Led by Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year Brandon Burgette, KCKCC placed three Blue Devils on the All-Region VI team, from left – first team selection Jalen Davis and second teamers Robert Rhodes and Deron McDaniel. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins) A second team selection, KCKCC’s Kamryn Estell was the lone freshman named to the All-Region VI women’s team.
by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC
If the makeup of the NJCAA All-Region VI Division II basketball teams is any indication, there’s good things ahead for Kansas City Kansas Community College teams.
Kamryn Estell is the lone freshman selected to the women’s team while the men’s team has just three frosh, two of them Blue Devils – Deron McDaniel and Robert Rhodes. All three were named to the Region VI second teams and are expected to be the foundation for next season.
They join sophomore Jalen Davis, the only KCKCC first team selection, on the regional honor teams. All four were also selected to All-Jayhawk Conference teams along Brandon Burgette, the Coach of the Year in his first season as Blue Devil mentor.
The Jayhawk men’s champion for the first time in history, the Blue Devils also won the Region VI championship and a berth in the national tournament erased by the coronavirus.
A 6-4 guard out of Houston, Davis led the Blue Devils in scoring at 13.9 points a game. Ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (.851), Davis was also third in the conference in 3-point accuracy (.397) and fourth in scoring. Davis scored in double figures in 18 of 31 games including six contests with 24 points or more and highs of 28, 29, 30 and 31.
Rhodes, a 6-7 forward out of Cypress Springs, Texas, was named the Jayhawk Defender of the Year after leading the conference in rebounds (9.3) and blocked shots (2.2) and pacing the Blue Devils in steals (1.3). Fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.580), Rhodes had 10 double-doubles while averaging 8.2 points and 1.7 assists.
A 6-0 guard out of Next Level Prep, McDaniel led the Blue Devils in assists (3.3) and 3-point goals (68) and was fifth in the Jayhawk in scoring at 13.6 points a game. Scoring in double figures in 18 of 27 games including 9 of 10 conference games, McDaniel had nine games of 18 or more points with a high of 23.
Estell was named the Jayhawk Freshman of the Year. A 6-1 forward from Belton, Estell led the Blue Devils in scoring (15.0) and rebounds (7.2) despite being double and triple teamed throughout the season. The only Blue Devil in the starting lineup taller than 5-foot-7, she also led the Blue Devils in field goal accuracy (.560).
Co-runnerup to Labette in the women’s conference race, Highland placed three players on the all–sophomore first team –Armani Turner, Erin Randle and Tiana Gipson. Denisha Wilson of Labette and Johnson County’s Krystal Turner rounded out the first team while Labette’s Jessica Martino, Angel Williams and Diamond Jones and JCCC’s K.K. Jackson-Morris joined Estell on the second unit.
Highland’s Marquise Milton was the lone freshman on the men’s team. He was joined by teammate Rashon Johnson, JCCC’s JaQuaylon Mays and Lukas Milner and Davis on the first team while Kannon Jones and Craig Jordan of Fort Scott, Michael Flenory of Labette and Rhodes and McDaniel made up the second team.
Pothole patching projects in Johnson and Wyandotte counties will occur over the next two weeks from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather permitting, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.
• Eastbound and westbound U.S. 56, from the west city limits of Gardner east to the I-35 bridge. Work is ongoing and will be complete, Thursday, April 2.
• Northbound and southbound I-435 from the Kansas River to K-10 is expected to begin Friday, April 3, and will be complete, Friday, April 10.
• Northbound and southbound I-635 from I-70 to the Merriam Lane exit is expected to begin Monday, April 13, and complete, Friday, April 17.
Traffic will be controlled by mobile lane closures using trucks with arrow boards and digital message boards, according to a KDOT spokesman.
Superior Bowen of Kansas City, Missouri, is the contractor.
The spokesman stated that KDOT urges all motorists to be alert and obey the warning signs when approaching and driving through a highway work zone. To stay aware of all road construction projects across Kansas go to www.kandrive.org or call 5-1-1. The spokesman urged motorists to drive safely and always wear their seat belts.
Five Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools will be recognized with the Challenge Award for making a difference in student achievement.
The schools include Argentine Middle School, Arrowhead Middle School, Bethel Elementary School, Emerson Elementary School and Frank Rushton Elementary School, according to a school district spokesman.
They are recognized for outstanding achievement on the 2019 math and reading assessment results, according to the spokesman.
The award is presented by the Kansas State Board of Education.
It highlights the academic achievement of students in schools despite the significant socioeconomic challenges they may face in their lives, the spokesman stated.
“I wholeheartedly believe that all children can learn, and it doesn’t matter the socioeconomic background,” Dr. Charles Foust, KCKPS superintendent, said. “Teachers are making a significant impact on our students, and they are showing us that they can learn.”
He praised talented students, teachers and paras.
“What we see now is the rewards coming through our students. I believe, and I know through the development of our teachers and students, we are on track,” he said.
In addition to specifically the sample size, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, there were several other qualifying factors used to identify Challenge Award honorees.
• A statistical model is used that includes 2019 math and reading state assessment scores, percent of the sample that received free or reduced-price lunch, and the percent that was a member of an ethnic minority. Graduation rates and chronic absenteeism are factors, too. The top 100 Kansas schools are then selected.
• Only schools that have a total percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students above the state average of 45.7 percent are eligible for recognition.
• The schools are then sorted into the State Board of Education districts.
“Congratulations!! I am so proud of each school for receiving this recognition,” Janet Waugh, vice chair of the Kansas State Board of Education, said. “I have always said KCK USD 500 is a wonderful district offering students amazing educational opportunities. These awards confirm my belief.”
- Story from KCKPS