JUCO BEAT: Lady Blue Devils remain undefeated

By ALAN HOSKINS

Three-point shooting was very good to the Lady Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College in the annual Keith Lindsay Classic; not so good to the Blue Devil men.

Draining 19 3-pointers in the two games, the KCKCC women defeated Southwestern of Iowa 78-48 Friday and Wentworth Military Academy 52-48 Saturday to run their unbeaten record to 3-0.

The Blue Devil men, however, fell victim to a flurry of late treys and slipped to 0-3 with losses to North Arkansas 75-74 Friday and Wentworth 55-50 Saturday.

Unfortunately, the road only gets tougher this week as the Barton County men (4-0) and women (4-1) come into the KCKCC Field House for a pair of non-conference games Tuesday followed by Hesston Thursday in the opening games of Division II district play, The Hesston women are 3-2, the men 3-1. Women’s games are at 5 p.m. and the men at 7 p.m. both nights.

Brittany Clement was 4-of-5 from 3-point range and Mariah Marusak and Paris Johnson each added three 3-pointers as the Lady Blue Devils were 13-of-38 in the 78-48 win over Southwestern.

Clement and Samantha Hurst led a well-balanced attack with 12 points each while Marusak and Johnson added nine each and Jhereica Montgomery, Alexandria Blaurock and Bailey West eight apiece. Blaurock also had eight rebounds, Montgomery seven and Johnson six to give KCKCC a 45-31 board superiority.

Trailing Wentworth 40-37 with seven minutes to go after leading by 12, Samantha Hurst hit back-to-back 3-ponters and Mariah Marusak added another to put the Lady Blue Devils ahead to stay in their 52-48 win.

Freshman Bailey West was the only Blue Devil in double figures with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting while Blaurock and Latosha Ware had five rebounds. KCKCC shot just 37.3 percent but limited Wentworth to only 28.6.

Trailing 69-62, North Arkansas knocked down three 3-pointers in the last 2½ minutes including the game winner with 3.5 seconds left.

Dominique Washington had put KCKCC ahead 74-72 with a layup with 29 seconds to go but a long rebound off a missed 3-pointer was rebounded near mid-court and Matt Johnson hit a desperation high-arching trey from in front of the North Ark bench for the 75-74 win.

Free throws were the Achilles heel for the Blue Devils, who missed 10 charity shots in the final seven minutes after leading by 11 points and were just 12 of 29 for 41.4 percent.

Washington had 18 points and 12 rebounds for KCKCC while Anthony Lane added 13 points and seven rebounds and D.J. Booker 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Trailing by as many as seven points in the second half against Wentworth, the Blue Devils closed to 47-46 with 6:43 left but didn’t score again until the 1:18 mark and by then they were down 54-46.

Josh Rupprecht had 14 points and eight rebounds, Jordan Banks 10 points and Washington seven points and nine rebounds for KCKCC, which managed only 15 of 48 shots for 31.3 percent and only four of 20 from 3-point for 20 percent.