Da’Sean Nelson (12) of Kilgore College drives past a Blinn College defender during the Region XIV tournament game in John Alexander Gymnasium in Jacksonville Thursday night.

From Staff Reports

JACKSONVILLE — The Kilgore College Rangers held off a late Blinn charge to earn an 86-75 win and advance to the semifinals of the Region XIV Conference Tournament on Thursday at John Alexander Gymnasium.

The Rangers (16-5), winners of seven in a row and eight of their last nine, will take on Navarro (16-5) at 8 p.m. tonight. The winner of that game will play for the championship at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Blinn, which won both regular season games against the Rangers this year, ends the season with an 11-11 record.

Kilgore led 46-29 at halftime on Thursday before Blinn chipped away at the deficit and pulled to within seven points (78-71) with a minute remaining.

K.J. Jenkins scored 22 points to lead the way for Kilgore, adding nine rebounds and three steals for the Rangers. Dantwan Grimes had 19 points, Da’Sean Nelson 15 and Godwin Illumoka nine. Tysen Banks handed out six assists, and Nelson added four.

Calvin Carpenter had 16 points in the loss for Blinn.

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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.