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Trey Conrod + Nick Orange Help Kilgore Remain Unbeaten in 16-3A With 63-40 Win Over Gilmer

Kilgore’s Trey Conrod puts up a shot through the defense of Gilmer’s Andrew Hollis during their game Friday night in Kilgore. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

KILGORE — Behind the one-two punch of Trey Conrod and Nick Orange, the Kilgore Bulldogs crushed Gilmer 63-40 in a matchup of District 16-3A rivals Friday night.

The junior duo of Conrod and Orange combined for 33 points, including the first 20 points of the game. Conrod finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Orange tallied 16 points and six boards.

Kilgore’s Xaviar Gaona heads for the basket during the Bulldogs’ 63-40 home win over Gilmer on Friday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

“Me and Nick grew up together,” said Conrod. “We used to battle and didn’t like each other. But then we realized our goal is to get a ring, so we’ve come together for the good of the team and are playing as one. We appreciate what (Kilgore coach Jeff Coleman) has done for us. He’s done a lot for us and he stays on us. He keeps us straight and makes sure we are doing the right things and staying focused.”

Kilgore (15-7, 5-0) opened the contest with an 11-2 run, capped by a Conrod 3-point play at the 4:11 mark. The Bulldogs led 24-10 after one as they found the soft spots in Gilmer’s 2-3 zone and started to exploit them.

“I was concerned in the beginning with how well we would shoot the basketball against their zone,” Coleman said. “Well, we came out and put that to rest real quick.”

Gilmer’s Nick Smith works his way around Kilgore’s Xaviar Gaona during their game Friday night in Kilgore. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Gilmer pulled within eight, 26-18, early in the second quarter behind eight consecutive points from Malik Jackson, including a couple of treys. But when Conrod found Kevrin Justice under the bucket for the layup, it highlighted an 8-0 Kilgore spurt, and the Bulldogs went into halftime up, 49-30.

Kilgore extended its lead in the second half after Stefun Tatum broke the Gilmer press and hit Cley Delmas in transition for an early fourth-quarter bucket. Then Orange grabbed an offensive board and putback, stretching Kilgore’s advantage to 55-31. Not to be outdone, Conrod sent the crowd into a frenzy when Kilgore went into four corners, took his man off the dribble and lifted off from the middle of the lane to throw down a tomahawk jam. It was all Kilgore at that point.

“I’ve been trying to get that dunk all year,” said Conrod, with a smile. “I wanted it for our fans, but mostly to keep our team energized.”

Gilmer (4-2 in district play) was led by Nick Smith’s 13 points, and Zac Spears’ 12. Zod Heath pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Buckeyes.

Kilgore continues 16-3A play when they host Spring Hill on Tuesday. Gilmer plays at Gladewater also on Tuesday.

Kilgore’s Nick Orange puts up a shot during the Bulldogs’ 63-40 home win over Gilmer on Friday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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