by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s men basketball returns home for the first time in nearly five weeks Friday and Saturday as host to the inaugural Blue Devil Classic.
Back in action in an 87-78 loss to On Point Hoops Academy in El Reno, Okla., Saturday, the Blue Devils sabotaged their best shooting performance of the season with a season-high 37 turnovers.
The Blue Devils (4-11) will take on yet another basketball academy Friday when they are hosts to Strength N Motion, a fifth-year program for promising high school graduates headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Game time is 7:30 p.m. and will follow a matchup of Penn Valley and Fort Scott at 5:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Fort Scott will play Strength N Motion at 2 p.m. with KCKCC squaring off against long-time rival Penn Valley at 4 p.m.
Leading just 37-35 at halftime, On Point Hoops Academy used a 50-point second half to pull away from KCKCC in a game featuring deadly shooting and faulty ball-handling.
The Blue Devils connected on 29 of 49 shots for a torrid 59.1 percent while On Point had one less field goal but converted 28 of 54 shots for 51.8 percent. The Blue Devils also forced 23 On Point turnovers and had a 31-23 advantage in rebounding but could not overcome the 37 errors and a 24-14 On Point edge in free throws.
Solomon Thomas, Ro Ratlift and Sterling Hicks combined for 57 points to lead KCKCC in scoring. Thomas led with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting including 3-of-5 three-pointers; Ratlift had a career high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line; and Hicks had 15 points. DuVonte Beard added eight points and Andre Williams seven off the KCKCC bench.
Tyson Beringer, who is third in Region VI in rebounding, led KCKCC with nine rebounds while Ratlift added five. Thomas also led in assists with five with Hicks contributing four.