Chambers’ free throws in OT close out Kilgore, 71-67

KILGORE — Conrad Chambers hit crucial free throws during overtime that lifted Navarro to a 71-67 Region XIV men’s basketball victory over the Kilgore Rangers.

Chambers hit 6-of-8 foul shots and finished with eight points and eight assists as coach Michael Landers’ Bulldogs (13-10/9-4) won their third straight league game and remained in second place in the East Zone.

Jamar Martin scored a personal- and team- single-game high 27 points, cleared eight rebounds and blocked two shots as Navarro improved its record in two-possession games this season to 7-1.

Martin, now with 5 games of 20-plus scoring, hit 11-of-13 shots from the floor, including 3-of-5 beyond the arc Wednesday at Masters Gymnasium. His 27 topped previous individual- and team- highs of 26 against San Jacinto on November 21 and 25 against McLennan one week earlier at the Lewis Orr Classic.

Eric McCullom produced his first double-double of the season (17/10) and the Bulldogs’ seventh of the year.  McCullom scored 13 of his 17 during the final half.

McCullom nailed 8-of-10 from the floor and came within one point and one rebound of matching personal-best category efforts this season before fouling out at the outset of the extra period.

Navarro hit 13-of-18 free throws for the game, and needed all of its 72.2% shooting from the line to provide the difference.

Kilgore College overcame a slow start to erase a 29-21 halftime deficit and a double-digit deficit in the second half to force overtime.

The game was tied at 61 at regulation’s end.

Jaleel Wheeler paced Kilgore with 26 points with CB Diallo adding 13 for the Rangers, who shot 20 percent from the field in the first half and doubled that in the second at 48 percent. Alassane Kah turned in a 10-point, 15-rebound night for the Rangers to round out a trio of double-digit scorers.

Both teams combined for 33 turnovers on the night and 79 trips to the free-throw line.

Kilgore went 27-of-38 from the charity stripe.

Kilgore held a narrow edge in rebounds, 40-30, but the Bulldogs controlled the paint offensively, outscoring the Rangers, 36-20.

Both had slow starts to the night with Kilgore grabbing a 10-8 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.

The Rangers notched their largest lead of the night, 16-12, with 5:55 left in the first half before Navarro rattled off a 13-3 run.

An opening bucket in the second half gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the night at 10.

A three-point play from Greg Session sparked a Kilgore run to tie the contest, 42-42, with 9:42 left in regulation.

The two teams exchanged the lead the rest of the way with Kah dropping in a putback with 29 seconds left to force overtime. Wheeler had a steal in the waning moments but the heave fell short to send it to the extra period.

Navarro connected from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions and went 4-of-6 from the line in the extra five minutes. The Rangers went 2-for-7 from the field with three turnovers in the four-point loss.

Elsewhere in Region XIV men’s basketball games:

  • Lee 84, San Jacinto 77
  • LSC-PA 77, Angelina 75
  • Blinn 83, Coastal Bend 66
  • Panola 88, Bossier Parish 77
  • Trinity Valley 97, Paris 53