Archive for KCKCC

No. 9-ranked Highland women wear down Lady Blue Devils, 73-51

No. 9-ranked Highland provided big problems for KCKCC Saturday – 6-1 Mariane Carvalho (2) and 6-1 Sjonja Vukov, whose height proved difficult rebounding problems for the Blue Devils’ 5-11 Brie Tauai (22) and 5-10 Brooklyn Wagler (10). Highland won 73-51. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

KCKCC sophomore Brooklyn Wagler had her way to the basket blocked by Highland’s Sjonja Vukov in the Blue Devils’ 73-51 loss Saturday. KCKCC sophomore Brie Tauia readied for a possible rebound. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

The pace of a furious first half against No. 9 ranked Highland proved overwhelming for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Lady Blue Devils Saturday.

Shooting 48.1 percent, the Blue Devils stayed within striking range of the lankier Scotties before the pace against Highland’s aggressive pressing defense simply wore down the Blue Devils and their roster of just eight players, holding KCKCC to just two second half field goals in a 73-51 loss.

The loss left KCKCC 5-4 in the Region VI standings and set up a pivotal game Wednesday at Fort Scott in the Blue Devils’ pursuit of opening playoff action at home March 4. A win over the Lady Greyhounds (3-6 and 15-7 overall) would assure KCKCC (17-10) of no worse than fourth place. Highland, meanwhile, improved to 23-3 overall and stayed within a game of league-leading Johnson County (9-1) at 8-2 in regional play.

Both Highland and KCKCC opened at breakneck speed Saturday with the Scotties aggressively pressing their way to a 28-20 first quarter lead and stretching it to 43-34 at halftime by making 14-of 25 shots for 56 percent including 5-of-8 3-pointers.

The fast pace took a toll on both teams but more so on the Blue Devils, who had more points in the first quarter (20) than in the second half (17) when they were just 2-of-18 shots for 11.1 percent. Highland, meanwhile, scored 30 points in the second half after posting 28 the first quarter and was just 11-of-33 in the second half.

With Highland boasting a pair of 6-1 All-American hopefuls, sophomore Szonja Vukov of Hungary, who was the player of the year last year, and Brazilian freshman Mariane Carvalho, the Blue Devils’ big concern was in stopping the ‘twin towers’ and did a good job of it, allowing them a combined 21 points and 17 rebounds. But the Scotties got eight 3-pointers from a talented array of guards to build their early lead.

“We did a lot of good things,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “For the first three quarters I felt like we really were just a couple of scoring possessions away from it being a tight game, Our energy and awareness defensively was as good as it’s been all year. We wanted to force them to make outside shots and unfortunately, in the first half, they did.

“Offensively, our plan was to attack and I felt like (we) did that for the most part and had them in some foul trouble. But we didn’t capitalize at the free throw line (16-of-27) and then just got gassed. Anytime you only score two field goals in a half, it’s going to be awfully hard to win. We ran out of energy and when that happens, mistakes happen.”

Brie Tauai led the Blue Devils with 17 points and eight rebounds. Aeriel Holiday added 12 points on 4-of-5 three-pointers; Brooklyn Wagler had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists; Kayla Horn nine points; and Millie Shade seven rebounds.

Both teams had 11 turnovers in the rapid fire first half but Highland had just four the second half while KCKCC finished with 20. Fouls also handicapped both teams. KCKCC point guard Kayla Horn picked up her fourth foul midway through the second quarter but did not foul out, but Wagler did while Highland lost one player on fouls and had four others with four.

Blue Devils can’t overcome Highland’s 21-4 start in 63-56 loss

KCKCC sophomore guard Mike Lee puts up a layup over Highland’s Dontre English Saturday but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Scotties from taking a 63-56 win to pull to within one game of the first place Blue Devils. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College dug a hole from which the Blue Devils could not escape in their pursuit of first ever Jayhawk Conference and Region VI championships Saturday.

Spotting Highland a 17-point lead in the first 11 minutes of play, the Blue Devils clawed their way back within three points but could never get the baskets necessary to prevent a 63-56 setback.

The loss snapped a 5-game KCKCC winning streak and left the Blue Devils (7-2) just one game ahead of Highland (6-3) and two games ahead of Johnson County (6-4) and Fort Scott (5-4) in Region VI play heading into the final three games of the season. KCKCC closes out at Fort Scott Wednesday and Labette Saturday before finishing at home a week from Wednesday against Johnson County while Highland hosts Brown Mackie and Fort Scott before closing at Labette.

In Jayhawk Conference play, however, KCKCC (3-2) trails Highland and Fort Scott, both of whom are 4-2. Just five teams compete for the Jayhawk title. Neither Hesston nor Brown Mackie are in the conference. Both KCKCC losses have come at the hands of Highland.

KCKCC didn’t get its second field goal of the game until the 9:03 mark of the first half and by then the Blue Devils were trailing Highland 21-4. Shooting 55.6 percent from the field, the Scotties led 36-22 at halftime and maintained a double digit lead until the Blue Devils made two closing rushes.

The first came after Highland had built a 45-28 lead in the second half. Three Mike Lee field goals including a 3-pointer and a trey and two free throws by Kellen Turner trimmed the Blue Devil deficit to 45-40 with 13 minutes left.

The second came five minutes later. Two field goals and two free throws by Jon Murray and a 3-pointer by Turner cut the Highland lead to 51-48 with 5:34 left but the Scotties quickly rebuilt the lead to seven and the closest the Blue Devils could get was 60-56 before going scoreless the final two minutes.

“Highland played well,” KCKCC coach Kelley Newton said. “In a nutshell, they played harder, were more aggressive, rebounded better and beat us to all the loose balls. It was very disappointing, especially on Sophomore Day, that we didn’t come out with more energy and play better. That’s my fault, allowing it to happen. We’ve got to make sure not to let it happen again.”

Murray, who leads Region VI in rebounding, led the Blue Devils with a double-double, 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Turner added 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. Mike Lee and Donald Metoyer each chipped in with eight points and three assists.

Despite 1-of-10 shooting to start the game, the Blue Devils finished with 21-of-49 for 42.9 percent but they were without their usual 3-point offense. Limited to just 10 3-point tries, they made three while the Scotties were converting a half dozen – all in the first half – and shooting a crisp 50 percent overall. Four Scotties scored in double figures led by Stephon Jackson’s 21 points.

Purl’s 2-hit pitching gem highlights KCKCC split in Texas

Jake Purl

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Sophomore Jake Purl gave Kansas City Kansas Community College a spectacular start to the Blue Devils spring road trip to Dallas, Texas, Friday.

A 6-3 sophomore righthander from Park Hill South, Purl did not surrender a hit until the fifth inning and finished with a two-hitter in six scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over Richland Community College. Purl’s gem wasn’t enough to carry the Blue Devils to a sweep, however, as Richland won the nightcap 7-4.

KCKCC will play Eastfield in a doubleheader Saturday before resuming its series with Richland Sunday and Monday.

Purl struck out 11 and gave up three walks in six scoreless innings. He threw 89 pitches, 59 for strikes. Luke Ostenson, a freshman from Shawnee Heights, got a save after pitching out of a scary jam in the seventh. Richland started the seventh with three straight singles, scoring twice and putting the tying run on second before Ostenson ended the game with a strikeout, ground ball and fly ball.

Shawnee Mission North sophomore Chase Redick provided the game-winning blow, a two-run home run to left center in a 3-run third inning. Back-to-back singles by Josh Schumacher and Albert Woodard and a balk scored the game’s first run before Redick’s big blast. Redick also had a double as did Zach Mahoney as the Blue Devils were limited to seven hits.

Richland jumped on starter Chad Cox for eight hits and six runs, four of which were earned, in jumping to a 6-2 lead in the first three innings of the nightcap. The Blue Devils matched Richland in hits with nine but were without an extra base hit. Easton Fortuna led the way with three singles while Albert Woodard added a pair.

KCKCC took a 1-0 lead in the first on three consecutive singles to start the game by Woodard, Fortuna and Redick and pulled to within 4-2 in the third on singles by Fortuna and Alex Phillips. The Blue Devils scored their final two runs in the fifth on back-to-back singles by Rorey Combs, Woodard and Fortuna and Redick’s sacrifice fly.