Two students from KCK work on Gilbert and Sullivan production at K-State

Two students from Kansas City, Kansas, are working on the Gilbert and Sullivan production of “Pirates of Penzance” which opens tonight at Kansas State University, Manhattan.

Anthony Bandy, a senior in music theater, is a light board operator for the production; and Donovan Watts, a junior in theater, is in the role of Police in the production. Both are from Kansas City, Kansas.

The production will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 to March 2 and at 2:30 p.m. March in McCain Auditorium on the K-State campus.

The comic opera made its debut in 1879. This version features a libretto by W.S. Gilbert, music by Arthur Sullivan and was developed on Broadway by the New York Shakespeare Festival.

Tickets range from $19.50 for the public to $14 for students and youth and are available at the McCain Auditorium box office and from

JCCC, Lady Blue Devils collide for third time Saturday

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

As expected, Kansas City Kansas Community College and Johnson County Community College will collide Saturday for the right to advance to the NJCAA DII Region VI championship game.

The 4 p.m. clash at KCKCC will be the third meeting of the two teams, the Lady Blue Devils winning 69-64 at JCCC and 64-60 in a pair of fiercely fought games that went right down to the wire. It was KCKCC’s first two-game sweep since 1999. Both teams are 26-4 and nationally ranked – KCKCC No. 7 and JCCC No. 10.

“We must play really well,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “Ben Conrad (JCCC coach) is one of the best in preparing teams to take away the things that teams do well. We’ve played hard and competed but we’ve not necessarily played well. It’s going to be tough. We’re going to need our best game yet.”

JCCC defeated Fort Scott 75-50 in the first round of the playoffs Wednesday while Labette was defeating Hesston 104-54. Labette (21-10) will play at Highland (23-4) Saturday in the other semifinal.

The championship game will be played Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas, with the winner advancing to the national tournament to be played in Harrison, Arkansas, March 19-22.

JCCC leads the all-time series with KCKC 65-23 but only 2-1 in postseason play. The Cavaliers won 71-51 in 2015 and 81-38 in 2017 but the Blue Devils prevailed 63-56 in the 2016 Region VI championship game. The win ended the Cavaliers perfect 31-0 season and catapulted the Blue Devils to the national championship. The national tournament was played on JCCC’s home floor and no team came closer than 14 points of the Blue Devils, who won four games by an average of 19 points.

This year four of the Top 10 teams in the NJCAA DII women’s rankings are in the Jayhawk: Highland No. 6, KCKCC No. 7, Labette No. 9 and JCCC No. 10. In the last five national tournaments, the Jayhawk has two national champions (KCKCC 2016, JCCC 2015), two seconds (JCCC 2017, Highland 2014) and one third (Highland 2018).

12-minute scoring drought ends Blue Devils men’s season at 14-17

KCKCC’s Daiyon Taylor (22) and Arother Ratliff (34) had this rebound covered in the Blue Devils’ 60-55 playoff loss to Fort Scott Wednesday. Taylor had six rebounds. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s men’s basketball season came to an end Wednesday, victim of the longest scoring drought in Blue Devil history.

Scoreless for nearly 12 minutes to start the second half, the Blue Devils could not recover in a 60-55 loss to Fort Scott in opening round play of the Region VI playoffs. The loss ended KCKCC’s season at 14-17 while Fort Scott (16-15) moves into semifinal round play at No. 2 ranked Highland (27-2) Saturday.

Clashing for the third time this season, there were six ties and four lead changes in a see-saw first half.

The Blue Devils had a 15-9 edge in rebounding, converted half their shots (11-of-22) and knocked down six 3-pointers in 14 attempts – certainly no indication of what was to come.

The Blue Devils lead was 34-31 at halftime thanks to the scoring of Taylor Turner and Calvin Slaughter’s 3-pointer to beat the halftime horn.

Unfortunately, by the time Malcolm Tate made a 3-pointer with 8:10 left in the game, Fort Scott had built a 43-34 lead, scoring 12 straight points by taking advantage of nine missed field goal attempts, two errant free throws and six turnovers.

Once the lid came off, the Blue Devils quickly cut the lead to 45-42 only to have Fort Scott’s Tanner Lackey notch his fourth 3-pointer of the night with 6:03 left. Lackey’s fifth trey was even more damaging. The Blue Devils again closed to 51-46 only to have Lackey’s 3-pointer open the lead to 54-46 with 3:16 left and KCKCC could never get closer than six points until the final 10 seconds.

Lackey, who was 5-of-12 from 3-point range, finished with 19 points while 6-5 Craig Jordan led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-13 shots from the field. Jordan and Andre Nelson shared rebound honors with seven each as the Greyhounds won the battle of the boards 30-26. Both teams shot 44 percent from the field but Fort Scott was able to convert 16 KCKCC turnovers into 14 points.

KCKCC trailed 12-5 early and it took a couple of Arother Ratliff 3-pointers and two DuVonte’ Beard short-range jump shots to cut the deficit to 22-18, at which time Taylor Turner took over, scoring 11 straight points for a 31-30 lead. Nine of the points came in a 2½-minute span highlighted by two 3-pointers.

Turner finished with 13 points while Ratliff added nine and Slaughter and Tate eight each. Daiyon Taylor and Slaughter shared the rebound lead with six; Kelyn Bolton and Ratliff led in assists with five each. The game was the final for three Blue Devil sophomores, Ratliff, Tate and Beard.

In the other opening round game, Labette (21-10) defeated Hesston 92-69 and will play at No. 6 ranked Johnson County (26-4) Saturday.