KILGORE — An early starting time and frigid temperatures did little to slow down the red-hot Kilgore College Lady Rangers here Saturday.

Kilgore used a 17-0 run to open the game and a 20-4 outburst at the end of the first half to cruise past the Coastal Bend Lady Cougars, 85-65, in Region XIV Conference action at Masters Gymnasium.

The Lady Rangers, winners of three in a row and four of their last five, improve to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Coastal Bend drops to 0-7 and 0-3 with the loss.

Saturday’s game was moved from its original starting time of 2 p.m. to 10 a.m. so Coastal Bend could make it’s six-hour trip back to Beeville ahead of approaching wintry weather.

Rahmena Henderson paced Kilgore with 20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Jada Hood added 19 points and six assists, Kerrighan Dunn 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, Tara Green 13 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, Vianey Galvan eight points and five assists, Maya Scheitel-Taylor and Destinee Reyna four points apiece and Mckenze Brown two points, five rebounds and four assists.

Savannah Smith scored 16 points and added six rebounds and four assists in the loss for Coastal Bend. Cierra Zapata added 13 points for the Lady Cougars.

Hood and Green set the tone early, with Hood knocking down a couple of 3-pointers and scoring eight points in the opening quarter and Green dominating inside in the opening frame with eight points and four rebounds.

Brown opened the scoring with a layup, and then Hood drilled a pair of triples as KC build a quick 8-0 lead. Hood, who had 28 and 27 points in her last two games — hitting 15 of 25 shots from beyond the 3-point arc — was 4 of 10 from long range on Saturday.

KC capped the 17-0 run with two buckets from Dunn and a layup by Galvan, all off assists from Hood, before Coastal Bend finally got on the board with two free throws from Smith with 5:30 left in the opening quarter.

The Lady Ranger lead hit 20 (27-7) on a layup from Reyna, and KC led 27-14 heading to the second quarter.

Coastal Bend went on a modest 9-0 run early in the second to narrow the gap to 10 (36-26) with 5:49 left, but back-to-back layups from Hood and Green sparked a 20-4 Lady Ranger outburst to end the half and give KC a 56-30 halftime cushion. Henderson had seven points and Galvan six during that span.

Coastal Bend opened the second half with an 11-2 run to keep things interesting, but the Lady Rangers still led by 20 (66-46) heading to the fourth and quickly extended the lead on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Henderson when she scored, drew a foul and sank her bonus free throw.

The visitors were able to trim the deficit to 15 (78-63) at the 4:38 mark after two free throws and a layup by Brianna Martinez, but Kc ended the contest with a bucket and free throw from Henderson and two freebies from Dunn to make the final 85-65.

Kilgore is scheduled to visit Blinn on Wednesday, and then return home next Saturday to host rival Tyler in a 2 p.m. contest back at Masters Gymnasium.

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Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports

Sports editor

I've covered sports in East Texas since 1987, starting as a 21-year-old sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald before spending seven years at the Lufkin Daily News and the past 23 years at the Longview News-Journal.