Lady Blue Devils cut turnovers in half in 99-42 road win

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Playing back-to-back games proved no problem whatsoever for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s No. 2 ranked Lady Blue Devils Wednesday.

Coming off a 90-69 win over William Penn’s junior varsity Tuesday night, the Blue Devils cut their turnovers in half in a 99-42 win over Missouri Southern’s junior varsity in Joplin Wednesday night. It was the 13th straight win for KCKCC.

The win also boosted the Blue Devils’ record to 17-1 heading into their final two non-conference games, at North Central Missouri (12-5) Saturday at 2 p.m. in Trenton and at Park University junior varsity in Parkville Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Park game was scheduled for Friday but postponed by threatening weather.

“We’ll get North Central’s best shot,” warned KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry. “We only won by 12 at home and they’ll have a big crowd because their men are ranked No. 1 and play Johnson County after our game.”

The Blue Devils never trailed at Missouri Southern, bolting to their biggest first quarter of the season. Knocking down 4-of-8 3-pointers, KCKCC shot 57.1 percent (12-of-21) to open a 35-10 lead. By game’s end, all 11 Blue Devils had scored and all but one had assists or rebounds.

Freshman Kamryn Estell, who was 9-of-12 from the field, led all scorers with 23 points along with eight rebounds and three steals while sophomore Caroline Hoppock continued her blistering offensive start, just missing a double-double for the second game in a row with 20 points and nine rebounds. Playing in only her third game, it was also her third straight game with five 3-pointers, the best 3-game stretch ever.

Tiaira Earnest added three treys, 15 points and eight rebounds while Brodi Byrd contributed nine points, five rebounds and a game high four assists; Aliyah Myers eight points, seven rebounds and three assists; and Destiny Zamudio and Jada Mayberry six points each. Mercer Roberts chipped in with six rebounds as KCKCC dominated the rebounding 53-33.

“I thought the girls came out with a lot of energy from the beginning and worked really hard, especially on the defensive end of the floor,” McKinstry said.

One of the bright spots was just 11 turnovers, about half the number of errors in the last two games.

“I really challenged them to stay disciplined and not let the score dictate their effort or execution and I felt like they did a great job of doing that,” McKinstry said.

“It was nice to see everyone in the scoring column and nearly everyone in rebounds and assists. We continue to share the basketball well and look for one another. This team is as good as any that I’ve had when it comes to sharing the ball.”

The Blue Devils had 17 assists and 11 steals in forcing 19 Missouri Southern turnovers that were converted into 27 points. In shooting, KCKCC was 37-of -76 for 48.7 percent while giving up just 15 field goals in 64 attempts (.234).

Lady Blue Devils on road after posting 12th straight win, 90-69

Freshman Jada Mayberry maneuvered between three William Penn defenders for two of her nine points in KCKCC’s 12th straight win 90-69 Tuesday night. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

With just one week to go, Kansas City Kansas Community College has three games remaining before beginning defense of the its 2019 Jayhawk Conference women’s basketball championship.

The No. 2 ranked Lady Blue Devils (16-1) easily won their 12h game in a row Tuesday with a 90-69 thumping of William Penn’s junior varsity but it did not come without some season-long woes – turnovers and missed layups.

The Blue Devils were guilty of 22 turnovers and shot just 35.8 percent over the final three quarters.

“We just miss too many layups,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “All we do in practice is shoot layups, pass the ball and play defense and yet at halftime we had nine missed layups and 10 turnovers. And they weren’t pressing us.”

On the plus side, the Blue Devils had 22 assists on 29 field goals and 14 offensive rebounds in the second half after just two the first two quarters. Defensively, KCKCC had 11 steals in forcing 19 Penn turnovers and won the rebound battle 48-38 after being nearly even the first half.

Playing only her second game of the season, sophomore Caroline Hoppock of Olathe East again knocked down five 3-pointers and just missed her first double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds, both game highs.

Aliyah Myers added 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Kamryn Estell 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and four rebounds. Seven Blue Devils scored eight or more points. Jada Mayberry had nine points and Brodi Byrd, Tiaira Earnest and Destiny Zumudio eight points each. Byrd also shared assist honors with five while Diamond Williams had six rebounds and three assists.

The Blue Devils opened the game by converting 10-of-15 shots including 4-of-7 3-pointers in building a 26-15 first quarter lead. Ahead at halftime 47-29, Hoppock opened the second half with a pair of 3-pointers to kick off a 29-13 third quarter.

KCKCC is right back in action Wednesday, playing Missouri Southern’s junior varsity in Joplin at 5:30 p.m. The Blue Devils face Park University’s junior varsity in Parkville Friday at 5 p.m. and then finish out their non-conference schedule with a tough road test against North Central Missouri (12-5) Saturday in Trenton at 2 p.m. Jayhawk play then begins next Wednesday against No. 16 Labette in Parsons.

Kamryn Estell, who had 14 points and four rebounds, looked for help after being sandwiched in between William Penn’s Journie Augmon (20) and NaTracia Ceaser (32) in KCKCC’s 90-69 win Tuesday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
Surrounded by three William Penn defenders, Mercer Roberts wisely escaped trouble with a pass out of the post area in KCKCC’s 90-69 win. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)