KILGORE, Texas – The 23rd-ranked Kilgore Rangers prevented the Blinn Buccaneers from picking up their first Region XIV Conference victory here Wednesday night, 82-80.
Freshman guard Darrell Combs scored a game-high 21 points and sophomore T.J. Berry added 20, but the Buccaneers dropped to 5-7 on the season and 0-4 in conference play with the defeat.
"We were right there the whole way," said Blinn head coach Scott Schumacher. "The last six or seven minutes it was a two-point ballgame, we just never could take the lead."
Kilgore took a three-point lead with 26 seconds remaining, and Berry, whose 20 points was a season high, hit a jump shot to pull the Buccaneers within one. After a timeout, the Bucs tried to trap the Rangers in the back court, but fouled with eight seconds remaining. After the first shot went in to make it 82-80, Blinn grabbed the rebound and called the game's final timeout.
With five seconds remaining, guard Donald Moore took the ball the length of the court, but tripped at the 3-point line and was unable to get a final shot off.
Blinn shot 48 percent from the floor compared to 40 percent for Kilgore, but the Rangers won the rebounding battle 35-23.
Lonnie McClanahan and Chinedu Amajoyi each scored 17 for Kilgore, which improved to 11-1 on the season.
Blinn hosts Lone Star College-Tomball at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Blinn P.E. Building, then hosts Concordia University's junior varsity at 5 p.m. Sunday. That game time was originally set for 7 p.m.