Fast start carries KCKCC women into national title game

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College is back in the NJCAA DII women’s national championship game for the second time in four years, thanks to an 83-75 win over Cape Fear Community College Friday.

The Blue Devils (31-4) will meet the winner of the Union County-Lackawanna semifinal Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Harrison, Arkansas.

Facing a Cape Fear team that had scored 63 first half points on the way to a tournament record 116-105 win over NIACC in quarterfinal play Wednesday, the Blue Devils limited the Sea Devils to one field goal in the first 7½ minutes on the way to a 25-5 lead and were in control the rest of the way despite some uncharacteristic faulty free throw shooting in the final minutes.

Leading 72-54 after three quarters, the Blue Devils missed 10 of 12 free throws the final minutes and did not score a field goal in the last 3:22 although never in danger of giving up the lead.

“I think you saw the best of KCK basketball and maybe some of the worst of KCK basketball,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “Obviously these girls have not been in this kind of situation before and we got a little excited and probably panicked a little.”

Offensively, Cape Fear had no one to handle the Blue Devils’ Magnolia, Arkansas, duo of Lillie Moore and Kisi Young. Moore had 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists; Young 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Guard Lenaejha Evans also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Brodi Byrd added 15 points and Nija Collier 13 points and six rebounds before fouling out.

Assist leader Caitlyn Stewart went to the bench with two fouls just 1:18 into the game but Lexy Watts stepped in with a pair of standout passes for assists in the early run.

“That’s one thing about this team; we don’t miss a thing whoever we have in there because of our depth,” McKinstry said.

Defensively, KCKCC limited the Sea Devils to 24 of 67 shots for 35.8 percent, far under their season average of .471. Cape Fear also managed just five 3-pointers in 21 attempts (.238), again well under the season average of 41 percent.

Other than just 13 of 27 free throws, the Blue Devils were 32 of 72 from the field (.444) and 6 of 22 from 3-point (.273) and thoroughly dominated the rebounding 51-32 with 16 rebounds coming off the offensive boards.

“Thirteen of 27 free throws is just awful but we’ve got to forget those and all the miscues (21 turnovers) and get ready for Saturday,” McKinstry said.

With a boisterous partisan crowd voicing support, Byrd opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers and KCKCC never trailed, surging ahead 10-2 on the way to the 25-5 lead.

KCKCC led 46-30 at halftime with Moore leading the way with 15 points and seven rebounds. Biggest lead was 63-40 midway through the third quarter.

“Our crowd was fantastic, it was more like a home game,” McKinstry said. “Now we have an obligation to represent our conference, the toughest in the country.

River rising in Kansas City, Kansas

Lewis and Clark at Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, Kansas, were almost up to their knees in Missouri River flood water on Friday afternoon. On Wednesday, the water level was below their feet, and last Saturday, water was to the base of the statue. The Missouri River is forecast to crest on Saturday night. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Looking at the Kansas River side of Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kansas. Kaw Point is at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
A view of the Fairfax area of Kansas City, Kansas, was to the left of this photo taken on Friday afternoon, March 22, at the Missouri River. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
A little water was showing next to the Missouri River in the Fairfax area of Kansas City, Kansas, on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Kaw Point Park, at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in Kansas City, Kansas, is showing some effects of the flooding of the Missouri River. In the distance is Kansas City, Missouri. Usually, the blue trash cans in the photo are on dry ground. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Kaw Point Park, at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in Kansas City, Kansas, is showing some effects of the flooding of the Missouri River. In the distance is Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Another view of the Lewis and Clark statue at Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
The CDC recommends staying out of flood water, as it can cause diseases. For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/floodsafety.html. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
A walkway at Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, Kansas, was covered with water on Friday afternoon. Kaw Point Park is on Fairfax Trafficway. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Water was higher than a few days ago along the banks of the Missouri River at Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Water was higher than a few days ago along the banks of the Missouri River at Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
Debris and trees floated down the Missouri River near Kaw Point Park on Friday afternoon in Kansas City, Kansas. In the distance is Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
A view of the Fairfax area of Kansas City, Kansas, was to the right of this photo taken on Friday afternoon, March 22, at the Missouri River. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
The Kansas River, as seen from the Turner Bridge around 57th Street in Kansas City, Kansas, on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Steve Rupert)
The Kansas River, as seen from the Turner Bridge around 57th Street in Kansas City, Kansas, on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Steve Rupert)

Missouri River now expected to crest on Saturday night in KC

Water was in the fields on the west side of I-435 near the Missouri River in Wyandotte County, in this photo taken on Friday afternoon.

The Missouri River at I-435 in Wyandotte County is currently at moderate flood stage. It is projected to crest on Saturday night.
A view of the Wyandotte County side of the Missouri River at I-635 on Friday afternoon. The river is in moderate flood stage and is projected to crest on Saturday night.

Wyandotte County will have a little longer to wait for the projected crest of a flood on the Missouri River.

This afternoon, a Corps of Engineers official stated in a news conference that the Missouri River at Kansas City now is anticipated to crest on Saturday night.

The Missouri River’s crest reached St. Joseph, Missouri, today, according to Corps officials, and some residents there were being evacuated.

River forecasts have been adjusted several times a day as river flows are changing upstream. When levees break, the flow of water in the river changes, some water comes out of the river, a different amount of water then re-enters the river, and projected crests are readjusted.

The Missouri River at Parkville, whose coverage area includes Wyandotte County, has been at moderate flood stage for several days.

On Friday evening, the National Weather Service predicted that the Missouri River at Parkville, a gauge that includes Wyandotte County, would rise to 35 feet on Saturday night. The river at this point was at 31.73 feet at 4:45 p.m. Friday, March 22. At 32 and 32.5 feet, the Wolcott levee sections in Wyandotte County are overtopped.

The river at this point is projected to remain in moderate flood stage through Monday, then decline out of minor flood stage on Thursday, according to a hydrology chart.

Areas to the north of Kansas City have been hit hard by flooding, including St. Joseph, Missouri, Atchison, Kansas, and Leavenworth, Kansas, and areas surrounding those cities. The river at Leavenworth could crest on Saturday evening after going into major flood stage, according to weather forecasters.

The water releases into the Missouri River from the Gavins Point dam in South Dakota remain at 24,000 cubic feet per second today, Corps officials stated.

More snow melting in the Dakotas is now entering the system, and water releases from Fort Randall dam, which had been reduced to zero, now will resume at 4,000 cfs Saturday and 12,000 cfs Sunday, according to Corps officials. It will take the water about a day and a half to travel from Fort Randall dam to Gavins Point dam.

Releases from Gavins Point will not now be reduced to 20,000 cfs, according to Corps officials. Instead, the releases are projected to increase to 32,000 cfs when the crest on the Big Sioux River upstream reaches Sioux City.

According to Corps officials from the Kansas City district, about a half-million sandbags have now been issued, and the Corps is providing relief and support to state and local governments who request assistance.

The flood has already broken three records upstream, according to National Weather Service officials. This includes at Plattsmouth, Nebraska City and Brownville in Nebraska.

A Corps of Engineers official said it was the largest inflow and largest volume of water into the Gavins Point pool from the Niobrara River area for the past 120 years.

On Thursday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly toured Kansas counties damaged by flooding. She flew by helicopter to Leavenworth and then up the Missouri River Basin to survey the damage and relief efforts.

Gov. Kelly signed an executive order Wednesday easing motor carrier regulations to help with emergency relief and restoration. Last week, she issued a state of disaster emergency declaration for counties affected by flooding.

To see charts with updated river levels, visit https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=eax.

Water was in the fields to the side of I-435 near the Missouri River in Wyandotte County, at a location in the Wolcott area, in this photo taken Friday afternoon. The Missouri River is in moderate flood stage at this point, and is expected to crest on Saturday night.
Water was seen outside of the Missouri River in fields to the side of I-435 in Wyandotte County on Friday afternoon. The river is in moderate flood stage at this point.
Water was seen in fields on Wolcott Drive near 105th, where a grain elevator is located, south of the Missouri River.
The Missouri River as seen on Friday afternoon at I-635 in Wyandotte County. The river is in moderate flood stage and is expected to crest on Saturday night.
The Missouri River as seen on Friday afternoon at I-635 in Wyandotte County.
The Missouri River above Parkville, which includes the Wyandotte County area, is projected to crest on Saturday night. It is in moderate flood stage. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)
The Missouri River at Kansas City is projected to be crest in minor flood stage on Saturday evening. This gauge is located south of the downtown Kansas City, Missouri, airport. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)
The Kansas River at 23rd Street is projected to crest in minor flood stage on Saturday evening. This gauge is on Kansas Avenue at the state line, on the road leading to the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri. (National Weather Service – USGS graphic)