.1 percent. The team held its opponents to a 38.6 shooting percentage and has chalked up nearly double the total number of rebounds.

Moody led the team in scoring average  at 18.3 points, followed by Weatherspoon at 14 points and Wright at 13.3 points. The 7-foot Wamukota led off the boards with 98 rebounds, closely followed by Wright with 95. Moody also led the team in steals with 29 so far, trailed by Michael Thomas with 17.

KC hosts Lamar State-Port Arthur at 4 p.m. Saturday in Masters Gym in another conference match.