Leopards' Guard Caleb Gaston (Steve Lemmons, Temple College) Leopards' Guard Caleb Gaston (Steve Lemmons, Temple College)

By Tony Adams for Temple College

Temple College Athletics have a huge week ahead, with the Leopards and Lady Leopards basketball teams hosting the McLennan Community College (MCC) Highlanders and Highlassies Wednesday.

The TC women will take on MCC, the No. #3 ranked team in the National Junior College Association (NJCAA) Top 25 polls at 5 p.m., followed by the TC men taking on the MCC men at 7 p.m.

Watch the games live on PlaySight.

This week’s Leopards Report looks back at Temple College basketball, as the women’s and men’s squads took on Ranger College and Southwestern Community College in a pair of North Texas Junior College Athletic Association (NTJCAC) contests.

TC women bounce back from Cisco loss with two wins

On Jan. 17, the No. 23 Lady Leopards hosted Ranger College.

Three Lady Leopards registered double-doubles, as TC rebounded from a heartbreaking loss to beat Ranger, 82-67.


Temple played steady basketball and committed just nine turnovers in the game.

The Lady Leopards edged out to a five-point lead in the first quarter and led at the conclusion of the first 10 minutes, 22-17.

TC outscored the Rangers in the second quarter, 25-19, and held a nine-point lead at the end of the first half, 47-36.

View the photo gallery from the Lady Leopards vs Ranger game.

Temple began to spread the love around the court, as they had a 27-assist night, and led at the end of the third period, 63-49.

Ranger stayed close in the final quarter but did not close the gap as they fell by 15.

The Leopards shot 44.1% from the field, which included 33.3% from beyond the three-point line and 16-of-28 from the free-throw line.

Evelyn Lorenzo led all scorers with 22 points, 12 assists and four steals. Wilashia Burleson added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Kira Bass chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds.

TC ended their week with a road trip to Terrell to take on SWCC on Jan. 20.

Four Leopards scored in double figures, which included a pair of double-doubles, as TC flew past the Lions, 86-60.

The Leopards hopped off to a fast start, as TC outscored SWCC over the opening 10 minutes, 23-15.

The Lions were able to slightly close the gap before the halftime break, as TC led 40-35.

Another suffocating defensive performance, combined with the Lions struggling from the field in the third quarter, proved to be the deciding factor in the game. TC outscored SWCC on the period, 24-5, as the Lady Leopards led at the end of the third quarter, 64-39.

The teams combined for 43 points in the final quarter, as TC held on for a 26-point victory.

The Lady Leopards shot 32.5% from the floor, which included 26.9% from beyond the arc, and a stellar 27-of-32 from the free-throw line.

Burleson logged another double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds (11 offensive), and Erika Suarez added 21 points and 12 rebounds (eight offensive). Tia Mitchell scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench. Kira Bass contributed 10 points and pulled down seven boards.

Mya Cotto scored 21 points for the Lions, who shot 38.3% from the field, 23.5% from beyond the three-point arc and 20-of-34 from the charity stripe.

TC men suffer a pair of close NTJCAC losses

On Jan. 17, TC hosted Ranger in a matchup of conference rivals.

The Rangers mounted up a 32-8 run over the closing 13 minutes of the first half and held on the down TC, 76-66.


The Leopards sprinted to a good start and grabbed a 13-point lead with 13 minutes to go, 20-7.

However, the Rangers outscored the Leopards over the final stretch of the first half, 35-7. The 28-point swing gave Ranger a 15-point lead at the half, 42-27.

The Leopards chipped away at the margin, trimming the gap to three points with four minutes to play.

Ranger managed to push their lead back to double-digits to hold on for the win.

The Rangers shot 44.9% from the field, which included 27.8% from behind the arch, and converted 9-of-16 free throws.

View the photo gallery from the Leopards vs. Ranger game. 

Andrew Holifield led the Rangers with 21 points.

TC shot 40.9% from the field but struggled from behind the arc with a 4-of-27 outing. The Leopards converted 8-of-12 from the free-throw line.

Theo Grant and Caleb Grant each scored 15 points, and Jacob Taitte added 14.

The Leopards completed the week with a game against SWCC at Terrell on Jan. 20.

The Lions erased a six-point deficit to force overtime and outscored the Leopards in the extra five-minute session to down TC, 91-84.

Temple edged out to a 40-34 advantage after the opening 20 minutes. The Lions managed to outscore the Leopards in the second half, 43-37, to force overtime with the score tied at 77-77. SWCC outscored the Leopards in overtime, 14-7.

TC shot 47.6% from the field and 33.3% from the beyond the three-point arc. The Leopards were successful on 16-of-20 foul shots.

Henry Sanchez-Perez went 6-of-11 from behind the arc for a 27-point performance off the bench. Grant was a perfect 9-of-9 from the field to lead the Leopards with 26 points. Caleb Gaston logged a double-double, with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

A shift in the national polls

With MCC coming to town, a ton of eyes will be fixed on the Danny J. Scott Athletic Complex on Wednesday.

Ripe off their upset of previously undefeated No. 2 Collin County Community College, No. 4 MCC continues to creep up the NCJAA Div. 1 Top 25 poll. The Highlassies are now ranked No. 3.

Collin County dropped to No. 5 and Temple College moved up from No. 23 to No. 22.

There are no NTJCAC men’s teams in this week’s top 25. Collin County Community College received votes in this week’s poll.

Schedule addition

The TC Men have scheduled a makeup game with Fort Cavazos on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.

Their Jan. 13 matchup with the Phantom Warriors was cancelled due to logistical issues.


Temple College is “Your Community’s College,” a dynamic and growing community college that equips thousands of Central Texas students with the knowledge and skills for 21st-century success. Temple College, which has campuses in Temple, Hutto and Taylor, offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs to students who seek to earn credits for transfer, graduate with an associate degree or complete a certificate for fast entry into the workforce.

Founded in 1926, Temple College has enjoyed a reputation for academic excellence for 97 years. It is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs, from visual and performing arts to competitive athletics. The College has become one of the state’s premiere institutions for health care providers’ education and training, advanced manufacturing, and workforce development programs. The faculty and staff are committed to providing exceptional quality instruction.