- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By MITCH LUCAS
The Rangers did suffer a loss to Lee College, 88-72, on Friday night at UT-Tyler Patriot Center, allowing Lee to move on to the finals of the Region IV tourney. The winner, of course, moves on to the NJCAA Men’s Tournament that begins March 18 in Hutchinson, Kan.
But KC (26-5 overall) had already won the conference’s regular-season championship, and this year with that came one of four automatic bid to the national tournament. Rangers head coach Brian Hoberecht had said earlier this week that his team’s immediate goal was to win the conference tournament title.
That goal wasn’t achieved, but the ultimate goal — a national championship — is still out there.
Still to be announced is which eight teams are seeded 1 through 8 and receive a first-round bye in the 24-team national tournament. The pairings will be announced late this weekend or early next week.
But Friday night’s semifinal game belonged to fifth-seeded Lee College, who led Kilgore 45-36 at halftime and hit 50 percent of its shots from the floor.Don Thomas hit for 22 points for Lee, and teammate De’Vante Wilson had 20. Lee went 21-of-27 from the free throw line.
The Rangers went 24-of-64 (37 percent) from the floor.
Kilgore got 17 points from Lonnie McClanahan, 15 from Quinton Upshur and 10 from Maurice Taylor. Nardi Bogues had eight, and Chinedu Amajoyi and Kalif Wright each had six. Erick Diouf had five, Matt Gamberoni, four, and Michael Eneh had two. Diouf had eight rebounds; McClanahan had four assists.