The long and winding grind that is the regular season in Region XIV Conference basketball concludes today, and both Kilgore College teams have home games that really matter.
KC’s Lady Rangers, coached by Addie Lees, is fighting for positioning in the conference’s women’s tournament, which is this coming week at Jacksonville College. The Lady Rangers will host Panola College today at 2 p.m. The Rangers will host Paris today at 4.
Lady Rangers: KC’s ladies are 10-7 in conference play, 20-9 overall, and they’ve won three straight. They’re currently in sixth place. Angelina is tied with KC in sixth, also at 10-7 in the conference. KC plays Panola, which is 11-6, and in fifth. Angelina has a road trip at Bossier Parish today. A KC win over Panola could lift the Lady Rangers up to fourth in the standings.
That would be important, because if they’re in fourth, KC would face either Angelina or Panola again in the first round Wednesday. If the Lady Rangers stay in sixth, they’d probably face third-seeded Trinity Valley – a team that has beaten KC twice this season already.
As soon as today’s regular season is complete, the conference will complete the seeding and the tournament games will be filled out (see more below).
In KC’s most recent game, the Lady Rangers blasted Jacksonville College, ironically, 67-31.
KC did it by only shooting seven free throws, and by great defense, especially in the third quarter, in which the Lady Rangers held J’ville to just five third-quarter points.
Rahmena Henderson had 17 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assists for KC. Jada Hood had 16 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists. Kerrighan Dunn had 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
Rangers: As for the Rangers, coach Brian Hoberecht’s team is 26-2 overall, 16-2 in the conference, is ranked third in the nation, and has won six straight games. Lee College is also 16-2 in the conference and has 15 straight wins. KC and Lee are tied atop the conference standings. The Rangers host Paris (10-7) at 4 p.m. today; Paris is currently in tied for fourth with Navarro.
Lee College figures to have a much-easier regular season finale today. Lee plays at Victoria College, who has won one conference game all year and has lost nine straight games.
Either way, neither KC nor Lee will play Tuesday, in the first round. The top four teams get the first round off, and teams seeded five through 12 will play each other, with game one matching the teams seeded eighth and ninth at 1 p.m. Thursday, at Jacksonville College’s John Alexander Gymnasium. Game two matches teams seeded five and 12, and starts at 3. Game three is at 6 p.m. Thursday, and has teams seeded seven and 10 meeting. And the final game on Thursday starts at 8 p.m. and matches the teams seeded six and 11.
Wednesday belongs to the ladies. The top seed in the women’s division will play at 1 p.m. against either seed eight or nine. The second game on Wednesday will tip off at 3 p.m. and match up seeds four and five.
Women’s seeds two and seven will play each other at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and the nightcap tips off at p.m. Wednesday and places the third and sixth seeds against each other.
KC and Lee step into action on Thursday, the men’s quarterfinals day. Games will begin at 1, 3, 6 and 8, based on the outcomes of Tuesday’s first day of play.
Friday is the semifinals. Wednesday’s winners play at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., with the winner of each of those games moving to the women’s championship game. Friday night, the two games at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. are the semifinals, with the winner of each advancing to the men’s title game.
Saturday is championship night. The women’s title game begins at 4 p.m., and the men’s championship will tip off at 7. KC won the men’s tournament last year, outlasting Trinity Valley, and advanced to the NJCAA men’s national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., for the second time in Hoberecht’s KC career.
KC comes off an 82-61 win at Bossier Parish on Wednesday. The Rangers led 43-22 at halftime.
Dantwan Grimes led KC with 14 points, and also had five assists, two steals and a block. Duane Posey had 11 points, 10 rebounds, and Obi Ezekewesli had his highest-scoring game of the season, 11 points. DaVeon Thomas had 10 points, three rebounds and three assists, and Paul Otieno had 10 points and six rebounds.