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Paris’ Eddie Leal (23) contests a shot by Ranger’s Markens Charles during a contest Wednesday night at the Hunt Center on the PJC campus. Also in the photo for Paris are Marcus Holt (3) and Anthony Adams. Shown for Ranger are Tylor Okari Ongwae (23), Omari Mulumba Gudul (42) and Bryan Martinez (5). (eParisExtra photo by Charles Richards)
By CHARLES RICHARDS
Tylor Okari Ongwae, a 6-6 sophomore from Kenya, drove repeatedly to the basket against a leaky Paris Junior College defense Wednesday night, leading Ranger College to a 71-59 victory over the Dragons.
Ongwae scored 26 points on 6-of-12 attempts inside, hit 3-of-5 three-pointers and went a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line to finish with a game-high 26 points. He and 6-9 freshman center Omari Mulumba Gudul of Africa pulled down 9 rebounds each for Ranger.
Ranger point guard Bryan Martinez, a 5-7 sophomore from Puerto Rico, added 13 points – 12 of them on four 3-pointers.
Paris (2-3) got 11 points each from Mike Harmon, a sophomore from Katy, and Anthony Adams, a sophomore from Pontiac, Mich. Mo Mitchell, a sophomore from Fayetteville, Ga., added 10 points and 6 rebounds.
There were three ties and four lead changes before Ranger (3-5) went ahead to stay 23-21 on Ongwae’s baseline drive with 4:21 to play in the first half.
Antonio “ Arnold, a sophomore from McKinney, scored five points inside a minute to pull the Dragons to within 28-26, but Ranger went on an 11-0 run over a span of three minutes and Paris (2-3) was effectively done.
“We’re not a very good basketball team right now, and that’s on me,” Dragons coach Chuck Taylor said after the game.
“It’s my responsibility to have the guys ready and prepare them for the season. I’ve done a poor job. We’ve got to fix our defense,” he said, noting that PJC opponents are averaging almost 90 points a game in the three games the Dragons have lost.
Two of the three losses were to Ranger, a team that is 1-5 against other opponents this season.
Paris lost 82-79 in the first game with Ranger and lost 115-80 to fifth-ranked Indian Hills on Saturday.
“It all goes back to our defense. It’s defense that has won championships here. The last two years, we were able to grind it out, get stops, get tempo,” Taylor said.
“But we can’t get stops. We will go back to the gym tomorrow, and we’re going to get this figured out because we haven’t turned that corner yet. We have to get better in a hurry. We’ve got to go back to the basics. There are some things I’ve done in the past, and for some reason I haven’t gotten it across to my guys this time.”
The Dragons’ next game is here Friday against the junior varsity of Northwood, a four-year school in Cedar Hill better known for its baseball program. That’s the last game before PJC opens Region XIV play Tuesday at Brenham against Blinn.
This game did start better for PJC than the game at Ranger, when the Dragons fell behind 13-0 before finally getting on the scoreboard.
Ranger hit 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the field to 41.8 percent (23-of-55) for Paris.
The Rangers were 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) from the 3-point line to 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) for the Dragons. Harmon hit 3-of-7 from outside the 3-point line, and Eddie Leal made 2-of-3.
Ranger made 9-of-15 free throws to 6-of-10 by Paris. Paris committed 16 turnovers to 9 for Ranger.
Henry Buckley, a 6-11 sophomore from Houston, has not been in uniform for Paris during the regular season because of a left knee injury. He faces surgery for a torn meniscus, and chances that he will play for the Dragons this season, Taylor said, “are slim and none.” While in high school, he signed a national letter-of-intent with UNLV (Nevada-Las Vegas).
RANGER (3-5) 35-36—71
PARIS (2-3) 26-33—59
RANGER – Markens Charles 2-5 0-0 4, Bryan Martinez 4-13 1-4 13, Kendall Jones 1-1 0-0 2, Jerry Coriolan 3-5 0-0 6, Tylor Okari Ongwae 9-17 5-5 26, Kristian Medina Cruz 3-4 1-2 7, Tyler Jacobs 0-1 0-0 0, Caleb Freemster 1-5 1-2 4, Keynan Willis 0-0 0-0 0, Omari Mulumba Gudul 4-7 1-2 9. Totals: 27-58 9-15 71. Three-pointers: 8-22 (Martinez 4-12, Coriolan 0-1, Ongwae 3-5, Cruz 0-1, Freemster 1-3). Rebounds: 31 (Ongwae 9, Gudul 9). Assists: 10 (Coriolan 5).
PARIS – Antonio Arnold 2-7 1-2 6, Mike Harmon 3-7 2-2 11, Anthony Adams 5-14 1-2 11, Chris Jones 1-2 0-0 2, Courtney Austin 0-1 0-0 0, David Tucker 0-0 0-0 0, Delvin Dickerson 3-8 2-3 9, Eddie Leal 3-6 0-0 8, Lamar Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Sheldon Yearwood 0-1 0-0 0, Marcus Holt 0-0 0-0 0, Mo Mitchell 5-8 0-1 0, Will Ransom 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 23-55 6-10 59. Three-pointers: 7-22 (Arnold 1-5, Harmon 3-7, Adams 0-4, Austin 0-1, Dickerson 1-2, Leal 2-3). Rebounds: 30: Dickerson 6, Mitchell 6). Assists: 17 (Adams 5).