KCKCC’s Harbert earns All-America honorable mention

Cassidy Harbert (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins

While one of the biggest thieves in the Jayhawk Conference, Kansas City Kansas Community College freshman Cassidy Harbert’s passion for giving rather than receiving has earned her honorable mention on the 2014 Community College All-America Team chosen by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Harbert is one of just three players from the Jayhawk Conference earning WBCA honors.

She was joined on the honorable mention list by sophomore guards Timeka O’Neal and Sameia Kendall, who led Johnson County to a 30-2 record and No. 2 national ranking.

No Jayhawk player was named to the 10-member All-America team.

A 5-6 point guard from Wichita Northwest, Harbert led the Jayhawk Conference in assists this past season with 6.32 a game and was third in steals with 3.42 per contest.

Her 197 assists are the most ever by a Lady Blue Devil freshman and second only to the 207 recorded by All-American Aneta Kausaite in 1995-1996.

In addition, Harbert was third in scoring with a 9.7-point average, the Blue Devils’ leader in 3-point field goal percentage (.446), second in rebounding (6.9) and third among the leaders in overall field goal percentage (.432).

Harbert’s season was highlighted by one triple double – 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists – against Westminster and she just missed triple doubles by one assist in one game and two assists or two rebounds in two others among her eight double doubles.

“Very, very deserving,” said KCKCC coach Valerie Stambersky. “She did everything for us, led fast breaks, got the ball up the floor, rebounded and scored. A player who played with an edge, something that’s hard to coach. Either you have it or you don’t and she did.”

The All-America selection was particularly gratifying to the KCKCC coaching staff after Jayhawk Conference coaches ignored Harbert on the all-conference team.

She did receive honorable mention on the All-Region VI team.

“Statistics don’t lie but apparently they were ignored in the conference voting,” Stambersky said.

The Blue Devils finished No. 20 in the NJCAA Division II rankings with a 24-8 record with six of the eight losses coming to teams ranked in the Top 5 nationally. The 24 wins are the most since the 1996-1997 season.

KCKCC’s Leslie Ford named Jayhawk pitcher of week

Leslie Ford

by Alan Hoskins

Leslie Ford’s stellar pitching over the past weekend earned her softball Player of the Week honors in the Jayhawk Conference.

Allowing just two earned runs in 27 innings, Ford was 2-1 as the Lady Blue Devils won 2-0 and 6-1 at Hesston and split at Hutchinson, losing 2-0 and winning 7-3.

Ford gave up just three hits, struck out eight and walked one in blanking Hesston 2-0.

After giving up six hits and the only two runs she surrendered over the weekend in the 2-0 loss to Hutchinson, Ford came back and pitched 5 2/3 innings of 3-hit relief in KCKCC’s 7-3 nightcap win.

(KCKCC photo)

Norton, Foerschler pace 19-hit attack in 12-7 KCKCC win

by Alan Hoskins

With Lucas Norton and Tanner Foerschler leading the way, the Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College unleashed the biggest hit assault of the season Tuesday, pounding out 19 hits in a 12-7 win at Brown Mackie.

A sophomore centerfielder from Liberty, Norton was a perfect 4-for-4 with three doubles and a single and an RBI while Foerschler, a freshman first baseman from Harrisonville, was a double shy of hitting for the cycle with a single, triple and home run and four runs batted in.

The win sets up a big four-game series with perennial Jayhawk Conference power Cowley, which is locked in a three-way tie with Johnson County and Coffeyville for the league lead, all at 12-0.

The four-game set opens at Cowley Thursday and then returns to KCKCC for a Saturday twin bill starting at 1 p.m.

Daniel LaMunyon doubled and singled twice, Sam Baxter singled three times and Christian Arnold and Garrett McKinzie each drove in a pair of runs with two hits each as KCKCC improved to 8-15.

The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead in the first on Norton’s leadoff double and an RBI single by Arnold and then scored five times on five hits in the second after Brown Mackie had tied the game.

Foerschler had the big blow, a 2-run triple following hits by LaMunyon and Baxter, and McKinzie drove in two more runs following Norton’s second double and a walk.  KCKCC built a 8-2 lead behind the pitching of Spencer Nielsen only to have Brown Mackie close to 8-6 with four unearned runs in the sixth.

However, the Blue Devils bounced right back in the seventh. Zane Mapes’ squeeze bunt following a double by LaMunyon and single by Baxter scored one run and Foerschler’s home run scored two more.

Nielsen, who had pitched two innings of relief on Monday, got his first win, allowing just one earned run while scattering eight hits and striking out two in 5.1 innings.

Adam Rea worked the final 3.1 innings for his first save, giving up just one run and five hits.

“Lucas Norton had another great day at the plate,” said KCKCC coach Steve Burleson. “He’s up to hitting.488 now and Foreschler was big with the home run and four RBI. Coming off pitching in relief a day earlier, Spencer Nielsen gave us some good innings.”