Highlassies run past Ranger, Highlanders edged out at final buzz - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Highlassies run past Ranger, Highlanders edged out at final buzzer


The McLennan Highlassies avenged their conference-opening loss to Ranger one Jan. 14 with a 69-52 victory over the Lady Rangers tonight at The Highlands.

The teams were slow to start offensively. A Noortje Joosten jumper put Ranger on the board with 8:35 to play in the first quarter. Ashley Moore began the scoring for McLennan with a turn-around jumper with 7:36 on the clock. The Highlassies took the lead on a Nadia Hayes free throw less than a minute later and extended the lead to six at the end of the first, 14-8.  McLennan fired up from three-point land in the second quarter. Velma Mitchell and Colandria Haynes hit two back-to-back to open the quarter to double the Highlassies' lead, 20-18.  Ranger cut the lead to 12 before McLennan used a 9-0 run to extend the lead to 21, 32-11, midway through the second quarter. The Highlassies led by 15, 33-18, with 50 seconds remaining in the half. A Ranger foul at the buzzer put Dariel Johnson at the free throw line for three free shots. Johnson drained all three to give McLennan the 36-18 at the half. 

The Highlassies continued to pull away in the third, opening on a 17-2 run to put the game away. McLennan cruised through the fourth quarter to their seventh consecutive conference win.

Freshman Jaylonn Walker led the Highlassies with 19 points including four 3-pointers and Mitchell scored 11. Hayes recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. 

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

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 Isaish 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 to 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 lay up 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 steal 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 Lady Coyotes at 2 p.m. followed by the men's game at 4 p.m.

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