by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s unbeaten women’s basketball season came to an end Friday but it took the No. 2 ranked team in Division I to do it.
Playing on their home court where they had not lost a game in 104 starts, Hutchinson’s unbeaten Lady Blue Dragons pulled away in the second half for an 83-55 win in the Hutchinson Classic at the Hutchinson Sports Arena. The win was also the Blue Dragons’ 23rd in a row over a Jayhawk East opponent.
However, the Lady Blue Devils, who are ranked No. 18 in Division II, bounced right back 18 hours later with an 84-69 win over Dodge City Saturday. The win boosted KCKCC’s record to 8-1 heading into the opening of Jayhawk Conference play Saturday when Labette comes to KCKCC for a doubleheader at 2 and 4 p.m.
KCKCC never trailed against Dodge City although the lead at halftime was only 40-36. The Blue Devils pulled away in the second half behind 51.6 percent shooting and a 55-47 advantage on the boards that offset 25 turnovers and a 40-point assault by Dodge City guard Azaria Nave.
Four Blue Devils scored in double figures led by Janai Mitchell, who dominated the rebounding with a career high 14 along with 10 points; and Cheyenne North, who just missed a double double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Cierra Gaines added 16 points, Iland Shurn a season high 12 off the bench and Erin Anderson eight points. The Blue Devils also got a big floor game from Cassidy Harbert, who had 11 assists, five points and six rebounds.
Hutchinson (8-0) needed a 26-3 second run to get away from the Blue Devils Friday. KCKCC cut an 11-point halftime deficit to 46-40 with 13 minutes left in the second half only to have the Blue Dragons score the next 11 in a row to ignite the decisive 26-3 run.
The Blue Dragons were led by a trio of lanky international standouts – 6-2 forward Kalani Purcell of New Zealand and 6-1 Clemence LeFebvre of France each had 19 points and 6-1 freshman Cynthia Petke of Cameroon had 14 points and 15 rebounds. The trio also combined for 29 rebounds in leading Hutch to a 49-26 rebounding edge over the smaller Blue Devils, who were without a 6-foot starter.
Cierra Gaines was the lone Blue Devil in double figures, scoring 17 points including five three-pointers. Cassidy Harbert and Aricca Daye added seven points each for the Blue Devils, who were just 18-of-60 from the field for a chilly 30 percent. Hutch, meanwhile, was 15-of-22 the second half for a sizzling 68.2 percent and .519 for the game.
Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.