KILGORE, TX -- Tyler Junior College built a 56-40 lead in the second half, but KC's rally late in the game came up just short, losing to the Apaches, 71-68.
The Rangers started the game on fire, building a 17-6 lead, but that momentum dwindled toward the end of the first period, heading into halftime trailing TJC, 35-34.
With 35 seconds left in the game, KC's Demiere Brown hit a jump shot to get within six points of TJC, 67-61.
TJC marched down the court and was fouled, making one-of-two free throws to put the Apaches ahead, 68-61, with 56 seconds left in the game.
After a KC turnover on a charge call, TJC turned the ball over on its next possession to give KC life.
Brown responded for the Rangers with a layup, assisted by Michael Asante, to make the score 68-63 with 38 seconds left.
TJC was called for a charge which put Brown at the line. He missed and TJC rebounded and was immediately fouled.
Deandre Heckard made both free throws for TJC to put the Apaches ahead, 70-63, with 28 seconds left.
Malachi Davidson drove to the basket and scored with 18 seconds left to get within five points of the Apaches, 70-65.
KC immediately fouled the Apaches which put Cameron Johnson at the free throw line. He missed both free throws.
Brown rebounded and got the ball to Kaleb Flavors who nailed a three-pointer to get within two points, 68-70 with five seconds left.
TJC inbounded the ball and was eventually fouled with 2.7 seconds left in the game.
Johnson made the first free throw for the Apaches, but missed the second one.
The ball was rebounded by Asante who threw up an almost full-court shot to try to tie the game, but the ball bounced off the top of the backboard as the buzzer sounded to give the Apaches a 71-68 win.
Brown led all scorers with 18 points, earning a double-double with 10 rebounds.
Jairus Stevens and Jordyn Owens were also in double figures for KC with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
KC made 4-of-8 free throws while TJC was 24-of-34 from the free throw line.
TJC was led in scoring by Johnson with 17 points. Heckard had 16 and Shahada Wells had 14 points.
TJC improves to 20-5 overall and 10-5 in Region XIV play while KC drops to 17-10 overall and 8-8 in conference play.
The Rangers will travel Saturday, Feb. 23, to play Navarro College in Corsicana. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.