KCKCC’s Collier, Young named to NJCAA DII All-America teams

Nija Collier (KCKCC photo)
Kisi Young (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Add two All-Americans to those two NJCAA DII championships at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Nija Collier was named today to the first All-America team; Kisi Young to the second team announced by the NJCAA. It is the first time KCKCC has had two All-Americans the same season.

Both Collier and Young were also members of the all-tournament team at the national tourney and were both first team All-Jayhawk and All-Region selections.

“Obviously this is good for our program and recruiting but first and foremost, I am so proud of these two girls,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “They gave me maximum effort at all times with how hard they played and competed. It’s why they received the recognition they have and so deserved.”

A 6-foot sophomore from the Detroit suburb of Roseville, Michigan, Collier is the sixth Lady Blue Devil to be named a first team All-American. She joins Aneta Kausaite, Jurgita Kausaite, Stephanie Brown, Cierra Gaines and Cheyenne North on KCKCC’s list of first-team selections.

Being named to the All-America first team caps one of the best seasons in NJCAA DII history for Collier. The MVP of the NJCAA national tournament, Collier was also the KJCCC Player of the Year, a two-time NJCAA National Player of the Week and an unparalled six-time KJCCC Player of the Week.

The Blue Devil leader in scoring (17.3), rebounding (9.7) and blocked shots (1.5), Collier was the only player to finish in the Top Five in all major statistical categories in the Jayhawk Conference, finishing second in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage (.585) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (.400). Although a starter in only five games, Collier finished seventh nationally in offensive rebounds (165), 16th in total rebounds (349) and 13th in shooting percentage. Her 349 rebounds are fourth most in KCKCC history as are her 20 double-doubles.

“Very talented with a big motor that sets her apart from other players,” McKinstry says of Collier. “At 6-foot, she has long arms, fantastic athleticism and great jumping ability. Her second and third jumps going after a rebound are as good as her first. She’s like a pogo stick. Very skilled, she can shoot with both her right and left hand and is phenomenal from the perimeter and free-throw line.”

Young, a 5-9 sophomore from Magnolia, Arkansas, re-wrote the KCKCC record book for field goal percentage. Second on the all-time list when she shot 60.7 percent as a freshman, Young’s .639 shooting percentage this year is the best ever.

While undersized at 5-9, Young was third in rebounding in the Jayhawk at 8.7 per game and her 571 career rebounds are fifth on the all-time list. KCKCC’s leader in both scoring (14.4) and rebounding (8.1) as a freshman, Young averaged 10.6 points and 2.1 assists this season.

“Kisi is someone I would describe as position-less,” McKinstry said. “She’s just a basketball player who does a lot of things well and is very unselfish. Undersized at about 5-9, she plays like she’s 6-foot. She’s able to play around the basket against bigger players than she is but on the flip side, she can go out and guard smaller players on the perimeter because of her quickness, length and athleticism. Offensively, she can go from one end of the floor to the other quicker than just about anyone she faces and her shooting percentage speaks for itself.”

Two other Jayhawk Conference players were named to All-America teams. Highland’s Stefania Chiziane, the conference’s leading scorer at 18.1, was named to the first team and teammate Janiya Davis to the third team.

NASCAR driver visits KCKCC auto students

NASCAR driver Justin Allgaier, left, visited with Charlie Seitz today at Kansas City Kansas Community College’s auto technology program at 67th and State Avenue. Allgaier will compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Kansas Speedway, at I-70 and I-435 in Kansas City, Kansas. For more race information, visit www.kansasspeedway.com/. (Staff photo)

Justin Allgaier, right front (in the red shirt), visited with auto technology students today at Kansas City Kansas Community College. (Staff photo)

Split with No. 1 Neosho drops KCKCC into 3-way tie for second

KCKCC shortstop Albert Woodard puts the tag on Neosho’s Nate Crossman after Crossman was picked off first by pitcher Dustin Eby in the Blue Devils’ 8-1 opening game loss. Second baseman Easton Fortuna, who was 6-for-6 including four hits in an 11-1 nightcap win, backs up the play. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
KCKCC shortstop Albert Woodard puts the tag on Neosho’s Nate Crossman after Crossman was picked off first by pitcher Dustin Eby in the Blue Devils’ 8-1 opening game loss. Second baseman Easton Fortuna, who was 6-for-6 including four hits in an 11-1 nightcap win, backs up the play. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Stung by an 8-1 opening game loss Thursday, Kansas City Kansas Community College rebounded with an 11-1 thumping of No. 1 ranked Neosho County.

The split dropped the Blue Devils into a three-way tie for second place in the Jayhawk East with Johnson County and Allen County, all 23-11. JCCC swept Fort Scott 3-2 and 8-1 Thursday while Cowley was defeating Allen County 8-1 and 13-3. Fort Scott and JCCC will close out their conference play today while KCKCC will be at Neosho and Allen at Cowley on Saturday.

Sophomore Brandon Reid provided the pitching and Travis Stroup the power in the Blue Devils’ 11-1 win. Facing the No. 1 team in the NJCAA Division I rankings that had pounded out 14 hits in the 8-1 opener, Reid had a no-hitter through five innings and finished with a 2-hitter while walking three and striking out two. Reid set the Panthers down in order in four of the seven innings. Neosho’s only run came on a single by Chad Thomas and a double by Brylie Ward in the sixth inning.

Stroup drove in five runs with four straight hits including a 3-run home run in the first inning that gave Reid all the working room he needed. Second baseman Easton Fortuna also had four hits, Chase Redick doubled and singled twice, Eli Lovell doubled and singled and Ryan Fisher delivered a big bases-loaded double that put the game out of reach.

Redick led off the game with a single and after an error, Stroup hit his 11th home run of the season off the foul pole in rightfield for a 3-0 lead and the Blue Devils added four more runs in the second. After singles by Fortuna, Conor Behrens and Stroup scored one run, Fisher cleared the bases with a ringing double to left-center.

The Blue Devils added an eighth run in the fourth on a single by Stroup and double by Lovell; two more in the fifth on a single by Fortuna, a double by Redick and a single by Stroup; and then spread the margin to 10 runs on singles by Albert Woodard and Fortuna.

Fortuna, who was 6-for-6 for the day, had two hits and drove in the Blue Devils’ only run with a second inning double in the 8-1 opener. Stroup also had a perfect 5-for-5 day with a single in his only time at bat as righthander Mason Knopp stopped the Blue Devils on just five hits. Neosho took the lead 4-1 in the third on five hits off starter Dustin Eby and added three runs in the fifth as the first four hitters had hits against Eby and reliever Cameron Bednar.