KCKCC freshman Aliyah Myers prepared to cut behind Hesston’s Jordan Brakes for a shot attempt while scoring 13 points in the Blue Devils’ 82-55 win Saturday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins) Hesston defenders could only watch as KCKCC’s Brodi Byrd put up a floating layup for two of her 13 points in the Blue Devils’ 82-55 win Saturday. Byrd also led KCKCC rebounding with nine and shared assist honors with four. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins) Blue Devil guard Tiaira Earnest soared past Hesston’s Caitlyn Phillips for two of her eight points in KCKCC’s 82-55 win Saturday. Earnest also had four assists. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
The worst thing Hesston may have done Saturday was forge a 22-22 tie with Kansas City Kansas Community College.
The Lady Blue Devils scored 22 of the next 24 points on the way to an 82-55 win.
The win evened KCKCC’s Jayhawk Conference record at 1-1 and overall record at 19-2 heading into a string of three straight games on the road – at Park University junior varsity Tuesday at 5 p.m., at Fort Scott Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and at No. 6 ranked Highland Saturday at 1 p.m.
Caroline Hoppock and Aliyah Myers combined to break open Saturday’s win over Hesston, scoring all 14 KCKCC points in building a 36-24 halftime lead.
Myers and Hoppock each had a 3-pointer and two layups after Hesston had pulled even 22-22 with 5:34 left in the half.
The Blue Devils, who had given up an early 22-12 lead, then scored the first eight points of the second half to complete a 22-2 run for a 44-24 lead and Hesston never came close the rest of the way.
Hoppock led all scorers with 19 points including a trio of treys while Myers and Brodi Byrd added 13 points apiece and Jada Mayberry 11. Tiaira Earnest chipped in with eight points and Kamryn Estell and Destiny Zamudio seven each.
At 5-6, Byrd led KCKCC rebounding with nine along with four assists and two steals. Earnest also had four assists while Myers had five rebounds and Hoppock, Estell and Mayberry four each although as a team, the Blue Devils were out-rebounded 43-38. That, however, was more than nullified by 33 Hesston turnovers that resulted in 27 KCKCC points.
“I think this team (is) mentally and physically tired and the lack of experience is showing right now,” KCKCC coach Joe McKinstry said. “We’ve been going at this since August, a lot longer process than any of them are used to. This is the second straight game we’ve had an awful practice the day before and the second straight day we had a reflection of our practice in the game. We got out-rebounded, had 18 turnovers and shot the ball poorly, especially from 3-point (26.9 percent). We just must do better if we’re going to compete in this conference.”
Once through this week’s three games on the road, the Blue Devils will have four of the next five contests at home starting a week from Wednesday (Feb. 5) against No. 4 ranked Johnson County.
Nearly 100 KCKCC student-athletes will be recognized between games that evening as part of the annual Academic Achievement Night activities.