by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information
Kansas City Kansas Community College put the defensive clamps on Highland in racing to a 74-54 win Saturday.
The Blue Devils held the Scotties (7-4) to 10 points the first 15 minutes of play; surrendered just 6-of-35 first half shots for 17.1 percent; and gave up no 3-point goals in a game that was never in doubt.
The win improved KCKCC’s record to 9-6 heading into a Wednesday game at Labette. They’ll return Saturday afternoon to play host to Fort Scott in a game originally scheduled for Fort Scott.
“I think we’re playing our best basketball right now,” KCKCC coach Brandon Burgette said. “We’re are taking pride in defending; a great job tonight of limiting the drive and making Highland take tough shots.”
The Blue Devils had just two players in double figures but 11 of 12 who played scored and all 12 had rebounds. Knocking down 5-of-10 3-pointers, Deron McDaniel had a game-high 19 points; DeAngelo Bell added 12. Robert Rhodes chipped in with a game-high 12 rebounds along with eight points; Shayon Jonloo had seven points and Cody Dortch a pair of treys while Bryce Johnson had eight rebounds as KCKCC won the battle of the boards 47-42.
The Blue Devils built a 25-10 lead with 4:56 left in the first half and went into halftime with a 32-17 lead by limiting a Highland team that had been shooting 46.3 percent to 17.1 percent on just six field goals. The lead buoyed to 61-32 midway through the second half as the Blue Devils intermixed full court and half court defenses that forced 16 turnovers and totally disrupted the Scotties’ offense when the game was decided.
Led by Trey Bates’ six assists, the Blue Devils had 19 assists on 28 field goals.
“When we play fast and under control, we make good things happen,” Burgette said. “We’re a pretty deep team; we come in waves and put on a lot of pressure. When the ball moves, we can get any shot we want.”
The Blue Devils were 28-of-66 for 42.4 percent from the field, 12-of-32 from 3-point (.375) while the Scotties were 20-of-64 (.313) from the field and missed all 10 3-point attempts.