by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College scored more points in the regular season than any team in the nation but it’s the Blue Devil defense that faces the biggest challenge in tonight’s NJCAA DII women’s national basketball tournament.
No. 7 seeded Cape Fear scored 91 points in a 91-55 thrashing of Metropolitan-Penn Valley in the tourney opener and then scored the most points in tournament history in a 116-105 upset of No. 2 seeded North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
No. 3 seeded KCKCC and Cape Fear will tip off at 6 p.m. in Pioneer Pavilion on the North Arkansas campus in Harrison. The game will be streamed live on the NJCAA TV network ($4.99). Video replays are also available on the NJCAA website.
“They’re good, really good,“ KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said of Cape Fear. “I’m very impressed with what I saw against NIACC. They had a great game plan and their girls executed it perfectly. They’re big, long, and athletic. And they’re the best I’ve seen at handling the ball and creating opportunities with the dribble.”
Defense has been a Blue Devil strength on the road to the semifinals, especially in the Region VI championship game against Highland and in an 82-68 win over Pima Community College in quarterfinal action Wednesday. Tied 13-13, the Blue Devils outscored the Aztecs 23-7 in the second quarter.
Averaging 83.6 points a game, Cape Fear (27-4) has six players averaging double figures in scoring led by point guard Ny Langley, who had 31 points against NIACC and missed only two shots, knocking down 8-of-10 attempts including five straight 3-pointers and 10-of-10 free throws. Shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from 3-point, the Sea Devils shot 55.1 percent from the field, 52 percent from 3-point and made 17-of-18 free throws in the win over North Iowa Area.
“NIACC plays a different type of game so the rhythm and flow will be different on Friday than it was Wednesday,” McKinstry said. “Our girls are going to have to be ready to stay in front of the ball all night long. And we’re going to have to do a good job on the boards because Cape Fear did a great job of cleaning up missed shots and getting second chance opportunities.
“Thursday’s day of rest was good for us but we have to remember that they also had the day off as well. The bottom line is, it’s the Final Four, and we should expect a tough, competitive game . That’s the way that it should be.”