by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s young women’s basketball team passed its first down-to-the-wire finish Friday – by the skin of their teeth.
Inserted into the lineup with 11 seconds remaining and KCKCC trailing, 5-5 freshman guard Adoreya Williams’ driving layup with 6.9 seconds left rescued the Blue Devils in an 80-79 thriller over Southwestern of Creston, Iowa, in the annual Keith Lindsey Classic.
“Adoreya can get places on the floor and has a great handle,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “I knew she would put pressure on the defense, either with a layup or getting the ball to someone on the perimeter. Get the ball to the playmaker and let her create. Kamryn (Estell) set a screen and Adoreya got to the basket and finished.”
It was the only field goal in the final three minutes for the Blue Devils, who led by as many as 18 points midway through the third quarter.
Still leading led 76-65 with five minutes remaining, the Blue Devils managed only two field goals the rest of the way. The first was a 15-foot jumper by Mercer Roberts with 3:06 remaining that gave KCKCC a 78-72 lead but the Blue Devils missed a half-dozen shots and had a turnover before Williams’ game-winner.
Southwestern never led until Eden Billups-Campbell converted a pair of free throws with 11 seconds to go. The Spartans still had time after Williams’ go-ahead field goal but threw away an in-bounds pass and the Blue Devils Tiaira Earnest dribbled out all but the final ,007.
Estell led KCKCC with a double-double, 16 points and 12 rebounds while Earnest and Aliyah Myers added 13 points, both of whom had three 3-pointers.
Brodi Byrd added eight points, Williams and Jada Mayberry seven each and Roberts and Destiny Zamudio six apiece. Mayberry also grabbed nine rebounds while Diamond Williams and Byrd each had five assists, the Blue Devils getting 23 assists on 29 field goals.
“We were fortunate,” McKinstry said. “We got out-played and in a lot of ways didn’t deserve to win. Had we lost, we would have beaten ourselves. It’s very frustrating to see our potential and know what we can be but we have yet to play a complete game, The fact we had 23 assists on 29 baskets is great but missing 53 shots is not good.”
The Blue Devils were 29-of-82 from the field for 35.4 percent, 11-of-42 from 3-point (.262) and just 11-of-20 from the foul line (.550).
Southwestern had five players in double figures led by 6-2 Meghan Allen, who had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
“She was playing her first game and played very well,” McKinstry said.
The game, the first since KCKCC’s No. 4 ranking in the first regular NJCAA DII poll of the season, was highlighted by the halftime induction of volleyball All-American Blair Russell and 23-year KCKCC Athletic Trainer Rodney Christensen in the KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame.
The win boosted the Blue Devils’ record to 6-1 heading into another tough test Saturday against North Central Missouri (5-2) at 4 p.m. in the Blue Devil Classic. North Central defeated Labette in a three-overtime thriller.