Special to The Flash from Tommy Wells
Ranger College Public Information Officer/Sports Information Director
RANGER – Bianca McGee had a memorable first day as the head coach of the Ranger College Lady Rangers on Wednesday afternoon. Only a few hours after being named the team’s interim head coach, McGee picked up her first win as a collegiate coach by leading Ranger College to a thrilling 68-66 overtime victory over McLennan Community College in front of a large crowd in the Ron Butler Gymnasium.
The Lady Rangers, sparked by a clutch three-point shot early in the OT frame and a game-saving block by freshman Jayde Price in the closing seconds, notched their second straight win by outscoring the Highlassies by an 10-8 clip in the extra frame.
“I think we played great tonight,” said McGee, who was named the team’s interim coach earlier in the day when longtime RC women’s coach Robert Robinson announced he was stepping down to take a scouting position in the San Antonio area. “I want to give a shout out to the girls for how they played and the way they didn’t let the adversity get to them. They really responded and got a win that we really needed.”
The Lady Rangers delivered a staggering blow to McLennan’s hopes in the early minutes of the NTJCAC showdown. Tyrasha DeGrate and Price both pitched in a pair of shots from the field, and a rousing trey from Mariah Merriweather that spurred RC to a 16-6 first-quarter lead.
Defensively, Ranger limited McLennan to just three shots from the field in the first 10 minutes of the contest.
Kirsten Fellows helped the Lady Rangers maintain the upper hand in the second. She pumped in seven of her 10 points in the frame and spurred Ranger to a 31-24 advantage. Ayanna Atkins, Aisha Issac and Merriweather also contributed big-time points in the second.
Merriweather finished the game with a team-high 14 points. DeGrate and Isaac also reached double figures, netting 13 and 10, respectively.
Fellows also notched a double-digit performance, tallying 10.
McLennan managed to get its offense untracked in the third. The Highlassies posted a 20-13 run in the stanza and fought their way to a 44-44 deadlock.
Both teams tallied 14 in the final frame and ended regulation with the score knotted at 58-58.
McLennan’s Tayla Taylor led all scorers in the game with 31 points, 14 of which came in the Highlassies’ third-quarter rally.
With the victory, Ranger improved to 9-10 for the season and, more importantly, improved to 3-5 in NTJCAC action.
McGee, a former standout at Western Kentucky University, will lead the team against Southwestern Christian this Saturday in Terrell.
“I want to thank Dr. Campion and Billy (Gillispie) for believing in me and giving me the opportunity,” said McGee. “Now, we just have to keep it going.”