Wednesday, November 14, 2012

KCKCC to begin Division II play after Barton escapes in pair


Edged in a pair of furiously fought non-conference games Tuesday, the Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College have to rebound in a hurry as the games begin to count in earnest Thursday night.

Barton County’s women had to rally in the closing minute for a 47-44 win Tuesday while the Barton men remained unbeaten by holding on for a 64-57 decision.

A little history will be made Thursday when the Blue Devils begin Division II play for the first time, hosting Hesston in games at 5 and 7 p.m. Johnson County, Highland, Fort Scott and Brown Mackie are the other four teams in Division II who will be competing for a berth in the Division II national tournament. Both Hesston teams are 4-2 this season.

Clutch free throwing in the final 36 seconds enabled Barton’s women to overtake KCKCC and deal the Lady Blue Devils their first loss in four starts.

Down by as many as six points with nine minutes remaining, the Blue Devils rallied to lead 41-36 with 3:50 left and still had a 44-41 edge with 1:53 remaining.

However, after Kailai Brantner’s only field goal of the game cut the Barton deficit to 44-43, KCKCC turned the ball over and after two missed shots, Erin Copeland formerly of F.L. Schlagle High School, put Barton in front with two free throws with 36 seconds left and the Lady Cougars added two more after a missed KCKCC shot in the closing seconds.

Shooting-wise, KCKCC was 10 for 18 for 55.6 percent the second half while limiting Barton to just 26.2 percent for the game, However, it was not enough to overcome Barton’s 46-32 rebound advantage that included 23 offensive rebounds that the Cougars converted into seven field goals.

Brittany Clement and Bailey West led KCKCC with eight points each while Alexandria Blaurock and Mariah Marusak both had six.

Trailing by seven points early in the second half, the Blue Devil men overtook Barton 48-48 with eight minutes to go and were down only 53-51 with 4:26 left when the Cougars (5-0) went on an 8-2 run in the final three minutes to put the game out of reach.

KCKCC’s Dominque Washington led all scorers with 18 points while Jordan Banks added 11, D.J. Booker 10 and Josh Rupprecht 9. Anthony Lane led rebounding with eight while Washington and Rupprecht had six each.