By ALAN HOSKINS
Kansas City Kansas Community College got the Highland Classic off with a 83-71 win over Livin’ The Dream Friday but couldn’t overcome torrid shooting by Team Nebraska in a 95-88 setback Saturday.
The split left the Blue Devils at 5-5 heading into this weekend’s Southeast Nebraska Classic in Beatrice where they’ll play Southeast at 8 p.m. Friday and Central Nebraska at 6 p.m.
At home today at 5 p.m. against Central Methodist’s JV, the Lady Blue Devils will also be competing in the Nebraska classic and will face Southeast at 6 p.m. Friday and Central at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Limiting Livin’ The Dream to 32.3 percent shooting, the Blue Devils built a 42-29 lead at halftime and led by as many as 21 points with 16 minutes to go in the 83-71 win Friday.
Brandon Ward had his third 26-point performance of the season to lead the Blue Devils while Clay Young added 12, Willis Garner 9 on 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point; and Lucas Smith and Colin Adney 8 points each. Smith also hauled in a game high 14 rebounds while Stephen Leimbach added 11 points, Young 9 and Delondre Williams 8.
Ward followed up with a career high 27 points, five assists and six rebounds against Team Nebraska but the Blue Devils couldn’t make a 57-47 halftime lead stand up in a game in which the 1ead changed hands 11 times and was tied three times.
Team Nebraska rallied by hitting 19 of 28 second half shots for a blistering 67.9 percent. KCKCC also shot well, 58.5 percent each half but had an 18-8 disadvantage in turnovers and was outrebounded 43-32.
Clay Young added a career high 17 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Devils while Lucas Smith added 15 points and six rebounds, Anthony Ridley 10 points and seven assists and Delondre Williams nine rebounds and six points.