by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
One needs to go no farther than the statistics to find the difference between Fort Scott and Kansas City Kansas Community College’s men Saturday afternoon.
The visiting Greyhounds shot the ball twice as well as KCKCC in the second half and the Blue Devils (15-7) committed twice as many turnovers as Fort Scott broke open a nip-and tuck battle for a 69-56 win.
The win knocked the Blue Devils (3-2) out of a tie for the Region VI lead heading into a pair of key Jayhawk Conference home games this week – Hesston (15-7) Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Highland (12-11) Saturday at 4 p.m.
Tied 34-all two minutes into the second half, Fort Scott took command, first with deadly shooting and then with a pressing defense that forced a rash of turnovers that led to Greyhound field goals. Despite the fact the Greyhounds connected on 6 of 7 shots to start the second half, the Blue Devils trailed only 46-41with 15 minutes left.
KCKCC had a half-dozen shots to get closer before turnovers took the Blue Devils out of contention. Fort Scott converted six turnovers into eight points over a 4½-minute span to open a 58-47 lead and KCKCC never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
“Too many costly turnovers took away some key possessions and opportunities to score,” said KCKCC coach Kelley Newton. “Also, we did not do a good job getting the ball inside to our big men and Fort Scott made us pay every time we did not accomplish one of these goals.”
Fort Scott shot a blistering 60.7 percent (17-of-28) the second half; KCKCC just 30.4 percent on 7 of 23 shots. The Blue Devils were also guilty 10 of their 16 turnovers the second half while Fort Scott had just six the final 20 minutes.
Kellan Turner had 15 points and Mike Lee 14 as they combined for seven 3-pointers, four by Lee and three by Turner, while Jonathan Murray had a double with 10 points and a game high 10 rebounds for KCKCC. Joe Lendway added eight points and five rebounds while Lee and Dehaven Talley led with four assists each.
Alan Hoskins is the sports information director of KCKCC.