by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information
Two statistics tell the story of Kansas City Kansas Community College’s 110-90 loss at Fort Scott Wednesday night. The Blue Devils were guilty of 35 turnovers; the Greyhounds knocked down 17 three-point field goals.
The loss was pivotal for the Blue Devils. Not only did it knock them out of first place in the Jayhawk Conference, it dropped them to fourth place and a first-round home playoff game against Highland Monday night. A win would send KCKCC to Labette in semifinal play Wednesday.
Monday’s tipoff is set for 6 p.m. with the game to be streamed on the KCKCC Blue Devil Athletic website.
The win vaulted Fort Scott into a three-way tie for the Jayhawk championship with Johnson County and Labette, all at 5-3.
Highland and KCKCC tied for fourth at 3-2 with Hesston last at 0-8. Fort Scott will play host to Hesston in Monday’s other first-round game with the winner to play at JCCC Wednesday.
Fort Scott took advantage of the 35 Blue Devil turnovers to build a 55-45 halftime lead and stretched it to 80-59 with 12 minutes left.
KCKCC never got closer than eight points in the second half. The Greyhounds were 39-for-76 for 51.3 percent from the field including 17-of-37 treys (.459).
The Blue Devils actually shot slightly better, 37-of-71 for 52.1 percent but could not overcome being outscored 51-27 from three-point. KCKCC was 9-of-25 from three (.360).
Both teams had five players score in double figures. KCKCC’s Deron McDaniel led all scorers with 26 points including 7-of-14 three-pointers while Robert Rhodes led all rebounders with 14.
Caleb Jones had a near double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds; DeAngelo Bell scored 14 points, Bryce Johnson 13 and Rhodes 11.
Zach Nelson led in assists with six and steals with five. Kelyn Bolton had 22 points and Gavin Coone 20, both off the bench for Fort Scott.
In other final regular season games, Labette upset JCCC 72-66 and Highland routed Hesston 88-42.