Highlanders edged out at final buzzer

Highlanders edged out at final buzzer

In a nail-biter that came down to the final seconds, the McLennan Highlanders fell to the Ranger Rangers 68-66 Wednesday night.

The Highlanders showed some jitters early in the first half and appeared to be out of sync. Ranger led 13-11 with 11:21 remaining in the first. The Rangers used a 5-0 run to extend the lead to seven midway through the half. Ranger continued to lead by seven, 20-13, with 8:45 to play. McLennan continued to fight and didn't give in to the pressure from the Rangers. An offensive rebound and foul on the put back put Isaiah Gurley on the line. Gurley drained both to start a 7-0 McLennan run. Zarious Wilson capped off the run with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 20. Wilson then went 1-2 from the free throw line on the Highlanders' next possession to give McLennan their first lead of the game since the first minute of the contest. The teams traded the lead for the next three minutes with Ranger holding the 25-24 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the half. A Gurley 3-pointer from the sideline put McLennan up and they held the slim 33-31 lead at the half.

McLennan came out running to start the second half and gain the momentum. Gurley and Jashawn Talton combined to start the half on a 10-0 Highlander run to extend the McLennan lead to 12, 43-31, with 16:32 remaining in the game. Ranger began to rally down the stretch pulling within one on a Trey Conrod layup with 5:51 to go, 58-57. A Shannon Bogues layup and free throw following a Ranger foul put the Highlanders back up by four, 61-57. The Rangers tied the game at 61 with 2:50 to go and took the lead on a Jonathan Turner drive in the lane with two minutes to play. 63-61. Ranger extended the lead to five on a Jabri McCall 3-pointer with 1:22 to go, 66-61. Gurley drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 33.33 seconds to go to pull the Highlanders within two, 66-64. A Gurley jumper with 5.27 seconds tied the game at 66. A McCall layup at the buzzer to stole the win for the Rangers.

Gurley led the Highlanders with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Talton scored 12. 

McLennan travels to Weatherford Saturday. The Highlassies will face the Lady Coyotes at 2 p.m. followed by the men's game at 4 p.m.

Ranger: Jordan Woodberry 0 0-0 0; Michael Bowers 1 0-0 2; Jabri McCall 7 5-6 21; Corbin Stephens 1 1-2 3; Trey Conrod 6 2-2 14; Steve Walker 0 0-0 0; Terrance Sewell 1 2-2 5; Jonathan Turner 4 7-8 15; Gary Ringo 1 1-2 4;  Chris Royal 2 0-0 4; Totals: 23 18-24 68.

McLennan: Kyle Brennon 0 0-0 0; Zarious Wilson 1 1-2 4; Chamar Hawkins 0 0-0 0; Hayden Hunter 2 0-2 4; Derrick Farquharson 2 2-2 6; Shannon Bogues 1 4-9 6; Isaiah Gurley 9 5-6 26; Jashawn Talton 4 3-3 12; Daniel Pinho Severo 4 0-0 8; Julius Palmer 0 0-0 0; Totals: 23 15-24 66.

3-pointers: Ranger 4 (McCall 2, Sewell 1, Ringo 1), McLennan 5 (Gurley 3, Talton 1, Wilson 1); Total fouls: Ranger 22, McLennan 21; Halftime score: McLennan 33, Ranger 31; Record: McLennan 34-1 (6-1).