20-point duo leads Lady Blue Devils past Highland, 80-63

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Size doesn’t seem to matter, at least to the Kansas City Kansas Community College duo of Aliyah Myers and Tiaria Earnest.

Both guards scored 20 points and terrorized Highland defensively in the Blue Devils’ 80-63 home court win Saturday. It was the second straight game in which both Earnest and Myers have both scored 20 points.

The win boosted the No. 5 ranked Blue Devils’ record to 12-1 heading into a showdown at No. 2 ranked and unbeaten Labette in Parsons Wednesday. Because of COVID, the game will be Labette’s first in Jayhawk Conference play.

A 5-6 guard from Detroit, Earnest also led all rebounders with 11 and had three steals; the 5-7 Myers led in assists and steals with four of each.

Hannah Valentine, who was 5-for-6 from the field, added 15 points and seven rebounds; Aysia Arrowood a career high seven points; Faith Putz six and De’Jaria Guillory four points and six rebounds.

Knocking down 7 of their first 13 shots, the Blue Devils raced to leads of 10-0 and 15-2 in the first five minutes but had to turn back one Highland comeback.

Trailing 24-12 after one quarter, Highland outscored KCKCC 13-1 to start the second period to close to 25-24 and it was still 30-26 before a layup by De’Jaria Guillory and six straight points by Valentine widened the KCKCC lead to 38-26 at the half.

The Scotties never got closer as the Blue Devils stretched their lead to 50-33 in the first five minutes of the third quarter and led by as many as 27.

KCKCC led the rebounding 46-38 and forced 31 turnovers while committing 21.

“Two of our smallest players, Tiaria and DJ (Guillory) combined for 17 rebounds which just shows how much rebounding is a matter of effort,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said.

Earnest’s 20-point effort was her third 20-point game since returning from the injured list seven games back while Myers has been a mainstay both offensively and defensively.

“Both are returners and played significant roles last year so I think that has played into their comfort level and confidence,” McKinstry said. “Hannah Valentine has been better lately. She’s someone I don’t have to call plays for, she’s just active and does it on her own.

“I think this is the fourth time we’ve force 30 or more turnovers and we’ve done it with a man-to-man half-court defense. I’ve said all along this is the fastest and deepest team I’ve ever had. And our guards do a little bit of everything. Highland makes it a little tough because they spread the floor so much.”

Study shows mask mandates and restaurant restrictions work to limit spread of COVID-19

A study released March 5 showed that mandating masks and restricting on-premise dining can limit community transmission of COVID-19, including reducing case number rates and death growth rates.

According to the study, where masks were mandated, there was a decrease in daily COVID-19 case rates and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation.

The study also says that where on-premises restaurant dining was allowed, there was an increase in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 41 to 100 days after implementation, and an increase in daily death growth rates 61 to 100 days after implementation.

The study analyzed county-level data and state executive orders mandating masks and restaurant closures.

The study’s findings support the CDC’s recommendations for universal masking and avoiding nonessential indoor spaces to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the study looked at data from counties and states in the United States from March 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.

To read the study, visit https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010e3.htm.

COVID-19 case numbers reported

Wyandotte County reported an increase of 12 COVID-19 case on Friday, March 5, for a cumulative 17,736 cases. There was a cumulative total of 273 deaths reported, no change since Thursday. Case number updates now are issued from Monday through Friday, not on Saturday or Sunday.

The Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 160,965 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Saturday. The daily average of new hospitalizations was 85. Cumulative deaths in the nine-county area were 2,236.

The state of Kansas reported 295,861 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Friday, March 5, an increase of 752 cases since Wednesday. There were a total cumulative 4,812 deaths, a decrease of four since Wednesday, KDHE figures. The KDHE stated that the decrease in deaths was attributed to a review of death certificates. Some deaths originally reported as COVID-19 were determined during the review as not having had COVID-19 as the main cause or contributing cause of death, according to the KDHE. Case number updates are issued on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard on Saturday night reported 28,952,949 cases in the United States, with 524,362 total deaths nationwide.

COVID-19 tests scheduled Monday

The Pierson Community Center COVID-19 testing site at 831 S. 55th is open at 9 a.m. Monday, March 8. Tests are through WellHealth. Appointments are required, check with the website, www.gogettested.com/Kansas, for available appointment times.

Another COVID-19 testing site will be at Lowe’s, 6920 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas, starting at 8 a.m. Monday, March 8. Tests are through WellHealth. Appointments are required, check with the website, www.gogettested.com/Kansas, for available appointment times.

Unified Government COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites are scheduled to be open on Monday, March 8. The Unified Government Health Department’s COVID-19 test site at the former Kmart building at 78th and State will be open Monday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are not needed for COVID-19 tests there on Monday. There is also another UG Health Department location for COVID-19 testing at the former Best Buy store, 10500 Parallel Parkway. More information is at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19. To see if there is any change to the schedule, visit https://www.facebook.com/UGHealthDept.

The Health Department is offering saliva COVID-19 tests to the public. Tests from the Health Department are free for those who live or work in Wyandotte County.

The tests are open to asymptomatic people as well as those who have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. Check with the UG Health Department’s Facebook page to see if there have been any changes in the schedule. Bring something that shows that you live or work in Wyandotte County, such as a utility bill.

Walk-in vaccines available for those 85 and older

The UG Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccines Monday through Friday for Wyandotte County residents who are over 65.

Those Wyandotte County residents who are 85 or older can walk in and do not need an appointment Monday through Friday at the vaccination sites at 7836 State Ave. and 10500 Parallel Parkway. The sites are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Those who are 65 and older, as well as critical workers, still need appointments for vaccines.

All those 65 and older should bring an ID or other proof of age, such as a driver’s license, government ID or birth certificate, as well as something showing their Wyandotte County address, such as an ID or a piece of mail.

For more vaccine information, and to fill out a form expressing interest in getting a vaccine, visit WycoVaccines.org or call 3-1-1.

Testing sites are at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19.

Saliva testing is now offered at the UG Health Department. For more information, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/02042021-ugphd-saliva-testing-available.pdf.

The University of Kansas Health System COVID-19 update page is at https://www.kansashealthsystem.com/patient-visitor/covid19-update.

A weekly vaccine report for the state of Kansas is at

Cards and letters of encouragement for caregivers at KU Health System may be sent to Share Joy, care of Patient Relations, 4000 Cambridge St., Mailstop 1021, Kansas City, Kansas, 66160. Emails can be sent to ShareJoy@kumc.edu.

Wyandotte County is under a mandatory mask and social distancing order.

The UG COVID-19 webpage is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.

The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.

The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at https://marc2.org/covidhub/.

The Wyandotte County page on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website is at https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/20209.html.

The Johns Hopkins Data in Motion, a presentation on critical COVID-19 data in the past 24 hours, is at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/covid-19-daily-video.

Blue Devils sweep softball twin bill with pair of shutouts

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Kansas City Kansas Community College needed just 10 innings Saturday to sweep a a pair of shutouts from Central Nebraska 17-0 and 12-0.

The wins improved the Blue Devils’ record to 8-2 heading into the Crowder Bash in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Friday where they play Southeastern Iowa at 4 p.m. and Mineral Area at 6 p.m.

The lopsided wins enabled KCKCC coach Lana Ross to use her entire pitching staff. Breanna Droge allowed just one hit and struck out four in 3.1 innings of the opener before Samantha Reynolds finished up, retiring all five hitters she faced.

Nerida Elson pitched the first two innings of the second game, allowing two hits and striking out one. Bradi Basler pitched the third and fourth innings, allowing two hits with Regan Marsh working a hitless fifth.

Devin Purcell and Hannah Maurer each drove in five runs in the 17-0 opener, Purcell doubled and singled twice; Maurer doubled twice. Alyssa Seichepine also had a pair of hits in the 12-hitt attack.

Six Blue Devils had extra base hits in the 12-0 nightcap. Purcell homered, Alexis Rymer tripled and Savannah Maynard, Madison Pope, Alaina Howe and Basler each doubled while Georgia Faunt delivered a run-scoring pinch single

“We played well defensively behind good pitching,” KCKCC coach Lana Ross said. The Blue Devils had just one error in the two games. “We turned two double plays in the second game. It was a good day with every player contributing; very proud of the team coming out with a lot of energy and really doing a great job at the plate.”