by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Still smarting from a last-second loss at Washburn junior varsity Monday night, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s No. 6 ranked Lady Blue Devils responded with one of their best performances in the opening round of the Southeast Nebraska tournament in Beatrice Friday.
Guilty of 32 turnovers in the Washburn loss, the Blue Devils had a season-low seven and 29 assists on 39 field goals in a 103-50 win over Central Nebraska.
The win boosted KCKCC’s record to 11-2 heading into a 6 p.m. game today, Saturday, with host Southeast Nebraska.
The Blue Devils then return home to close out pre-holiday play starting with Metropolitan Community College Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Formerly Penn Valley, the Wolves handed KCKCC its first loss of the season 76-74 Nov. 17. KCKCC then will wrap up pre-holiday play Friday as hosts of Des Moines Area Community College at 6 p.m.
Six Blue Devils scored in double figures in the 103-50 win over Central in a game that also saw the return of sophomore forward Lizzie Stark. A key front line reserve as a freshman, Stark has been sidelined by a torn ACL.
“It was nice to see Lizzie back out on the floor after being injured in October,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “She’s not 100 percent yet but adding her depth will be important for us moving forward.” Stark played 12 minutes and had two rebounds.
Two freshmen led offensively. Lenaejha Evans had 19 points and Brodi Byrd 17 and they shared game-high assist honors with six apiece.
Sophomores Kisi Young and Nija Collier had double-doubles while Lillie Moore just missed. Young had 15 rebounds and 12 points; Collier 12 points and 11 rebounds in just 17 minutes; and Moore 15 points and nine rebounds.
KCKCC had a 49-39 edge in rebounding with Young and Collier each corralling eight off the offensive boards.
Camryn Swanson added 12 points and five assists, Caroline Hoppock 9 points and Caitlyn Stewart 7 points. Swanson and Byrd each had three 3-pointers, Hoppock and Stewart one apiece as the Blue Devils were just 8-of-31 from 3-point (.258) but 44.8 percent overall.
Defensively, KCKCC forced 32 Central turnovers with Byrd coming up with four steals and Hoppock, Swanson and Moore three each.
“Very happy with our defensive effort and how well we took care of the ball today,” McKinstry said.