SHREVEPORT, LA -- The Kilgore College Rangers made up a nine-point halftime deficit March 5, to slip past the Blinn College Buccaneers with a 69-68 win in the first round of the Region XIV Basketball Tournament at Centenary's College's Gold Dome.
Darrian Grays, assisted by Malachi Davidson, tied the game up with a three pointer, 57-57, with 6:23 left in the game.
On the other end, KC's Rodrigue Tha Andela blocked a shot, rebounded by Grays.
Grays was fouled and made one-of-two free throws to give the Rangers their first lead of the game, 58-57, with 5:55 left.
With 4:40 left, Andela scored, was fouled, but missed the free throw to give KC a 60-57 lead.
Blinn's A.J. Rainey responded with a layup and was fouled, but missed the free throw.
With 3:40 left in the game, Jairus Stevens nailed a three-pointer, assisted by Jordyn Owens, to put KC ahead, 63-59.
The Buccaneers got back within one point, 63-62, with 2:55 left thanks to a old-fashioned three-point play by Tristan Ikpe.
After a KC turnover and a missed Buccaneer shot, Andela was fouled and hit both free throws to make the score 65-62 with 1:56 left.
Blinn responded with a missed shot, rebounded by Demiere Brown, but KC was called for an illegal screen on the other end of the court.
With 1:03 left in the game, Rainey drained a three-pointer to tie the game up at 65 points.
The Rangers responded with a layup by Davidson with 50 seconds left.
Kai Tease missed a three-pointer for the Bucs, rebounded by Davidson with 33 seconds left.
On the inbounds pass, Grays was fouled, went to the free throw line and made both shots to make the score 69-65 with 22.5 seconds left.
Blinn was then called out-of-bounds and KC was fouled on the ensuing possession.
Andela missed both free throws. On the other end, the Rangers fouled Rainey who made one-of-two free throws to make the score 69-66 with 6.7 seconds left.
After a missed shot by KC, Tease was fouled, went to the free throw line and made both shots to get within one point of KC, 69-68 with 5.8 seconds left.
Blinn was forced to foul on the inbounds pass which put Stevens on the line. Stevens missed both free throws and Blinn had a court-length shot to try to win the game but it was way off target.
KC was led in scoring by Andela with 15 points, earning a double-double with 11 rebounds.
Stevens scored 13 points, Grays scored 10 points and Brown scored 12 points.
Blinn's Rainey led all scorers with 19 points. JaQuan Morris and Uriel Veils were also in double figures, both scoring 10 points.
KC (19-11) will face Navarro College at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in round two of the Region XIV Basketball Tournament at Centenary College.