SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
RANGER, Texas – Collin County fought, scratched and generally threw everything but the kitchen sink at the 19th-ranked Ranger College men’s basketball team in the first half of Wednesdays North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference showdown in front of a large crowd in the Ron Butler Gym. And, for the most part, it work as they fought to within 35-30 with less than 30 seconds left in the first half of play.
Then, with one quick shot, Jordan Geist took it all away.
The Ranger College guard drained a buzzer-beating three-pointer just before the half and all but set the stage for a resounding 85-66 victory.
Sparked by Geist’s trey, the Rangers came alive in the final 20 minutes and pounded out 47 second-half points en route to improving to 9-0 in NTJCAC action. The victory moved RC to within two games of clinching the conference title as they head into Saturday’s matchup with Temple College with a 2-game lead over McLennan Community College with four bouts left in the regular season. Any combination of two Ranger wins or two losses by McLennan will hand Ranger College its first conference championship since 2012.
Even though Collin County managed to stay close in the first half, the Rangers enjoyed plenty of success on the offensive end. Josh Simmons and Geist both pitched in eight points in the frame, while Johnathan Turner came off the bench to add seven more.
Liam O’Reilly led CCCC’ first-half efforts by scoring 12 of the Cougars first 30 points.
Boosted by his buzzer-beating trey, Geist came alive in the second. He led a 47-36 run by tallying 13 of his game-high 21 points in the final 20 minutes.
Simmons, Trey Conrod, Turner and Corbin Stephens also knocked down clutch shots in the second. Simmons scored seven of his 10 points in the frame, while Turner, Conrod and Stephens all pitched in six.
Turner finished the game with 13 points. Conrod netted nine.
Both of Stephens’ second-half shots were three-point shots that all but floored Collin County.
O’Reilly led all CC scorers with 19.
Ranger College, now 22-4 overall, will return to action on Saturday by traveling to Temple for a 4 p.m. matchup with Temple College.
Late surge carries Collin County past Ranger women
RANGER, Texas – The Ranger College women’s basketball team’s postseason hopes took a huge blow on Wednesday evening. Make no mistake about it, following their 75-55 setback to the Collin County Community College Lady Cougars in the Ron Butler Gym, the Lady Rangers face a “win and hope for help” situation.
With the loss to Collin County, Ranger College slipped to 3-7 in North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference play. The Lady Rangers, 11-11 for the year, trail McLennan Community College for the No. 4 seed in the conference standings by two games with four contests remaining in the regular season.
Mariah Merriweather and Jayde Price certainly helped Ranger College hold its own against the Lady Cougars early on. After Price and Kirsten Fellows had pumped in shots in the early minutes of the contest, Merriweather knocked down a clutch three-point shot that enabled the RC women to battle to an 11-11 tie in the first 10-minute frame.
Aisha Isaac also came up big in the opening frame, netting three points.
The Lady Coogs hit a shot late in the first en route to closing out the frame with a 4-2 run and take a 15-13 lead into the second.