The mission of Temple College’s basketball teams against Ranger on Wednesday night at TC Gym was to bounce back from disappointing losses Monday at rival McLennan.
Temple College’s Kedrian Johnson made a 3-pointer from the right corner, threw a long alley-oop pass to set up a Kortrijk Miles basket, sank a 3 from the right wing and then used his left hand to smoothly score a reverse layup — all in a span of less than 2 minutes midway through the second half.
Temple College head coach Kim Sebek spoke to the importance of holding serve on one’s home court in a conference that typically doesn’t allow for much leeway in the chase for a playoff spot.
Now that the calendar has turned to 2020 and conference play has begun, the end of a long, successful career is coming into sight for Kirby Johnson, Temple College’s 33rd-year men’s basketball coach.
It wasn’t the sharp all-around performance that Temple College coach Kirby Johnson desired in the Leopards’ final game before the semester break as less-than-great shooting and a lack of urgency in tracking down loose balls left him wanting more.
It was, however, another decisive win for TC’s undefeated squad.
It took until the midway point of the second quarter, but the disparity in experience between visiting Blinn and Temple College eventually emerged Wednesday night as the Lady Buccaneers built a lead during the middle periods that the youthful Lady Leopards couldn’t overcome.
Temple College sophomore guards R.J. Mason and Kedrian Johnson experienced the frustration of foul trouble in Tuesday evening’s early-season showdown with No. 15-ranked Navarro.
Mason, the Leopards’ point guard, went to the bench after being whistled for his second foul only 1:26 into the game and didn’t return to the floor until midway through the first half. Johnson, TC’s West Virginia-committed shooting guard, was assessed his fourth foul 4:19 into the second half and had to take a seat next to coach Kirby Johnson until just 4:49 remained.
Kirby Johnson is in good health and doesn’t have to retire. But entering his 33rd season as Temple College’s men’s basketball coach, Johnson, 65, believes the time is right to call it a career at season’s end. After all, the Temple native will have guided the Leopards for more than half his life.
Breonna Fleming was perfectly content with coasting along. Whether it was on the volleyball court or in the classroom, she knew her bare minimum was enough. Giving 100 percent seemed unnecessary.