by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Playing 38-40 minutes a game finally caught up with Kansas City Kansas Community College’s short-handed Blue Devils Saturday.
Rotating eight players against KCKCC’s six-man squad, Fort Scott grabbed the lead early and led virtually all the way in a 58-41 win.
The win assured Fort Scott (5-3) of no worse than a third place finish in the Jayhawk Conference while the Blue Devils (1-7) remained a game back of fourth place Hesston and Labette with two games remaining.
KCKCC will close out its regular season at Highland Wednesday and at Labette Saturday. If the current standings are unchanged the final two games, KCKCC would open Region VI playoff action at Fort Scott Feb. 28.
In the first three games with just six players, the Blue Devils (8-20) held leads well into the second half in all three. Fort Scott, however, trailed only once in the opening minutes although the lead was only six points before a 3-point shot at the horn gave the Greyhounds a 31-22 halftime lead.
Draining 7-of-13 3-point shots in the second half (53.8 percent), Fort Scott built leads of up to 23 points against the weary Blue Devils. Fort Scott outscored KCKCC 36-12 from 3-point by sinking 12-of-27 to 4-of-14 for the Blue Devils.
For the game, however, the Greyhounds (19-9) were just 18-of-56 for 32.1 percent and the 58 points are the fewest Fort Scott has scored since the end of November.
The Blue Devils also held the Jayhawk’s leading scorer, Tyler Zinn, to 14 points, well below his season’s 20.7-point average. Zinn needed 18 shots for five field goals although he also had a game high seven assists and grabbed six rebounds. Jayden Davis led Fort Scott with 16 points on 5-of-9 3-point shooting.
Juwan Davenport led KCKCC with 12 points while Malcolm Tate added nine, Tyson Beringer eight, Josiah Laws five and DuVonte Beard four. Laws led in rebounds with seven; Beringer added six and blocked four shots.
The game was the last home game for Davenport and Laws, who were honored with framed uniforms in post-game ceremonies.
In other action Saturday, Johnson County (8-0) sewed up the Jayhawk and Region VI Division II championships with an 85-71 win over Labette while Highland (6-2) stayed a game ahead of Fort Scott in second by defeating Hesston 91-81.