Blue Devils cruise 65-43; Park JV to visit at 4 p.m. Friday

Sophomore Malcolm Tate maneuvered between two Saint Mary defenders for a layup attempt in KCKCC’s 65-43 win over the Spires Thursday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Blue Devils will try to make it three wins in a row Friday after cruising to a 65-43 win over Saint Mary junior varsity Thursday.

The Blue Devils will close out non-conference play Friday when they play host to Park University junior varsity in a 4 p.m. tipoff, a game that was originally scheduled for 8 p.m. but moved up because of possible inclement weather.

The Blue Devils never trailed after the opening minute against Saint Mary.

Led by freshman Calvin Slaughter and sophomore Malcolm Tate, the Blue Devils surged to a 34-17 halftime lead. Slaughter scored 11 points and DuVonte’ Beard 8 and both were 4-for-6 from the field. Closest the Spires could get in the second half was 41-33 before the Blue Devils pulled away.

A 6-2 guard from Macon, Georgia, Slaughter led all scorers with 15 points while Beard was 6-of-8 from the field in netting 12 points.

Sophomore Arother Ratliff and freshmen Kelyn Bolton and Cody Dortch each added seven points, Taylor Turner six and Jonathan Richmond five.

A freshman from Shawnee Mission East, Bolton also had a big night for assists, handing out a season high eight. Slaughter and Dortch added three apiece as the Blue Devils assisted on 16 of 27 field goals.

The Blue Devils won the rebound battle 44-25 with Daiyon Taylor and Slaughter pulling down six each and Bolton, Ratliff and Beard five apiece.

“Happy to win two in a row for the first time this season,” KCKCC coach Kelley Newton said. “We had too many turnovers. Just five at halftime but 10 the second half. The second half we were able to get some easy buckets in transition which was good but with the conference season opening next week we just have to get better.”

KCKCC plays host to Labette in the Blue Devils Jayhawk Conference opener at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. In other openers, Highland plays at Johnson County and Fort Scott at Hesston.

KCKCC sophomore forward DuVonte’ Beard looked for a way out after being sandwiched between Saint Mary’s 6-6 Brad Hailey and 6-7 Nick Funk (3). Beard’s 12 points helped the Blue Devils win 65-43 Thursday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
At 6-2, KCKCC guard Kelyn Bolton outdueled Saint Mary’s 6-7 Nick Funk (3) and 6-4 Clayton Steward and teammate Malcolm Tate (25) for one of his team high six rebounds in the Blue Devils 102-52 win. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

No. 4 Lady Blue Devils celebrate highest national ranking with 102-52 win

KCKCC guard Lexy Watts flipped a pass ahead to teammate Nija Collier for one of her game-high six assists in the Blue Devils’ 102-52 win over Southeast Nebraska Thursday. The Blue Devils had 23 assists on 35 field goals. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College played up to its newest national ranking in the second half Thursday, scoring 61 points on the way to a 102-52 win over Southeast Nebraska Community College.

Elevated to No. 4 in the latest NJCAA Division II national poll, the highest ever during regular season play, the Lady Blue Devils closed out non-conference play with an 18-2 record.

The Jayhawk Conference season starts Wednesday when Labette comes to KCKCC for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff while No. 1 ranked Johnson County (16-0) plays host to No. 3 Highland (15-1) and Fort Scott goes to Hesston.

Despite one of their worst shooting starts (.333), the Blue Devils led Southeast 21-7 after one quarter and 41-21 at halftime.

“Although we were up 20, I thought we missed way too many shots around the basket and were just going through the motions, not sharp or crisp,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “Southeast played zone last time and against everyone else so when they PLAYED man-to-man defense, it through us off a bit. We should have been excited about running our offense with precision but we did not do that.”

Nija Collier and Lillie Moore led the 61-point second half. Collier had 13 of her game high 20 points and Moore nine of her 15 in the final two periods. Collier also had 14 rebounds for a double-double as did Kisi Young, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds while Moore wasn’t far away with eight rebounds.

Freshman Lenaejha Evans led the way early, knocking down three 3-pointers and scoring 11 of her 17 points in the first half. Brodi Bryd and Camryn Swanson also had three 3-pointers, Byrd scoring 13 points and Swanson nine. Lexi Watts led in assists with six with Young and Collier adding four each and Caitlyn Stewart three.

“We definitely played better the second half,” McKinstry said. “I liked our pace a lot better, running, rebounding, sharing the ball. We had 23 assists and rank third or fourth in the county which is important to me. We have a lot of possessions and a lot of unscripted action which leads to better opportunities and we’ve done a great job of finding teammates.”

An arm under the chin kept KCKCC sophomore Lillie Moore from scoring but she did get fouled on the play by Southeast’s Morgan Frauendorfer. Moore scored 15 points and hauled in eight rebounds in the 102-52 win Thursday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
Blue Devil sophomore forward Niji Collier ripped down one of her 14 rebounds from a pair of Southeast Nebraska defenders while teammates Brodi Byrd and Lizzie Stark looked to help in KCKCC’s 102-52 win Thursday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

30 Miles in 30 Days Challenge returning to KCKCC

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

The Kansas City Kansas Community College Wellness and Fitness Center is starting the New Year by helping the campus community develop a healthier lifestyle.

The 30 Miles in 30 Days Challenge starts Jan. 28. Its purpose is to encourage students, staff, faculty and community members to complete at least one mile of cardiovascular activity every day for a month. That includes walking, jogging, riding a bike or one mile on an elliptical machine.

“It takes 21 to 30 days to break old habits and create new habits,” said Pam Hall, wellness specialist at the KCKCC Wellness and Fitness Center. “We want to make it personally challenging, have individuals make a real change and re-pattern their fitness routine.”

Upon registering, individuals will receive a tracking card, which is what they will turn in at the end of the 30 Miles in 30 Days Challenge to show the activity logged. Participants mark the box for each day they complete a mile.

When the challenge ends March 2, individuals will submit their completed cards for a chance at winning a prize. The tracking card does not include any Sundays.

The 30 Miles in 30 Days Challenge is also for those that may already be exercising.

“Make this a personal challenge for yourself,” Hall said. “Say you already do two miles of exercise a day. For one mile, make yourself go faster than you normally would.”

For more information or to register for the challenge, contact Pam Hall at pjhall@kckcc.edu or 913-288-7368. Individuals can also register by calling the Wellness and Fitness Center at 913-288-7610 or visiting the front desk.