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Apr. 10—It was a shortened season already due to COVID-19 — and then a loss to Panola College made it shorter.

The 2021 basketball season ended for Kilgore College’s Lady Rangers in the first round of the Region XIV Conference women’s tournament on Wednesday afternoon, a close game with Panola College that KC couldn’t quite pull out at John Anderson Gymnasium in Jacksonville, the site of both men’s and women’s conference tournaments.

KC’s Jada Hood got to the free throw line late, with a chance to put the Lady Rangers in front. KC trailed 77-76, after Panola’s Ginger Reese had just given her team the lead at the line on the opposite end of the floor.

Hood hit one of the free throws, though, leaving the game tied at 77.

Panola’s Alana Swift somewhat haphazardly bounced between KC defenders and her own teammates, and scored with 13.2 seconds left.

The Lady Rangers had a couple of shots at the other end: Hood missed the first, a three-point attempt, and then after a rebound, missed the second. The ball went out of bounds with what appeared to be 0.5 seconds left (a half-second), but officials ruled the game was over.

KC coach Addie Lees argued for the half-second, and eventually got it, but it was Panola’s ball anyway, and Reese wound up with it. It appeared she scored, but officials ruled she didn’t get the shot off, leaving the final 79-77.

Hood came through for Kilgore College, as did several of the Lady Rangers, but the final minute, unfortunately for KC and its fans, went Panola’s way.

Hood finished with 23 points, going 13-of-16 from the free throw line, and at least 11 of those attempts in the second half. Between the two teams, 47 fouls were called.

Hood also had three steals, three rebounds and two assists.

Also for KC, Kerrighan Dunn had 16 points, Vianey Galvan had 14, and Rahmena Henderson had 10. McKenze Brown and Tara Green each had five, and Maya Scheitel-Taylor had four.

Green finished with 10 rebounds, as well; Brown had five, and Scheitel-Taylor and Henderson each had four. Green also blocked three shots.

For Panola, Reese had 21 points. Swift had 19. Destiny Burton had 14 points and 11 rebounds. And Destini Whitehead scored 12.

KC’s season ends at 10-13, and 7-10 in conference play.