League-leading Hesston turns back late KCKCC rally, 73-63

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College threw a scare into Hesston’s conference leaders Monday before the Larks turned back a late Blue Devil rally for a 73-63 win.

Trailing by as many as 13 points early in the second half, the Blue Devils closed to 61-57 with four minutes to go only to have Hesston pull away on four free throws and a pair of layups for a 69-59 lead with 1:11 remaining.

The win improved Hesston’s lead in the Division II standings at 4-1 while the Blue Devils fell to 1-2 and 11-6 overall heading into a road game at Coffeyville, the No. 16 ranked team in Division I with a 16-2 record.

The Blue Devils got a big game out of sophomore Babajide Aina, who led all scorers and rebounders with 21 points and 11 rebounds along with a game high five steals. Ray Ridley and CJ Vallejo added 11 points each for the Blue Devils, who were 17-of-44 for 38.8 percent. The Larks used 51 percent shooting the second half in improving to 10-6.

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.

KCKCC women clear one road hurdle; bigger one Wednesday

by Alan Hoskins

No sooner over their first conference road hurdle, an even tougher one looms for Kansas City Kansas Community’s No. 9 ranked Lady Blue Devils.

Pulling away in the second half for a 77-43 win at Hesston Monday night, the Blue Devils go right back on the road Wednesday at Coffeyville. Winner of three in a row, the Lady Red Ravens (11-7) are unbeaten in seven games at home.

KCKCC then returns home Saturday to host unbeaten and No. 8 ranked Highland at 2 p.m.

Tied 17-17, the Lady Blue Devils ran off 10 straight points on the way to a 35-26 halftime lead at Hesston and then put a defensive stranglehold on the Lady Larks in the second half, allowing just one field goal the first 14 minutes and only four the entire second half. The win was the ninth in a row for the Blue Devils, who improved to 16-1.

“A great road win,” said KCKCC coach Valerie Stambersky. “We knew it was going to be tough to travel after a quick turn-around on the heels of such an emotional win over Cowley Saturday. Fortunately we found a way and settled in during the second half. Every game from here on out is going to be tough so we will take the win, make adjustments where needed and start preparing for Coffeyville.”

Outscoring Hesston 42-17 in the second half, Stambersky was able to go to her bench often. As a result no Blue Devil played more than 24 minutes.

As usual, a balanced offense was the key as all 12 Blue Devils scored. Cierra Gaines and Iland Shurn led with 11 points each while Janai Mitchell added 10, Rashaun Casey 9 and Cassidy Harbert. Harbert also led KCKCC to a 39-34 rebounding advantage with 10 and shared the lead in assists with Julia Garrard with four each.

Defensively, the Blue Devils harassed the Larks into 29 turnovers on 21 steals with Aricca Daye pilfering five and Erin Anderson four. KCKCC also limited Hesston to 4-of-25 second half shots for 16 percent and 24.4 percent for the game. Just 12 of 35 for 34.3 percent the first half, the Blue Devils were 15-of-32 (.469) the second half to overcome 22 turnovers.

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.

Wyandotte County Democratic Breakfast planned Jan. 17

The Wyandotte County Third Saturday Democratic Breakfast will meet Saturday, Jan. 17, in a new location, the cafeteria of Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave.

The cafeteria is in the lower floor of the Jewell Building at KCKCC.

The guest speakers at the meeting will be state Sen. Anthony Hensley, Democratic leader of the Kansas Senate, and state Rep. Tom Burroughs, newly installed Democratic leader of the Kansas House.

The breakfast buffet is available at 8:15 a.m. and the forum begins at 9:15 a.m.

The cost for the buffet is $10; the cost is $7 for students and those on limited incomes.

The meeting is open to all Democrats. Reservations are requested by Jan. 16 to scottmackey08@yahoo.com. While reservations are requested, they are not required to attend.

New officers for the Wyandotte County Democratic Central Committee were elected on Dec. 7. They are Norm Scott, chair; Gwendolyn Thomas, vice chair; Crystal Watson secretary; Barbara Ikerd, treasurer; and Victor Harris, sergeant-at-arms.

State Reps. Tom Burroughs and Louis Ruiz were recently elected Democratic leader and assistant leader for the Kansas House of Representatives.

Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore was recently elected chair of the Wyandotte County legislative delegation. Sen. Pat Pettey was elected vice chair.