By ALAN HOSKINS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Having successful basketball programs starts by winning at home and Kansas City Kansas Community College teams did just that in the 10th Annual Keith Lindsey Classic Friday and Saturday.
The Blue Devil men opened their season by defeating North Arkansas 79-62 Friday and OnPoint Academy 77-70 Saturday while the Lady Blue Devils used big second halves to defeat Benedictine’s JV 53-43 Friday and Neosho County 84-64 Saturday and then followed up Monday with a 90-47 win over Saint Mary’s JV for a 5-0 start to the season.
The KCKCC women are right back home Thursday against Missouri Valley’s JV at 5 p.m. while the Blue Devil men will be competing in the North Ark Classic in Harrison Friday and Saturday.
The men will be without the services of Antonio Winn, the lone returning starter sidelined indefinitely with a lower leg injury sustained Saturday night.
Led by redshirt freshman Stephen Leimbach of St. James Academy, the Blue Devil men drained 21 3-point field goals in the two games. Leimbach was 5 of 11 for 15 points against North Ark and 6 for 13 and 18 points against OnPoint.
Sophomore Brandon Ward also had five 3-pointers against North Ark as he was 9-for-15 from the field in a 23-point outburst while Winn added 17 points and Lucas Smith 16 points and a game high 10 rebounds.
Anthony Ridley led in assists with six along with five points and six rebounds as the Blue Devils opened a 44-27 halftime lead.
Trailing 36-35 at the half, the Blue Devils pulled away from OnPoint in the second half behind 53.1 percent shooting. Ward had 11 of his 13 points, Leimbach 3 of his 6 treys and Clay Young half of his 14 points in the 42-point second half. Nate Collins had eight assists and Samson Tucker and Smith seven rebounds apiece for the Blue Devils, who were outrebounded 45-35 but were guilty of only eight turnovers.
Trailing Benedictine 28-20 at the half, the Lady Blue Devils limited the Ravens to just 21.4 percent second half shooting and just 15 points for their second straight come-from-behind win. Imani White had 11 points, Samantha Hurst 8, Julia Garrard and Rashaun Casey 7 each and Cassidy Harbert and Makayla Loggins 6 apiece while Hurst had eight rebounds and Garrard and Iland Shurn 7 each.
A sophomore from Harrisonville, Samantha Hurst then followed up with a career high 25 points in the 84-64 win over Neosho. Tied 34-34 at the half, Hurst led a 50-30 second half with 16 points including three 3-pointers on 10 of 20 shooting. Harbert added a near triple double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists; Garrard had 10 points and 10 assists; and Janai Mitchell 7 points and 9 rebounds.
Hurst followed up with 18 points and six rebounds against Saint Mary while Harbert had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists; Casey 15 points and 6 rebounds; Garrard 7 points and 8 rebounds; and Bailey West 9 points.