Rangers slip against TJC, 22-8

Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansas Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare
Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansa Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare
Ranger quarterback Roger McCuller hands off the ball to tailback Demarcus Smith against the Tyler Junior College Apaches on Aug. 26 at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore. The Rangers dropped their rain-soaked season opener against TJC, 22-8. They return to action Sept. 29 in a home contest against Arkansas Baptist College. Photo by Jamie Maldonado / Special to The Flare

The outskirts of Hurricane Harvey kept a steady drizzle falling all game as No. 22 Tyler Junior College washed away all hopes of a season-opening victory for Kilgore College Aug. 26.

TJC held the Rangers scoreless in the first three quarters, defeating the Rangers 22-8.

The Apaches got on the board first with 6:30 left in the first quarter thanks to a mishandled snap by KC’s punter that sailed into the end zone for a safety.

After trading possessions, TJC’s Tyler Dunlop had a 34-yard field goal blocked that was run back to the 47 yard line by KC’s Morgan Vest.

On the next drive, KC quarterback Jalil Kilpatrick connected for 60 yards to Jonathan Mackey to get the Rangers in the red zone, but KC fumbled on the next play.

The fumble gave TJC the ball on the KC 14 yard line with one minute remaining in the first quarter.

The fumble was one of five fumbles for KC, four of which were lost.

On the next possession, KC held the Apaches but fumbled on its next offensive possession with 9:35 in the second quarter to give TJC the ball at the 29 yard line.

TJC quarterback Brennen Wooten then threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Ward to put the Apaches up, 8-0.

With 7:57 left in the third quarter Wooten connected for a touchdown pass again, this time for 9 yards to Trent Williams to increase TJC’s lead to 15-0.

KC’s lone touchdown came from a 7-yard run by De’Montre Tuggle with 13:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Roger McCuller connected with Mackey for a successful two-point conversion to put the Rangers within one score at 15-8.

But TJC wasn’t finished scoring.  With 8:38 left in the contest TJC’s Jeremy Wilson scored on a 20-yard touchdown run after a long drive to put the Apaches up 22-8.

On KC’s next possession, they almost converted a fourth and 10 at the TJC 15 yard line to keep hopes alive, but the receiver caught the ball just out of bounds.

The Rangers turned the ball over on downs and TJC ran the remaining five minutes of the clock to preserve the 22-8 victory.

KC has a bye week next week, but will be back in action 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at home versus Arkansas Baptist College.

Rangers take down Paris, still one-half game behind TJC

Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE
Photo by Grant Worley/THE FLARE

The Rangers swept a windy double-header Wednesday against Paris Junior College to climb into sole possession of second place with a 14-4 record in Region XIV, East Division.

In the first match, Ranger pitcher Katy Worrell shut out the Dragons 3-0 in seven innings, for her 15th win. Worrell allowed three hits and struck out five through seven innings.

Brianana Davis drove in teammate Manda Wilmoth with a ground out RBI in the sixth for the final run of the game. In the fourth inning the Ranger’s defense made back-to-back catches in the outfield to shut down the Dragons.
The Rangers put themselves on the board early in this match-up, as Taylor Christopher scored in the third inning and teammate Hannah Carpenter scored in the first.

Shelby Edwards was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI on a single in the first inning and a double in the third inning.

In the second victory over Paris, the Rangers won on the nine-run mercy rule in the fifth inning, earning pitcher Renee Jones her eighth victory of this season with the 9-0 shutout.

Jones allowed four hits and struck out six of the Dragon batters.

As the winds reached 15 mph, the Rangers batters grew stronger. Edwards smashed in five runs for KC, hitting two home runs, a single driven to left field area in the first inning and a grand slam to center field in the second inning.

Carpenter, Wilmoth, Amber Williams and Jo Rivera are the reason for the Rangers four other RBIs.

Kaitlyn Stebelton was 3 for 3 at the plate scoring a total of three runs, with Carpenter scoring two runs, and Williams scoring one run.

The Rangers will play another double header at 1 & 3 p.m. Saturday, April 8, in Corsicana, against Navarro Junior College.


Lady Cardinals take lead in third quarter, Lady Rangers fall in third round of playoffs

The road to the Region XIV Conference tournament left Lady Ranger basketball fans with motion sickness. The Lady Rangers entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed and made their way to the championship game. The first stop was a mission to defeat No. 3 seed Panola. The KC Lady Rangers finished on top 77-74, giving head coach Anna Nimz her 100th win. After losing to the Fillies twice during the regular season, Kilgore (20-10), shut down Panola leaving them with a 23-8 record. This win was a landmark for KC, making it their first win in tournament play since defeating Angelina College in the 2008-09 season. Although the road was bumpy,  Lyrik Williams, Crystal, Minnesota sophomore, helped the Lady Rangers by adding 20 points and 15 rebounds. Richelle  Velez, Brazoswood freshman, finished  with five 3-pointers and a go-ahead layup for 17 points, while Danielle Meadow, Corpus Christi freshman scored 15 and Jade Thurmon, Ferris freshman, scored 13.

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Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE

The second stop was a nail biter. The fan base grew larger and louder, as they prepared for KC’s match-up against No. 2 seed San Jacinto. The Lady Rangers ended on top with a 64-56 win in  overtime. Lady Ranger fans in John Alexander Gymnasium seemed to be on the edge of their seats as Williams carried the team into overtime, scoring the extra points the Lady Rangers needed. Williams went on to score 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. Velez led the Lady Rangers with 22 points, sinking six 3-pointers along the way, followed by Meador with nine points and 11 rebounds. Da’Jah Thompson, Tyler sophomore, with 10 rebounds.

The final destination was the longest haul. As the Lady Rangers met up with former rivals, No. 1 seeded Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals, fans got serious about cheering on their team, borrowing megaphones from the now-defunct KC cheer squad. The goal was to cheer louder than TVCC’s band and cheerleaders. This was a milestone for KC. However it ended in heartbreak with the Lady Rangers falling to the Cards 61-39.

Meador finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in that game. Williams, Thompson and Velez all added eight, with Williams adding five rebounds, and  Thompson pulling down seven rebounds.

Overall, the road to the championship bracket was a challenge, but the Lady Rangers drove hard to the final destination.

Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE


Rangers break losing streak with needed win; Lady Ranger, Velez, sets new record

Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE
Photo by Tiffany Johnson/THE FLARE


The Rangers got off their 8 game losing streak with an 83-65 win against Navarro College on Sophomore night. The Rangers needed to win this game to stay in the playoff race.

The first half was close throughout ending with the Rangers leading 40-37. The Rangers then pulled away outscoring Navarro 43-28 in the second half.

Cheikh Diallo, KC sophomore, lead the game in scoring with 19 points. Diallo went 5-9 from three-point range and dished out 5 assists his final home game as a Ranger. Jamar Sandifer, KC freshman and Ndene Gueye, KC sophomore both scored 18 points to contribute to the win. Gueye notched a double-double grabbing 10 rebounds and added 3 blocks to his dominate performance.

Davion Newton, KC freshman also scored in double figures with 11 points. The Rangers now move to 13-15 overall and 4-14 in conference. The Rangers final game will be 4 p.m. March 4 at Trinity Valley Community College.

The Lady Rangers turned in a strong 81-67 win against Angelina college. The win was headlined by a 33 -point scoring outburst by KC freshman Richelle Velez. Velez made an eye-opening 9 three pointers and grabbed 4 rebounds to break down an old school record of 8 three pointers set earlier in the semester. Lyrik Williams, KC sophomore also played a great game securing a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jade Thurmon, KC freshman also scored in double figures with 11 points and added 4 rebounds and assists. The Lady Rangers now push their record to 19-9 overall and 10-8 in conference. The Lady Rangers play their last game will be 2 p.m. March 4 against conference leader Trinity Valley.


Basketball Pink out; Lady Rangers support cancer research

Bball Women's vs. Paris
Photo by Tina Marie Reed/THE FLARE

The Kilgore College Lady Rangers hosted their annual “Cancer Awareness Game” Wednesday, Feb. 22, to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

The team raised $1,062 with money taken at the gate, including donations, and will be sent to support cancer research.

“We play for those who are fighting, have fought and who have lost,” said head coach Anna Nimz. “We all have our own ‘heroes’ who we fight for. Please help us make a difference.”

The women donned pink during this game and played with a pink basketball to visually show their support.

Before the game was a sophomore presentation, celebrating the women’s last home game of the season.

The halftime entertainment featured a performance by the Rangerette Swingsters and a 5-on-5 basketball game featuring members of the KC Dance Club.

Photo by Timothy Stuckey/THE FLARE
Bball Women's Halftime Swingsters
Photo by Tina Marie Reed/THE FLARE


Bossier Parish puts up cavalier effort against KC teams, Feb. 18


The Lady Rangers returned to the floor strong on Saturday, Feb. 18, with an 81-57 blowout against Bossier Parish Community College Lady Cavaliers. The Lady Rangers were dominate throughout the game, leading by as many as 31 points at times.

Richelle Velez, Brazoswood freshman, led the Lady Rangers in scoring with 18 points. Lyrik Williams, Crystal, Minnesota, sophomore turned in a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jade Thurmon, Ferris freshman, scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first half. Also, Danielle Meador, Corpus Christi freshman, led the team with 12 rebounds and chipped in six assists and seven points.


The Rangers took a tough 90-88 loss Saturday against the Bossier Parish Community College Cavaliers. The game was back and forth throughout, with the lead changing 18 times. But the Rangers couldn’t pull out a win and dropped their sixth straight game.

Chad Bowie, Houston freshman, led the Rangers in scoring with 22 points and almost notched a double-double with nine assists. Ndene Gueye, Senegal, Africa, sophomore who missed the last few games with an injury, made a strong personal comeback, scoring 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Jamar Sandifer, Dallas freshman, and Cheikh Fall, Senegal, Africa, sophomore, both scored in the double figures with 15 and 10 respectively.

Basketball team splits last double-header of the season


The Lady Rangers pulled out a nail-biting 81-76 win Wednesday night against the Paris Junior College Lady Dragons as the Lady Rangers’ sophomores were recognized at their last home game.

Bball women's vs Paris

The game was tied at 76 until Lyrik Williams, Crystal, Minn. sophomore, made a lay up while getting fouled with 10 seconds left in the game. She then made the free throw to cap off her 16-point night. Williams also added nine rebounds and six assists. Jade Thurmon, Ferris freshman, was the game’s leading scorer and added four rebounds. Alexus Moore, Stony Point freshman, scored 14 points in a solid birthday performance. The Lady Rangers are now 18-8 overall and 9-7 in conference.

The Rangers took a tough 83-70 loss in the double-header as part of a seven-game losing streak. Chad Bowie, Houston freshman, and Cheikh Diallo, Senegal, Africa, sophomore, both scored 19 points. Bowie added five rebounds and assists. Diallo made five three-pointers and was efficient shooting five-for-eight from downtown. Ndene Gueye, Senegal, Africa, sophomore, had a double-double scoring 13 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The Rangers are now 12-14 overall; 3-13 in conference.

Bball Mens vs Paris

Doubleheader does damage to KC Rangers

Photo by Tina Marie Reed/THE FLARE
Photo by Tina Marie Reed/THE FLARE

The Lady Rangers had their three-game win streak snapped Wednesday, Feb. 15 with an 88-75 loss to Tyler Junior College. The Lady Rangers fought against the Lady Apaches the entire game and lead through three quarters before being outscored 28-14 in the fourth quarter.

Jade Thurmon, KC freshman guard, had a 28-point outing and added three steals to cap off her birthday performance. Lyrik Williams, KC sophomore guard, had another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Williams also added eight assists and three steals.

The Lady Rangers now fall to 16-8 overall and 7-7 in conference. The women will visit Bossier Parish this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 18, to face the Lady Cavaliers head-on. The women’s sophomore night is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22. Sophomore students involved with the basketball team will be honored.  The team will also be hosting the annual “Cancer Awareness Game.” All gate proceeds and donations collected will be given to help fund cancer research.  The Rangerette Swingsters and the KC Dance Club will perform during the halftime of this game.

The Rangers lost their fifth straight game, 86-70, Wednesday, Feb.15 against the Tyler Junior College Apaches.

In a previous game at Trinity Valley Community College on Wednesday, Feb. 8, Brian Hoberecht, head basketball coach, was suspended for one game after teching out; consequently, he was not able to lead the Rangers in the game against TJC.

The Rangers went into the half down 35-34 but a second half explosion by Tyler ultimately was their demise. KC freshman guard Jamar Sandifer put up an eye opening 29 points and added six rebounds in a losing effort. KC freshman guard Chad Bowie had a well-rounded game scoring 15 points and turning in six assists and rebounds.

The Rangers were shorthanded missing both sophomore forward Ndene Gueye and freshman guard Tre Evans both starters. The Rangers now fall to 12-12 overall and 3-10 in conference.

Photo by Tina Marie Reed/THE FLARE


Legendary coach misses shot with Women’s Basketball HOF induction

Evelyn Blalock was not one of the remaining six inducted on Sunday for the 2017 Hall of Fame Class. Blalock started the Kilgore College women’s basketball program in 1979, and spent a total of 18 seasons benched for the Lady Rangers. Her first KC team finished 17-12, followed by seasons of 16-16 and her lone losing season with the Lady Rangers (14-18 in 1981-82). KC returned to the national tournament two years later, finishing 35-2 and again winning the championship.

After placing fourth nationally in 1990-91 with a 25-6 record, Kilgore went 15-7 in 1991-92 and then won Blalock’s third national championship a year later with a 26-5 record in 1992-93.

Blalock’s final season was 1997-98, and her team finished 16-12 to give her a 408-166 career record with the Lady Rangers. Following her leave of KC, Blalock was an assistant coach at the University of Georgia for the 1988-89 seasons before returning to East Texas to coach at Spring Hill High School, where she led the Lady Panthers’ golf team to three straight appearances at the UIL Class 3A State Golf Tournament – capped by a third-place finish in 2006. On Jan. 16 the former coach was nominated as one of 12 finalists for an induction back

Of the finalists, Official Sally Bell, contributor Christine Grant, coach Rick Insell, veteran nominee Louise O’Neal and players Sheryl Swoopes and Kara Wolters were selected for induction in June in Knoxville, Tennessee.


Rangers defeated in doubleheader against MCC

McLennan used walk-off doubles in both games to capture a pair of 3-2 wins over Kilgore College on Saturday in a non-conference doubleheader.

in the top of the eighth Kilgore took a 2-1 lead in the opening game, but McLennan pushed across two in the bottom half and won the game on an RBI double by Ruby Trejo.

Hannah Carpenter doubled and drove in a run for KC in the loss, and Rivera with two singles and an RBI. Kaitlyn Stebelton tripled, Manda Wilmoth doubled and Laci Hambalek came through with a single.

Katy Worrell would take the pitching loss. She struck out three, walked five and allowed three earned runs on six hits in 7.1 innings.

In the nightcap of the top of the sixth, KC scored twice in the top of the sixth to go in front 2-0, but McLennan tied the game in the bottom of the sixth and won on a two-out RBI double off the bat of Elizabeth Svienty.

Rivera doubled and drove in a run for Kilgore. Hambalek and Shelby Edwards added doubles, and Brianna Davis singled.

Cheyanne Phillips took the loss for KC in relief of Renee Jones, who pitched five innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits with one strikeout and a walk.

Kilgore (6-8) will host the Ranger Shootout next Saturday and Sunday at The Ballpark at KC Commons.

The Rangers will face Murray State at 9 a.m. and Independence (Kansas) at 3 p.m. on Saturday and then will take on Murray State at 1 p.m. and Cisco at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Lady Rangers come back strong; Men fall to conference rival

Photo by Tiffany Johnson/The Flare
Photo by Tiffany Johnson/The Flare

The Lady Rangers bounced back after their two forfeits with a strong 77-55 conference win against Coastal Bend College Feb. 4. The Lady Rangers started the game with a 16-1 run and lead 50-20 at the half. KC sophomore guard Lyrik Wiliiams had a great game notching a double-double scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. KC freshmen guards Richelle Velez and Jade Thurmon also scored in double figures. Velez scored 18 making her first 5 three-point attempts and ended the game with 6 three-pointers. Thurmon scored 13 points and added 6 assists. The Lady Rangers are now 14-7 and 6-6 in conference. The Lady Rangers next game will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 8 at Masters Gym against Louisiana College.

The Rangers had a rough week losing both of their conference games. Kc was ahead by three points at the half but a 18-2 run by Panola College to begin the second half and Panola hung on to give KC a 75-66 conference loss on Feb. 1. Ranger forward Ndene Gueye KC led the team in scoring with 20 points, almost securing a double-double with 9 rebounds. Also, KC freshman guard Jamar Sandifer was also in double figures with 17 points. The Rangers took another tough loss against conference foe Navarro College 57-51 on Feb. 4. The Rangers are now 12-10 and 3-9 in conference. KC will play again 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 8 in Masters Gym against conference opponent Trinity Valley Community College.

MenBBvsTrinity_byTiffanyJohnsonPhoto by Tiffany Johnson/The Flare

KC unveils new field with opening ceremony; games

Photo by Tina Reed/ THE FLARE
Photo by Tina Reed/ THE FLARE

After seven months the KC softball team got to put their long awaited new field to use as the team hosted an opening day ceremony invitational Feb.3-4. The opening ceremony was kicked off by “first pitches” thrown by KC president Dr. Brenda Kays, KC Board of Trustees member Brian Nutt and state representative Jay Dean.

The opening ceremony was followed by the first game to be played on the Ballpark at KC Commons, where the Rangers defeated Crowder 11-2. This match up featured the first home run hit in the new park by Kilgore native Amber Williams.

KC put up a seven-run inning with the help of a triple by Jo Rivera, a double by Kaylie Bush, a double by Brianna Davis and a home run by Amber Williams.

Pitcher Katy Worrell acquired the win for the Rangers. Worrell She tossed five innings, allowing two runs, five hits, striking out three and walking one. The pitcher for Crowder, Lauren Nahnsen took the loss. She threw four and a third innings, allowed 11 runs and 16 hits.

The rangers had a total of 16 hits at the end of the first game they played on Ballpark at KC Commons, which included multiple hits from Hannah Carpenter, Manda Wilmoth, Brianna Davis, Kaitlyn Stebelton, Laci Hambalek and Rivera. These multiple hits allowed KC to claim the victory against crowder.

The rangers fell short the second game, as McLennan Community College defeated the Rangers 13-1.

Wednesday the Rangers played a double header against an unbeaten Weatherford.

Worrell, a freshman from Maud, struck out three, walked two and allowed two earned runs on four hits in a complete – game outing. Worrell’s record is now 4-2.

In the opener, Kilgore took a 2-0 lead in the second inning after Amber William’s delivered an RBI groundout, and Taylor Christopher singled to right on 2-2 pitch to plate Manda Wilmoth, who had singled earlier in the game. After a sacrifice fly by Kalina Sato in the top the third inning Weatherford made it a 2-1 contest. Kilgore responded with a three-run third coming off the bat of Briana Davis. Wilmoth finished with three singles in the game.

Weatherford (8-1) won the second game, 12-4, to salvage the split. Kilgore (6-6) with 12 hits, but 10 stranded runners.

Weatherford scored once in the first inning of the second game, and KC left the bases full. In the bottom of the frame the Coyotes sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six times, building a 7-0 lead. Leadoff hitter Samone Jennings hit a grand slam, and cleanup hitter Francine Garcia added a two-run hit for Weatherford.

KC put themselves on the board in the second inning on an RBI single by Carpenter. Maci Perrin’s two-run double highlighted a three-run frame for the visitors, putting KC in a 10-1 hole.

Weatherford scored two runs in the fifth to lead 12-1. KC scored three times in the bottom half to make the final 12-4. Kaitlyn Stebelton had a two-run single in the inning.

Think before you party

Scouring through Snapchat, I shake my head. I hate to say it, but I am being extremely judgmental.

In high school, the class below me was filled with many athletically-talented girls. When they graduated, many of them received full ride scholarships to colleges both in and out of state in softball, basketball and volleyball.

The semester finally begins and the stories on my Snapchat are flooded with these same girls drinking, dancing and using drugs the night before a game or tournament. I always thought to myself that if I did all of the partying they did the night before, you better believe I wouldn’t be playing that game. This is also one of the various reasons why I do not play sports, besides being extremely out of shape and a tad bit lazy.

My point is, these athletes are being paid by the school to come play sports for them. In my opinion, going out and almost destroying your body while participating in an activity that requires your body to be in its best shape defeats the purpose of attendance. It’s just like slapping your coach in the face and saying, “I obviously don’t want to be in my peak physical shape, so I’m just going to halfway play for you even though you’re the reason I am able to attend this school.”

Okay, it isn’t that extreme, but that is what it looks like to me.

From what I have seen, this happens at every single school, including high school. I have seen football players out at pasture parties smoking cigarettes and being nearly black-out drunk. You could argue that your actions outside of school should not matter to the school, but if you are a prominent figure for the school, you are being looked at by other students as an example. Being on any sports team puts you in a leadership position in the school, no matter what position you are on the team.

Also, this doesn’t have to be reserved to men and women who have sports scholarships, but also academic scholarships. If you do not take care of yourself and dedicate yourself to your academics, then why are you even allowed to have that scholarship in the first place? Yes, I realize your scholarship can be taken away if your coach or academic adviser catches you in the act of doing these things, but it still seems to be an issue. There are drug tests and there are laws against underage drinking, but the law always seems to be broken when it comes to drinking and there are ways of getting around passing a drug test.

Just remember why you are in the place you are at in your life. If you are on a sports or academic scholarship, be appreciative and give your all. Never be the weak link on your team by not treating yourself the best you can.

“Marcus Thornton Day” to be held in Kilgore Aug. 29

Houston Rockets NBA player and KC alum Marcus Thornton will be returning to his former college on “Marcus Thornton Day,” Fri., Aug. 29. He will be recognized for his induction into the KC Athletics Hall of Fame.

A meet-and-greet with Thornton will be held in Masters Gymnasium from 3 to 5 p.m. Kilgore Mayor Ronnie Spradlin will be in attendance and will recognize Thornton at halftime of that night’s KC football game.

Thornton attended KC from 2005-07. He played basketball under head coach Scott Schumacher and earned All-American Honors.

Thornton is a native of Baton Rouge, LA. His first season at KC, he averaged 19 points per game, and the following year he netted 27 points per game.

After attending KC, he became a member of the LSU Tigers in his hometown. He averaged 21 points per game and won the Southeastern Conference player award. 

Thornton was then drafted to the Miami Heat but was immediately traded to the New Orleans Hornets. He made a franchise record by scoring 23 points in a single quarter and made the NBA’s all-rookie team. He officially signed with the Rockets on July 25, 2015.

Thornton is active on Twitter, and can be followed @OfficialMT23.

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KC men and women basketball teams set for game time

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The Region XIV Junior College Basketball Media Day for Men and Women JUCO basketball teams was held Oct. 15 at Tyler Junior College. Men and Women’s coaches from various teams in the conference were able to meet together and talk about the state of their teams coming into the upcoming 2014 – 15 basketball season.

Both of the KC Men and Women basketball teams will open up their season this weekend. Women’s Head Coach Roy Thomas talked at media day about how his team is looking and what he expects of them coming into this new season.

“Our new motto this season is 1-2-3 pass the ball. The ball has got to move and we all have to play together, Thomas said.

“We have to keep working hard and play together everyday. I feel like we have great effort and our experience that we have and the leadership that we possess will take us a long way.” Thomas really wants his team to execute on offense, play great team defense, and rebound. The team chemistry of his team has improved and he wants it to get better, and he wants his team to realize that this is no longer high school ball.  The Lady Rangers have four returners from last year’s team, including one red shirt freshman and two transfer players.

“Some of these girls on the team have never been told that they were doing a bad job. They have to realize that this is a different atmosphere and they have to learn to play organized junior college basketball as well as keep their grades in check,” Thomas said.

“They all have to play as a team not divided, and they have been enjoying working together and they are really practicing hard early one.”

The Lady Rangers will open up their season at the annual McLennan Community College Classic this weekend in Waco.

As for the men’s basketball team they are looking to have the same success that they had last year, but they want to go further down the road.

The Rangers have four returning players and three transfer players. Head Coach Brian Hoberecht is ready to for the season and likes his team’s progress so far.

“I’m excited to build an identity for this program and watch this grow,” said Hoberecht.”

“I like this group as players, and even better as people, and we are working hard in practice on communication and quick tempo. I feel like we are very versatile, athletic and deep, and we have the ability to create pressure and play aggressively.”

Hoberecht wants his team to have a post presence and have the ability to rebound and play balanced perimeter defense and offense.   He wants everybody on the team to hold themselves accountable for their own mistakes and take action to correct it on the next play.  He also feels like his returners can play a big role in the team’s production this year.

“Jonathan (Milligan), Mike (Thomas), and Myron (Chapman) have really grown up physically and mentally and they will be able to play with a stable and consistent personality.”

“We play games to win and we expect to win. We also want to develop a mentally to not slow down when we play trap games and we have an awesome opportunity to find our niche this season with our schedule being the way it is,” said Hoberecht.

The Rangers basketball team will open up their season at home against Greater Houston Prep. The Rangers have in store at 3 p.m., Saturday. Nov. 1 at Master’s Gymnasium.