ET Basketball: Kilgore College Rangers fall, 78-69, to Lee College Rebels
KILGORE — Ja'Von McCormick heated up at the same time the Rangers cooled down here Wednesday. The result is a two-game skid for Kilgore College heading into the holiday break.
McCormick scored 16 of his game-high 20 points and added five of his eight assists in the second half, leading the Lee College Rebels to a 78-69 win over the Rangers in Region XIV Conference action at Masters Gymnasium.
The win drops Kilgore to 8-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference. Lee improves to 5-7, 1-2.
Kilgore built a four-point lead (43-39) at the half following a tight 20 minutes that featured eight ties, but a cold spell midway through the second half doomed the Rangers. KC fell behind by seven after a layup from Emmerson Potts-Broughton off a dish from McCormick, but cut the deficit to three when Daytone Jennings sank two free throws and then collected a rebound and put it back to make it a 56-53 contest.
Another free throw by Jennings kept KC close at 58-54 with 10:35 to play, but the lid slammed shut on the Ranger basket for a span of more than three minutes and Lee countered with a 9-0 run to seize control and build a 13-point cushion.
Kilgore managed to cut the deficit to eight on a couple of occasions, the first coming after Samory Gueye sank three free throws and Tavion Atkinson knocked down a short jumper along the baseline with 6:34 to play to make it a 67-59 contest, but McCormick hit seven free throws in the final 2:53 to seal the deal for the Rebels. McCormick was 10-for-12 from the charity stripe in the second half.
The Rangers' biggest lead in the contest was seven, that coming with 17 second to play in the first half after Davon Newton put the finishing touches on a modest 7-0 KC run with an alley-oop layup.
Jennings finished with 18 points, Newton and Chad Bowie 11 apiece and Atkinson 10 for the Rangers. Atkinson also grabbed seven rebounds.
Ezeoha Santiago and Shawn Montague had 14 apiece for Lee, with Daniel Garmendia adding 13.
Kilgore will be idle until Dec. 30 when the Rangers host Houston Community College in a non-conference game.
A change to the schedule has the Kilgore College Lady Rangers hosting Jacksonville in a conference game at 2 p.m. on Friday. KC is 8-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play.
(Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports)