by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s women’s unbeaten winning streak came to an end Wednesday night, but not without a whale of a fight.
Unbeaten North Arkansas held off a late Lady Blue Devil rally for a 78-75 win in Harrison, Ark., The loss was the first in seven starts for KCKCC while the Lady Pioneers won their fourth in a row. North Ark’s men also held on for a 3-point decision, running their record to 5-1 with an 87-84 win after leading by 10 at halftime.
Both Blue Devil teams are right back in action Friday – the women as hosts of Park University’s junior varsity at 5 p.m. and the men entertaining Saint Mary University’s junior varsity at 7 p.m. The Lady Blue Devils are also at Penn Valley Saturday at 4 p.m.
Trailing by as many as 10 points in the last quarter, the Lady Blue Devils got back-to-back 3-point goals from freshman Tyrionne (Tee) Martin, the second with 22 seconds left, and had a game-tying 3-point shot that missed.
“We weren’t very good from start to finish,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “We battled hard to stay in the game and give ourselves a chance but the bottom line is we beat ourselves tonight.”
Kisi Young led KCKCC with 21 points. Caroline Hoppock was the only other Blue Devil in double figures with 12 points while Lizzie Stark and Nija Collier added eight each and Martin, Myra Ford, Lizzie Stark and Ashley Daniels six each. Hannah Villines, a 5-9 sophomore guard, led North Ark with 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Blue Devil men trailed 48-38 at halftime of the nightcap before building an 8-point lead in the second half only to drop an 87-84 decision. Kamari Balton, a 6-2 freshman guard, had 30 points and seven assists and 6-7 sophomore Josh Breathitt 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead North Ark.
“We are so close to turning the corner,” KCKCC coach Kelley Newton said. “We have a young team and have to grow up soon. I am proud that our guys don’t quit. Games like this will pay off in the long run.”