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Kilgore College Rangers outduel Navarro Bulldogs, 65-54

By Hayden Henry
Jan. 29, 2014 at 11 p.m.


KILGORE - There's a rivalry brewing in the always heated Region XIV Conference.

Round one went to Kilgore College.

Stefan Moody and Jamarcus Weatherspooon combined for 40 points as the 10th-ranked Rangers battled past Navarro, 65-54, Wednesday at Masters Gymnasium.

Moody had 21 and Weatherspoon dropped 19 with six rebounds and four assists in front of a frenzied crowd in the first conference meeting of the season between the two teams. With the win, Kilgore improves to 18-2 overall and 9-2 in conference action. Navarro sits at 14-8, 7-4.

A back-and-forth beginning to the night left the two teams knotted at 21-21 with seven minutes left in the first half before Moody sparked a 8-3 Kilgore run to close the half. The Ole Miss committ had six point in the stretch, including a jumper inside the final minute to give Kilgore a 29-24 lead entering the break.

A dish from Kalif Wright to Moody, followed by a three-pointer from Weatherspoon, gave Kilgore an eight-point margin early in the second half, one that the Rangers built to a game-high 11 with 10:47 left to play.

Navarro had some fight left, however.

An 11-4 Bulldog run pulled Navarro to within three points with six minutes left before another longball from Weatherspoon gave Kilgore some cushion, 56-49, with just under five minutes on the clock. The Rangers finished 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in the second half, shooting 43 percent from downtown in the contest.

With both teams in the double-bonus with over 10 minutes to play in the foul-heavy contest, Kilgore finished 68 percent from the charity stripe, including 6-of-7 from Weatherspoon coming down the stretch.

Aaron Dailey had three blocks - two coming on one Navarro possession - to go along with nine points for Kilgore. Michael Thomas chipped in eight points and had a team-hight seven rebounds.

Jamar Goodwin led Navarro with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Kilgore is idle on Saturday before resuming Region XIV action on the road at Tyler Junior College on Wednesday.

WOMEN

Sha'Georgia Williams led the way with 16 points and seven different Lady Rangers put up at least five points as Kilgore picked up its third win in the last four games, 61-52, over Angelina College to get Wednesday's action started.

The win moves the Lady Rangers to 11-8 on the season and 5-5 in Region XIV play.

"We've just got to keep winning at home and steal them on the road," Lady Rangers head coach Roy Thomas said. "And to do that, we've just got to play good basketball and keep plugging along."

Some areas were brighter than others in the win for Kilgore College. With 36 percent shooting from the field, the Lady Rangers leveled the playing field with 89 percent shooting from the glass and a 43-30 advantage at the glass.

"The main thing is that we play hard," Thomas said. "We've just got to play smarter. We had turnover after turnover in the first half, some without any pressure, but we did a better job in the second half."

After missing its first six shots of the night, Kilgore built a seven-point lead with 4:23 to play in the first half. However, costly turnovers fueled a 6-0 Angelina run as the Lady Roadrunners pulled to within three at the break.

Two quick buckets to open the second half gave Angelina its first lead since midway through the first, but Kilgore responded with an 8-0 run. Williams had two driving buckets and a dish off a steal to Imaobong Akpan to stake a seven-point lead, one the Lady Rangers would carry until the end.

Pre'Franz Dominick had 11 points, eight rebounds and four clocks for the Lady Rangers and Danesha Richardson followed with eight points and seven rebounds. Akpan pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to accompany six points, three assists and two steals for the Lady Rangers, who host Blinn at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

<em>(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/hayden_h" target="_blank">@hayden_h</a>)</em>

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