No. 6 Johnson County holds off Blue Devil rallies, 73-65

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

No. 6 Johnson County took Round One in the battle for Jayhawk Conference basketball superiority, holding off Kansas City Kansas Community College 73-65 in Overland Park Saturday.

The win in the Jayhawk opener for both teams was the ninth against one loss for the Cavaliers while the Blue Devils (7-6) had a five-game winning streak come to an end. KCKCC now returns for a pair of home games against Hesston Wednesday and Highland Saturday afternoon.

JCCC broke open a tight game midway through the second half by draining three consecutive 3-pointers in a 1:07 span of a minute and seven seconds to open a 54-40 lead and then repulsed a late KCKCC comeback. Twice the Blue Devils got within six points at 65-59 and 67-61 in the final two minutes but missed a chance to get even closer by missing three straight free throws and the Cavaliers protected their lead with six consecutive foul shots in the final 30 seconds.

Poor free throwing proved costly for the Blue Devils, who made only 4-of-13 for 30,8 percent although nothing seemed to fall – 27-of-75 field goal attempts for 36 percent and 7-of-28 from 3-pont (.250). The Cavaliers were .431 from the field, .348 from 3-point.

“They got out to an early lead and we answered back,” KCKCC coach Brandon Burgette said. “But we didn’t do a good job of guarding or building on our momentum from our last game. We weren’t ourselves; we did not play Blue Devil basketball. When we did play good defense, we struggled to convert.”

Deron McDaniel had 19 points and six rebounds and Caleb Jones 16 points and a near double with nine rebounds to lead KCKCC. Trey Bates added seven points and Shaylon Janloo and Robert Rhodes six each. Rhodes also had eight rebounds.

Led by Jaland Whitehead’s 14 rebounds, JCCC won the board battle 45-39. The Blue Devils had just seven turnovers while forcing a dozen.

“In this conference you can’t have off nights and tonight was one of those,” Burgette said. “We have to be more disciplined and tough during the tough times of the year.”

In other action Saturday, No. 15 Fort Scott stunned No. 4 Highland 57-51 while Labette’s game at Hesston was postponed.

Blue Devils gain revenge, extend winning streak to five

KCKCC’s Jermaine Yarbough vaulted over a North Central Missouri defender after throwing down a vicious dunk in the Blue Devils’ 69-67 over the No. 17-ranked Pirates Tuesday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Just a year ago on Feb. 25, the Kansas City Kansas Community College men’s basketball team set off on an eight-game winning streak culminated by Jayhawk Conference and Region VI championships.

This year after a 2-5 start, the Blue Devils will take a five-game winning streak into conference play after a 69-67 win over North Central Missouri Tuesday night.

The win not only lifted the Blue Devils’ record to 7-5 but avenged an earlier 118-115 double overtime loss to the No. 17 ranked Pirates in the season opener for both teams.

It also set up a Saturday afternoon clash with No. 6-ranked Johnson County in Overland Park. Women’s action begins at 2 p.m., the men at 4 p.m. with both games streamed on the JCCC athletic website.

Leading by as many as 12 points midway through the second half, the Blue Devils never trailed the final 20 minutes but it took a rash of key plays to hold off the Pirates.

Robert Rhodes grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Deron McDaniel for a huge 3-pointer and then made two vital free throws to maintain a 4-point lead;

Jermaine Yarbough swatted away a shot attempt in the final minute; and DeAngelo Bell converted two free throws with 23 seconds left for what proved to be the difference.

“The guys stepped up at the right moments; a great effort all the way around,” KCKCC coach Brandon Burgette said. “We take pride in defending and we did that tonight. We have to clean up some things collectively to be better down the stretch and executing but over all our game plan was great – a great job in detail of doing what it takes to win. This gives us great momentum going into conference play.”

McDaniel led the way for KCKCC, knocking down four treys and scoring 16 points; grabbing seven rebounds and dealing out a game high six assists. Caleb Jones had yet another double with 12 points and 11 rebounds; Trey Bates scored 10 points, Shaylon Janloo 9, Yarbough 8 and Bell 6.

The Blue Devils led 69-60 with 7½ minutes left only to have the Pirates close to 62-60 and it took a McDaniel 3-pointer to slow the comeback with 2:52 remaining. Two free throws each by Rhodes and Bell put the Blue Devils in front 69-63 with 23 seconds left before nearly self-destructing.

A technical foul after a Pirate layup cut the KCKCC lead to 69-67 and two missed free throws opened the door for a last-ditch game-tying shot that missed as time ran out.

Blue Devils face ranked foes after 111-62 cruise

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

With two ranked opponents dead ahead, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Blue Devils warmed up for one of their toughest weeks of the season with a 111-62 win over Graceland University junior varsity in Lamoni, Iowa, Saturday.

The Blue Devils will play host to No. 17 ranked North Central Missouri in a re-match of an earlier 118-115 double overtime shootout Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and then go to No. 6 Johnson County (5-1) Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Jayhawk Conference opener for both teams.

The No. 4 KCKCC women also play host to No. 13 North Central Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and both games will be streamed on the KCKCC Blue Devil website.

The win at Graceland was the fourth in a row for the Blue Devils and pushed them over the .500 mark at 6-5.

“A good win; the guys played hard,” KCKCC coach Brandon Burgette said. “A good way to build momentum for our week ahead.”

Six Blue Devils scored in double figures and all 12 who played scored as KCKCC built a 50-28 halftime lead. Deron McDaniel led the scoring with 19 points followed by Cody Dortch and Robert Rhodes with 13 each, Caleb Jones 12 and Shayon Jonloo and Trey Bates 11 apiece.

Rhodes’ 13 points came on 6-of-6 shooting while Jones was 5-of-7 as the Blue Devils shot 48.4 percent from the field.

Bryce Johnson and Rhodes led rebounding with nine each while Don’vae Ferguson added seven and Jones six. Zach Nelson directed the offense with seven assists while Bates added four and Janloo and DeAngelo Bell three each.