Resilient Rangers battle past Trinity Valley, 74-70
Jan. 15, 2014 at 10 p.m.
KILGORE - Kilgore College head coach Brian Hoberecht said that his team has been resilient so far this season.
Possibly none more so than Wednesday night at Masters Gymnasium.
In a battle of two top-15 nationally ranked teams, the No. 8 Rangers built a quick lead in Region XIV action.
But the surging Trinity Valley Cardinals had an answer, erasing a 14-point deficit late in the second half.
However, the Rangers held on and with key shots from the charity stripe down the stretch, walked away with a 74-70 home-court win, handing 11th-ranked Trinity Valley its first conference loss.
"This group has shown a lot of resolve all season," Hoberecht said. "They never broke against them – they bent – but they never broke even when Trinity Valley came back with a lead late.
"We really found a way to finish strong and walk away with a win."
Ole Miss-bound Stefan Moody turned in a game-high 21 points and dished out seven assists for Kilgore College, which improves to 15-1 overall and 6-1 in Region XIV action. Moody finished 13-of-16 from the free throw line – including 10-of-12 in the second half.
Kalif Wright had 10 points and Aaron Dailey followed suit with nine points to accompany a game-high 10 rebounds for Kilgore.
After building an 18-5 lead in the first six minutes of action, Kilgore College took a nine-point lead into halftime after leading by as many as 14.
Trinity Valley chipped away at the lead quickly in the second half, knotting the contest for the first time on a shot from Josh Robinson – who finished with a team-high 18 points for the Cardinals – with 11:46 to play.
The game would feature six ties and four lead changes the rest of the way.
Trinity Valley took its first lead of the night with 8:06 left to play on a bucket from Arizona State-bound sophomore Octavius Ellis – cousin of Dallas Maverick Monta Ellis.
Robinson drained a three and Aldonis Foote had a bucket to give Trinity Valley at three-point lead before Kilgore responded with five unanswered to build a lead the Rangers would hold on to for the 74-70 win.
Kilgore College returns to Region XIV action at 6 p.m. Saturday against Panola College in Carthage.
Early runs in the beginning of the night and in the second half lifted the top-ranked Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals to a 63-41 win over the Kilgore College Lady Rangers.
The Lady Cardinals jumped to quick 8-0 lead and led by as many as 12 in the first half before taking a nine-point lead into the break.
An 8-2 run to start the second half pulled the Lady Rangers (8-7, 2-4) to within six points before Trinity Valley took control, rattling on a 15-4 run to take a 55-30 lead with 7:10 to play.
Canadian Adut Bulgak led all scorers with 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to turn in a double-double for the Lady Cardinals, who improve to 17-1 overall and 6-0 in conference action.
Shlonte' Allen and Jazmine Spears each finished with 10 points for Trinity Valley.
Dallas native Sha'Georgia Williams led Kilgore with 13 points in the loss. Pre'franz Dominick had eight points to go along with six blocks. Alexis Hill finished with six points and had a team-high eight rebounds.
With poor shooting on both sides, Trinity Valley took advantage at the glass, outrebounding Kilgore 46-31 in the win. The Lady Cardinals took advantage of 20 second-effort points after both teams finished under 35 percent on shooting attempts on the night.
Kilgore will meet Bossier Parrish Community College on the road at 4 p.m. Saturday. Trinity Valley hosts Tyler Junior College at 4 p.m. Saturday in Athens.
(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h)