KILGORE — When the hottest team in the conference hosted one of the league’s youngest teams on Wednesday, the outcome was predictable.
Predictable, but not easy.
Kilgore College opened the game with a 7-0 run, saw that lead evaporate, and then used another 7-0 outburst to take the lead for good en route to a 92-73 win over Lee College in Region XIV Conference action at Masters Gymnasium.
KC, winners of eight in a row, improves to 14-2 overall and 5-1 in the conference with the win. Lee, which started four freshmen, drops to 10-8 and 1-6 with the loss.
Six Rangers scored in double figures, led by Tyron McMillian’s 17 points. Justin Davis added 15, Rodrigue Andela 13, Cameron Gooden and Michael Thomas 12 apiece and Tysen Banks 10. Gooden and Banks dished out four assists apiece, and D’Rell Roberts nd Assane Ndiaye blocked two shots apiece.
Jackson Makoi scored 31 points in the loss for Lee. Marvens Petion added 16 for the Rebels.
The Rangers scored the game’s first seven points, including a free throw before the contest officially began thanks to a technical foul on the Rebels.
Lee stormed back and tied things at 9-9 on an alley-oop dunk by Chris Osten, and then went in front 12-9 38 seconds later on a 3-pointer by Makoi.
The Rangers trailed by three when Thomas drilled an NBA-ranged triple, sparking another 7-0 run that gave the Rangers the lead for good.
Lee kept it close, pulling to within five with 5:04 left in the half on two free throws from Makoi, but a driving layup from McMillian boosted with KC lead to 10 (42-32) with 2:14 left in the half and Justin Davis hammered home a 3-pointer a minute later for an 11-point KC cushion.
An alley-opp layup by Thomas with three seconds left in the half sent the Rangers into the break with a 49-38 cushion, and the Rebels managed to get the deficit under double digits just once in the second half.
The lead hit 15 (73-58) on a layup from Banks with 9:01 left, and yet another 7-0 outburst by KC pushed the lead to 19 (84-65) late. Gooden highlighted that run with a top of the key 3-pointer and a follow up layup on back-to-back trips down the floor.
The Rangers turned things into a blowout by outscoring the Rebels 8-0 during the span of a minute — using a long triple from Banks to open the run, a thunderous dunk by Andela in the middle and two free throws by Davis to end things.
The Rangers, who last lost back on Nov. 23, will visit Blinn on Saturday and Trinity Valley next Wednesday before returning home on Saturday, Jan. 18 to take on Panola College.
The Kilgore College women earned a 94-87 victory in double overtime at Paris Junior College on Wednesday.
The Lady Rangers (13-3, 2-2) will host Trinity Valley in a 2 p.m. contest on Saturday.