Defense outstanding in Blue Devils’ thumping of Highland

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Kansas City Kansas Community College put the defensive clamps on Highland in racing to a 74-54 win Saturday.

The Blue Devils held the Scotties (7-4) to 10 points the first 15 minutes of play; surrendered just 6-of-35 first half shots for 17.1 percent; and gave up no 3-point goals in a game that was never in doubt.

The win improved KCKCC’s record to 9-6 heading into a Wednesday game at Labette. They’ll return Saturday afternoon to play host to Fort Scott in a game originally scheduled for Fort Scott.

“I think we’re playing our best basketball right now,” KCKCC coach Brandon Burgette said. “We’re are taking pride in defending; a great job tonight of limiting the drive and making Highland take tough shots.”

The Blue Devils had just two players in double figures but 11 of 12 who played scored and all 12 had rebounds. Knocking down 5-of-10 3-pointers, Deron McDaniel had a game-high 19 points; DeAngelo Bell added 12. Robert Rhodes chipped in with a game-high 12 rebounds along with eight points; Shayon Jonloo had seven points and Cody Dortch a pair of treys while Bryce Johnson had eight rebounds as KCKCC won the battle of the boards 47-42.

The Blue Devils built a 25-10 lead with 4:56 left in the first half and went into halftime with a 32-17 lead by limiting a Highland team that had been shooting 46.3 percent to 17.1 percent on just six field goals. The lead buoyed to 61-32 midway through the second half as the Blue Devils intermixed full court and half court defenses that forced 16 turnovers and totally disrupted the Scotties’ offense when the game was decided.

Led by Trey Bates’ six assists, the Blue Devils had 19 assists on 28 field goals.
“When we play fast and under control, we make good things happen,” Burgette said. “We’re a pretty deep team; we come in waves and put on a lot of pressure. When the ball moves, we can get any shot we want.”

The Blue Devils were 28-of-66 for 42.4 percent from the field, 12-of-32 from 3-point (.375) while the Scotties were 20-of-64 (.313) from the field and missed all 10 3-point attempts.

64-point second half propels Blue Devils to 109-62 win

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

Hesston absorbed one lethal punch but not a second as Kansas City Kansas Community College stormed to a 109-62 win Wednesday night.

The win evened the Blue Devils’ Jayhawk Conference record at 1-1 and 8-6 overall heading into a home showdown Saturday with No. 15 ranked Highland (7-3) in the second half of a doubleheader. The games at 2 and 4 p.m. will be streamed on the KCKCC Blue Devil website.

KCKCC jumped in front of Hesston 15-3 and led 32-10 halfway through the first half only to have the Larks close the halftime gap to nine points at 45-36.

However, they would get no closer as the Blue Devils started the second half with a 25-6 blitz for a 70-42 lead, a lead that widened to 47 points as the Blue Devils out-scored Hesston 64-26 in the second half.

“Proud of the way our guys bounced back; a good win coming off a loss,” KCKCC coach Brandon Burgette said. “Even better we had several guys in double figures. Defensively, we sped them up and caused them to have 25 turnovers.”

Four Blue Devils scored 13 or more points, three off the bench as non-starters combined for 63 of KCKCC’s 109 points. Harmon’s DeAngelo Bell had 23 points, Deron McDaniel 19, Ezekiel Lyons a career high 17 and Bryce Johnson 13 as they combined for 72 points. Caleb Jones and Shayn Jonloo each added eight points and Robert Rhodes and Jermaine Yarbough six apiece.

The Blue Devils shot the ball extremely well, 42-of-75 from the field for 56 percent and 17-of-35 from 3-point (.486). Lyons was a sizzling 5-of-6 from 3-point; McDaniel 4-of-7; and Bell 3-of-5.

“I thought we shot the ball well,” Burgette said. “Making 17 3-poiners is great and we did a good job of sharing the ball. A big step in the right direction for Saturday.”

Jones led all rebounders with 13 as KCKCC won the battle of the boards 43-32, Jones and McDaniel led in assists with six each, Zach Nelson had four.

Defensively, the Blue Devils converted Hesston’s 25 turnovers into 35 points and held the Larks to 36.8 percent shooting.

In other Jayhawk games Wednesday, Johnson County (11-1) took sole possession of first place with an 88-76 win over Fort Scott and Highland defeated Labette 73-68.

No. 6 Johnson County holds off Blue Devil rallies, 73-65

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC sports information

No. 6 Johnson County took Round One in the battle for Jayhawk Conference basketball superiority, holding off Kansas City Kansas Community College 73-65 in Overland Park Saturday.

The win in the Jayhawk opener for both teams was the ninth against one loss for the Cavaliers while the Blue Devils (7-6) had a five-game winning streak come to an end. KCKCC now returns for a pair of home games against Hesston Wednesday and Highland Saturday afternoon.

JCCC broke open a tight game midway through the second half by draining three consecutive 3-pointers in a 1:07 span of a minute and seven seconds to open a 54-40 lead and then repulsed a late KCKCC comeback. Twice the Blue Devils got within six points at 65-59 and 67-61 in the final two minutes but missed a chance to get even closer by missing three straight free throws and the Cavaliers protected their lead with six consecutive foul shots in the final 30 seconds.

Poor free throwing proved costly for the Blue Devils, who made only 4-of-13 for 30,8 percent although nothing seemed to fall – 27-of-75 field goal attempts for 36 percent and 7-of-28 from 3-pont (.250). The Cavaliers were .431 from the field, .348 from 3-point.

“They got out to an early lead and we answered back,” KCKCC coach Brandon Burgette said. “But we didn’t do a good job of guarding or building on our momentum from our last game. We weren’t ourselves; we did not play Blue Devil basketball. When we did play good defense, we struggled to convert.”

Deron McDaniel had 19 points and six rebounds and Caleb Jones 16 points and a near double with nine rebounds to lead KCKCC. Trey Bates added seven points and Shaylon Janloo and Robert Rhodes six each. Rhodes also had eight rebounds.

Led by Jaland Whitehead’s 14 rebounds, JCCC won the board battle 45-39. The Blue Devils had just seven turnovers while forcing a dozen.

“In this conference you can’t have off nights and tonight was one of those,” Burgette said. “We have to be more disciplined and tough during the tough times of the year.”

In other action Saturday, No. 15 Fort Scott stunned No. 4 Highland 57-51 while Labette’s game at Hesston was postponed.