Kilgore College Basketball: Rangers earn tough win over Dragons
By Jimmy Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb. 16, 2013 at 11 p.m.
Paris Junior College gave NJCAA No. 22 Kilgore College another tough game on Saturday.
But unlike the first meeting, the Rangers found a way to win.
Lonnie McClanahan hit nine free throws down the stretch and scored a game-high 16 points to lead Kilgore to a 65-56 home win over the Dragons at Masters Gymnasium.
Kilgore (22-4, 12-4 Region XIV) broke open a tight game down the stretch to earn its fourth consecutive win and avenge a 62-58 loss at Paris on Jan. 23.
"If you go back and look at Paris' scores, every game they play, win or lose, is close," Kilgore coach Brian Hoberecht said. " They play defense and they guard you. So they give themselves a chance to win every single night.
"They had a good gameplan tonight and played hard, but we just made a few more shots, free throws and stops. So we ended up coming out of it."
The Rangers were able to finish strong for another conference win in a game they led just 47-46 with less than five minutes remaining.
"I think it shows character," Hoberecht said. "I think these guys are competitive and like to win. There's a good chemistry with this group where they want to play for each other. So I think that goes a long way for us.
"We've been able to have different people step up for us throughout the year."
McClanahan hit 13 of 14 from the free throw line, including 9 of 10 in the final seven minutes as the Rangers pulled away. Kilgore made 29 of 41 foul shots in the win.
"Lonnie is invaluable at some point in time in games because he can get to the line," Hoberecht said. "Guys like Lonnie and Erick Diouf who are strong and big can really be used to a benefit. One of the really good things about our team right now is that when we play really hard we make it really difficult for you to guard us."
Kilgore trailed 25-21 at halftime, but opened the second half on an 18-5 run sparked by Maurice Taylor's seven points during the span. Taylor and Diouf each finished with 11 points.
But Paris rallied to make it interesting, using a 9-0 to tie the game at 39. Kilgore pulled away by hitting free throws and allowing just four points in a four-minute span after Paris cut the lead to 47-46.
The Dragons shot just 27 percent from the field, including a measly 22 percent from inside the 3-point line. Antonio Arnold scored a team-high 12 and Mike Harmon added 11, but the remainder of the team struggled to score as Kilgore held an opponent to less than 70 points for a 12th consecutive game.
"We kept a couple of their better scorers from really having a good night tonight," Hoberecht said. "Guys that hurt us at their place didn't hurt us as bad tonight and I thought that helped us. Because they couldn't get great shots throughout the night and get in rhythm down the stretch."
Kilgore will play at Bossier Parish Community College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
PARIS WOMEN 47, KILGORE 33: Kilgore shot just 22 percent from the field and suffered its third consecutive loss in a 47-33 defeat against Paris.
Voche Martin scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Paris (8-16, 3-9 Region XIV). Kelsei Ewings had 12 points and Shanice Vaughan scored 10 for the Lady Dragons.
Amanda Lawson scored a team-high 14 points for Kilgore (10-10, 5-7), which trailed 24-18 at halftime en route to its third home loss in four games.
Kilgore will play at Blinn on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
(Follow Jimmy Carter on Twitter: @jicartersports)