Make that 18-1.
In Saturday’s conference openers for both the McLennan Community College basketball teams, the Highlassies and Highlanders emerged victorious. The women defeated Ranger, 67-57, and the men won, 66-55, to gather their 18th win in 19 opportunities.
The No. 14 Highlanders began their game with an 11-0 run after allowing Ranger to open the game with a 3-pointer. Led by Antoine Banks, who scored a game-high 19 points for the men, MCC took a 26-19 lead into halftime.
Ranger cut the lead to four before McLennan once again took control of the game. The Highlanders were also helped by Aaron Gregg, who scored 16 points, and Javen Hedgeman, who added 13 more. Caleb Smith was top scorer for Ranger with 14.
The Highlassies came into their conference opener having won their last game. Saturday’s contest was fairly even in the first quarter before MCC went on an 8-0 run. They continued to control the game, going into the locker room at halftime holding a 36-30 lead.
The ’Lassies used defense to start the second half, building a 15-point lead before closing the third quarter up, 60-46. They withstood a Ranger rally at the end of the last period, with the local team winning, 67-57. MCC had three players with double figures — Jaylonn Walker scored 21; Anndrea Lloyd scored 13, and Velma Mitchell added 12. Ranger’s high scorers were Jaylan Gulley and Shan-Qaylia Stanton, both with 10 points.
The Highlassies’ next game is set for a 6 p.m. tipoff at Cisco on Wednesday in another conference game. The men play next on Jan. 20 against Southwestern Christian at The Highlands. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.