by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s No. 4 ranked women picked the worst possible time for their worst shooting performance of the season.
Facing No. 3 ranked Johnson County on Saturday, the Blue Devils were 17-of-58 for a season worst 29.3 percent – and only because they scored eight of their 17 field goals in the fourth quarter. For the first three quarters, the Blue Devils were just 9-of-42 for 21.4 percent in a 65-53 loss.
The loss was the first for the Blue Devils in 10 starts while the Cavaliers improved to 10-0. After the Jayhawk Conference opener, KCKCC will be right back in action at Southeast Nebraska Tuesday at 6 p.m. and then will play host to Hesston Wednesday and Highland Saturday afternoon.
Long scoring droughts sabotaged the Blue Devils, more than 15 of scoreless playing time, KCKCC took a 5-0 lead but went scoreless the next 3½ minutes as JCCC went ahead for good 11-5. Trailing 12-10 at the quarter, the Blue Devils went more than 5 ½ minutes before their first field goal and trailed 24-14.
Even then the Blue Devils trailed only 27-22 at the half only to be outscored 26-7 in the third quarter as the Blue Devils went 6:45 without a field goal in falling behind 49-28. Thanks to six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, KCKCC closed to within 10 points but by then it was too little, too late.
“We can’t decide to play with urgency once we’re down by 24 points with only 10 minutes remaining in the game. At that point it’s too late,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “I do appreciate our fight. We obviously could have quit and given up so I’m proud of them for choosing to push hard and competing until the end.
“But if we’re going to have execution and mental mistakes like we did today, then we have to play with the same kind of urgency for a full four quarters so we have a chance to offset those mistakes.”
Aliyah Myers and DeQuaria Guillory had 11 points and Tiaira Earnest 10 to lead the KCKCC scoring. Hannah Valentine had five rebounds to lead the Blue Devils, who lost the battle of the boards 40-33. Myers also had four assists and Guillory three. The Blue Devils had 12 steals in forcing 19 JCCC turnovers while committing 15 of their own.
Four Cavaliers finished in double figures led by LaJahda Boyland with 12 points. JCCC shot 41.4 percent thanks to a 53.3 percent in the 26-point third quarter. The Cavaliers were 5-of-11 from 3-point (.455); KCKCC 8-of-28 (.286).
In other Jayhawk action Saturday, Highland defeated Fort Scott 57-46 while Labette’s game at Hesston was postponed.