Highlanders drop tough game to Western Texas

Highlanders drop tough game to Western Texas

In a hard-fought battle from the opening tip to the final buzzer, the McLennan Highlanders fell to the Western Texas Westerners 86-84 to close out the MCC Classic at the Highlands.
 
The game was tight from start to finish. The two teams traded baskets for the first 10 minutes of play. McLennan held a 19-16 lead with 9:51 to play in the half. Western Texas began to pull away, using a 13-0 run over a three-minute span to take the first double-digit lead of the contest at 29-19. The Highlanders responded with a 6-0 run to trim the lead to four, 29-25, with 3:37 on the clock. McLennan pulled within two, 35-33. C.J. Smith added a pair of free throws, and a Darius Mickens 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Westerners the 40-33 lead at the break.
 
McLennan continued to trail by seven, 44-37, with 17:17 to play in the game. The Highlanders rallied, tying the game at 44. The Westerners pulled away once again, extending the lead to 11, 77-66, with 3:21 remaining. McLennan didn't back down and didn't go down without a fight. Strong defense and shooting from Lorenzo Anderson, Chris Pryor and Rayquan Brown pulled the Highlanders within two 84-82 with 13.7 seconds to play. A pair of free throws by Leland Kirkendoll put Western Texas up by four. Brown drained a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds to go to put the Highlanders within two but McLennan couldn't get a steal on the inbound pass to go for a buzzer-beating shot.
 
Pryor led the Highlanders with 26 points and Anderson added 19.

Western Texas 86, McLennan 84
Western Texas: Donovan Reagan 1 2-2 4; C.J. Smith 3 9-10 15; Leland Kirkendoll 4 4-6 13; Darius Mickens 6 0-0 15; Steven Allison 1 0-0 2; Tafari Simms 5 4-10 17; Jaylen O'Connor 3 0-2 9; Ben Smith 5 0-1 10; Totals: 28 19-31 86.
 
McLennan: Mike Fournier  2 0-0 6; Akili Vining 2 2-2 7; Lorenzo Anderson 5 9-12 19; Rodrique Massenat 0 0-0 0; Cameron Copeland 1 2-2 4; Chris Pryor 10 2-2 26; Rayquan Brown 6 4-6 10; Tre Thomas 0 0-0 0; Claven Wilson 4 0-0 8; Asare Otchere 0 2-2 2; Tyrese Taylor 0 0-0 0; Scott Ator 1 0-0 2; Totals: 31 21-26 84.
 
3-pointers: Western Texas: 9 (O'Connor 3, Mickens 3, Kirkendoll 1, Smith 1, Simms 1), McLennan 7 (Pryor 4, Fournier 2, Vining 1); Total fouls: Western Texas 24, McLennan 26; Fouled out: Western Texas (Reagan), McLennan (Wilson); Halftime score: Western Texas 40, McLennan 33; Record: McLennan 1-1.