Blue Devils fall to North Central; play Allen County Tuesday

Sophomore Arother Ratliff flew past North Central Missouri’s Marty Jackson (21) and Cameron Lockett (35) for a KCKCC field goal in the Blue Devils’ 78-52 loss Saturday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

North Central Missouri got away from Kansas City Kansas Community College late in the first half on the way to a 78-52 win in the Keith Lindsey Classic Saturday night.

The loss left the Blue Devils 1-3 heading into a home contest with former Jayhawk Conference rival Allen County Tuesday at 7 p.m.

KCKCC trailed North Central just 17-14 only to be outscored 16-8 the final six minutes of the first half and trailed 33-22 at the break. The visiting Pirates (3-2) then put the game out of reach with a 9-2 second-half start that expanded the lead to 42-24.

Lack of scoring continued to plague the Blue Devils, who had only one player in double figures. Freshman Jonathan Richmond scored 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting but only two points came in the second half.

Tyson Beringer added eight points, four rebounds and three assists; Jalen Davis seven points and four rebounds; Malcolm Tate and Daiyon Taylor six points each; and Arother Ratliff five points.

Just 3-of-14 from three-point range for 18.8 percent, the Blue Devils were 21-of-53 for 39.6 percent from the field and only 7-of- 18 (.389) from the foul line.

Rebounding domination was also a major factor as the Pirates won the battle of the boards 44-31.

Jake Salisbury and Marty Jackson each had 15 points and Solomon Thomas 14 for North Central, which notched 18-of-34 second-half shots for 52.9 percent and finished at .509 for the game, The Pirates also won the turnover battle, committing 15 to KCKCC’s 20.

KCKCC freshman Kelyn Bolton climbed the back of North Central’s Emil Spriggs (1) for a high-flying shot while teammate Tyson Beringer, right, moved in for a possible rebound in the Blue Devils’ 78-52 setback. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

Collier’s big night powers No. 9 KCKCC women to 109-69 win

KCKCC’s Lexy Watts left a trail of North Central Missouri defenders for a layup in the Lady Blue Devils’ 109-69 win Saturday. Trailing the play are KCKCC’s Caroline Hoppock (21) and Lillie Moore (5). (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

With sophomore Nija Collier leading the way, Kansas City Kansas Community College got a measure of revenge for one of last season’s most disappointing losses Saturday.

Turning in one of the best first half performances in Blue Devil history, Collier scored 31 points including four 3-pointers, pulled down 18 rebounds, blocked six shots and added three steals and three assists in a 109-69 win over North Central Missouri in the final round of the Keith Lindsey Classic.

“One of the best individual performances I’ve seen in my four years. She gave us a spark when we needed it,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “She always plays with energy and gives maximum effort. Today she was making threes, finishing around the rim and cleaning up rebounds.”

Collier had 22 points including 3-of-3 from long range, 12 rebounds and three blocks in leading KCKCC to a 52-37 halftime lead. She finished the night 9-of-14 from the field, 4-of-5 from 3-point and 9-of-9 from the foul line.

The win ran the No. 9 ranked Blue Devils’ record to 5-0 heading into another tough test Tuesday when they face Des Moines Area Community College in Boone, Iowa, before returning to host Saint Mary junior varsity Thursday at 7 p.m.

Collier got lots of offensive help from freshman Lenaejha Evans, who had 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and sharpshooters Camryn Swanson and Brodi Byrd, who each had four 3-pointers, Swanson finishing with a career high 19 points and Bryd 12. Caroline Hoppock added eight points, Lillie Moore seven points and seven rebounds and Kisi Young eight rebounds and four assists.

“This is the same North Central group that beat us at home (69-67) last year and our returners remembered that,” McKinstry said. “It was a game they felt they gave away with costly turnovers and fouls and they took it personally.”

North Central coach Jennie Croy was impressed.

“That’s easily the best team we’ve played this year,” said Croy, whose Lady Pirates are 1-3 against Jayhawk Conference foes, losing to Fort Scott 75-66 and Johnson County 81-61 while defeating Hesston 65-60 in the Classic.

With Collier, Swanson and Byrd each netting four three-point goals and Hoppock two, the Blue Devils finished with 15 three-pointers, one off the single game record.

“We were 15 of 18 for 38.5 percent, which I was pretty happy with,” McKinstry said. “They played a zone so you have to make shots and we did that tonight. And the part I really loved was 20 of 23 free throws. That’s 48 of 58 the last two days, which is huge.’

Other pluses included 20 offensive rebounds, a 58-35 domination of the rebounding and only seven second half turnovers after 11 the first half.

KCKCC sophomore Camryn Swanson took aim on one of her four three-pointers on the way to a career high 19 points in the Blue Devils 109-69 win over North Central Missouri Saturday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
North Central Missouri’s Karrisa Baber knocked the ball away from KCKCC’s Caroline Hoppock in a race for a loose ball in the Blue Devils 109-69 win Saturday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

Torrid Link Year Prep shooting foils KCKCC men’s home opener

A spectacular dunk by Link Year Prep’s Gabe Hornsby also earned Hornsby a technical foul for hanging on the rim. The Lions posted an 89-69 win over KCKCC despite 22 points by Jalen Davis (11). (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
KCKCC sophomore Malcolm Tate found tall trouble from Link Year Prep’s 6-7 Lamar Wright, left, and 6-10 Kalein Bennett but drew a foul in the Blue Devils’ 89-69 loss. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Link Year Prep’s hot shooting foiled Kansas City Kansas Community College’s home basketball opener Friday with an 89-69 win in the opening round of the annual Keith Lindsey Classic.

The Blue Devils (1-2) will play North Central Missouri today in the final round of the Classic at 6 p.m. KCKCC’s women will also play North Central at 4 p.m.

A basketball academy for high school graduates to prepare promising young players for possible college scholarships, Link Year Prep took just 52 shots Friday, making 32 for a crisp 61.5 percent.

The Lions were particularly effective from long range, netting 8-of-16 from 3-point. The win boosted Link Year Prep’s record to 4-2 including a 40-point win over Neosho County and a 2-point loss to Butler County, both members of the Jayhawk Division I Conference.

The Lions needed the torrid shooting to hold off a late first half Blue Devil rally fired by Jalen Davis, a 6-2 freshman guard from Houston, who almost single handedly pulled KCKCC back in contention.

After three ties and three lead changes, the Lions surged to a 26-11 lead with 7:34 left in the half only to have Davis score the Blue Devils’ next 13 points to cut the halftime deficit to 38-30.

However, the Lions scored the first seven points of the second half for a 45-30 lead and KCKCC could never could close the gap to single digits as the Lions shot 60.7 percent the second half after 62.5 percent the first half.

Dominating the rebounding 38-25, Link Year Prep had three players score 17 or more points – 6-9 Austin Johnson with 20 on 7-of-9 shooting, 6-7 Tre Edwards 18 with 4-of-7 3-pointers and 6-10 Kalin Bennett, 17 on 6-of-7 shooting.

Davis finished with 22 points for KCKCC on 9-of-12 shooting while Andre Boykins and Arother Ratliff came off the bench to add eight points each. Boykins led rebounding with five; Taylor Turner in assists with five.

The Blue Devils shot 43.8 percent from the field thanks to 53.1 percent the second half. The Blue Devils had 14 turnovers while forcing 15 by Link Year Prep.