by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Home for the first time in more than a month, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Blue Devils responded with one of their biggest offensive shows of the season Friday with a 98-73 win over On Point Hoops Academy.
The win came just six days after the Blue Devils had dropped an 87-78 decision to On Point in El Reno, Okla., and set up two more chances for revenge wins starting Saturday when KCKCC plays host to Penn Valley in the final game of the KCKCC Classic.
The Blue Devils are also home Tuesday against Washburn University junior varsity at 7:30 p.m. after falling to the Ichabods 66-57 in Topeka Nov. 27.
The return home also marked a spectacular debut by 6-3 sophomore guard Juvan Davenport. A transfer from Coppin State playing his first game in a year and a half, Davenport led all scorers with 22 points; just missed a double-double with nine rebounds; handed out four assists and had three steals. He was also nearly perfect in shooting, hitting 7-of-8 field goal attempts and 8-of-9 free throws.
“He gives us a different element,” KCKCC coach Kelley Newton said.
Four other Blue Devils joined Davenport in double figures. Freshman Solomon Thomas scored 19 points and led with six assists; Arother Ratliff was 4-of-5 from the field in a 14-point performance; Sterling Hicks scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds; and Tyson Beringer was 5-for-5 from the field for 10 points and shared the lead in rebounds with nine.
In addition, the Blue Devils got eight points and four rebounds from Malcolm Tate and five rebounds from DuJuan Sweet.
The sharp shooting enabled the Blue Devils to shoot 53.5 percent for the game. Never headed, KCKCC took a 42-22 halftime lead by netting 18-of-35 shots for 51.4 percent and then stepped it up to 55.6 percent by hitting 20-of 36 attempts in the second half.
The much-needed win ended an 8-game losing streak for the Blue Devils (5-11).
“Happy to get a win,” Newton said. “Now we’ve got four more games to get ready for the conference season.”
KCKCC opens Region VI Division II play at Johnson County Wednesday, Jan. 24, and then returns home to play host to Hesston on Saturday, Jan. 27.
In the first game of the Blue Devil Classic, Fort Scott came from behind for a 67-64 win over Penn Valley.