Blue Devil Classic tournament continues today
by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Things couldn’t have started much worse for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s men’s basketball team Friday. Visiting On Point Academy’s first five shots were 3-pointers and all were good.
But it was all KCKCC the rest of the way. Although the Blue Devils couldn’t quite match On Point in 3-point goals, they dominated in every other category on the way to a 94-68 win in the opening round of the Blue Devil Classic.
The Blue Devils are right back in action Saturday, as hosts of longtime arch-rival Metropolitan Community College (formerly Penn Valley) at 6 p.m. Fort Scott and On Point will open the action at 2 p.m. with the KCKCC women (16-2) getting a stiff challenge at 4 p.m. from McCook (Nebraska), an NJCAA Division I team with an 11-4 record.
Five Blue Devils scored in double figures and all nine Blue Devils who played scored and had rebounds against On Point, a basketball academy based in El Reno, Oklahoma. Cody Dortch, a 6-2 guard from Paragould, Arkansas, led the way in more ways than one. His 18 points led all scorers and his 5-of-9 3-pointers in the first half were key in KCKCC building a 49-42 halftime lead.
Backcourt mate Taylor Turner added 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting; Arother Ratliff scored 15, Daiyon Taylor 14 and Jonathan Richmond 10. DuVonte’ Beard led all rebounders with 10. Daiyon Taylor added eight while Calvin Slaughter had five assists and eight points and Kelyn Bolton and Taylor Turner four assists each.
KCKCC used 57.6 percent shooting (19-of-33) to open the 49-42 halftime lead and finished the game at .507. But it was the turnovers – or the lack of – that pleased coach Kelley Newton most.
“Just eight turnovers. That’s outstanding. The fewest this year,” Newton said. “It gave us a lot of opportunities to get the ball and shoot it and we did. We also got in position to get shots and Cody Dortch in particular took advantage of it. It was something we needed to happen.”
Notching the five 3-pointers in the first 3½ minutes, On Point jumped in front 15-10 before a layup by Richmond and two by Taylor Turner put KCKCC ahead for good at 23-17. On Point finished the first half with 13 field goals, 10 from 3-point but was just 4-of-14 the second half when they were outscored 45-26. Of On Point’s 23 field goals, 14 came from 3-point.
“What I was not happy with was our defense giving up 42 first half points but we corrected that in the second half and gave up only 26 points – a much better effort,” Newton said. Part of that improved defense were the 20 turnovers forced by the Blue Devils.