by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s unbeaten men’s basketball season came to an end in Dodge City’s Pizza Hut Classic over the weekend but not before a whale of a Blue Devil comeback.
Trailing Dodge City by 16 points at halftime Friday, the Blue Devils roared from behind to take a 64-63 lead with 7:35 left only to have the Conquistadors pull away for an 82-74 win.
Neosho County made it a double setback Saturday, breaking open a nip-and-tuck first half battle for an 88-67 win.
The losses left KCKCC at 6-2 heading into a home game with Westminster College Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Hitting a torrid 64.3 percent, Dodge City scored the last eight points of the half for a 49-33 lead in a game that was tied six times and had four lead changes in the early going.
However, the Blue Devils limited the Conqs to just one field goal and three points the first 8½ minutes of the second half and went ahead 64-63 at the 7:35 mark.
Dodge City went back in front on a four-point play by Ameer Jackson and then limited the Blue Devils to just two field goals the final seven minutes to improve to 6-1.
C,J, Vallejo led KCKCC with 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting while Tevin Downing just missed a double double with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Roberto Hernandez added eight points and a career high seven assists while Joe Lendway also scored eight points.
KCKCC had a 34-29 edge in rebounding and had a season low eight turnovers but couldn’t overcome Dodge City’s 58.7 percent shooting for the game.
KCKCC trailed Neosho County 35-33 in a furious first half Saturday that had six ties and eight lead changes.
However, the Blue Devils could not keep up with Neosho’s 53.4 percent shooting in a 53-point second half.
Freshman Austin Hall had 19 points, Vallejo 13 and Downing and Hernandez eight each for the Blue Devils, who were 27-of-65 for 41.5 percent.
The Blue Devils were outrebounded 41-29 as Joseph Acull had 21 points and 20 rebounds for the Panthers. Downing led KCKCC with eight.
Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.