By ALAN HOSKINS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Still smarting after back-to-back losses to Top Five nationally ranked women’s basketball teams, Kansas City Kansas Community College women took out their frustrations on Brown Mackie Wednesday night.
Exploding to a 16-4 lead before Brown Mackie could score from the field, the 16th ranked Lady Blue Devils raced to a near-record 111-57 win against a Lady Lions team that came into the game with a 13-7 record. The Brown Mackie men, however, tightened their lead in the Jayhawk Division II Conference with an 84-60 win in the nightcap.
Both teams are right back in action Saturday when they host Hesston College in games at 2 and 4 p.m. before completing the first round of conference play at Fort Scott Wednesday.
If the women’s game had been a prize fight, it would have been stopped well before halftime. Forcing four turnovers, the Blue Devils led 8-0 just 1:14 into the game and by the 14 minute mark had a 16-4 lead by holding the Lions without a field goal (0-7) and forcing nine turnovers.
By halftime, the Blue Devils (19-4) were leading 58-18 by shooting 60 percent while holding Brown Mackie to just 18.2 percent and 18 turnovers. One of the biggest halves in KCKCC history (the record is 65), the 111 points are the second most bested only by the 120 put up against Labette back in 1996.
Rashaun Casey led the early assault, scoring 21 of her career high 31 points in the first half. The fast start included four of seven from 3-point.
Cassidy Harbert had her eighth doubIe double of the season with 15 points and 10 assists while four others just missed double doubles. Iland Shurn had 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench, Janai Mitchell 17 points and nine rebounds, Imani White eight points, eight rebounds and nine assists and Casey added nine rebounds to her 31 points.
“We got a lot of effort from everyone and got back to playing the way we are capable,” said KCKCC Coach Valerie Stambersky. “Rashaun and Iland both shot the ball well.”
Brown Mackie lived up to its role as the favorite in the men’s division. The reigning Region VI champion, the Lions ran their conference record to 3-0 and overall mark to 14-8 by hitting 30 of 55 shots for 54.5 percent and outrebounding the smaller Blue Devils 42-27. Eight Lions scored eight or more points including eight by Kevin McLemore, the younger brother of former KU star Ben McLemore who is now in the NBA.
KCKCC got a standout performance from Lansing freshman Clay Young, who had a career high 22 points on 9 of 17 shooting and six rebounds. Stephan Leimbach added 12 points, all on 3-pointers, while Lucas Smith and Nate Collins chipped in with eight each. Marcus Allen led in rebound with seven, Anthony Ridley and Collins in assists with four each.
JAYHAWK UPSET – The Jayhawk Division II race got its first major upset Wednesday as Highland’s No. 5 ranked women won at No. 1 Johnson County 71-68. Highland also took the men’s game 92-68 while Hesston swept Fort Scott, winning 81-79 in overtime in the men’s game and 79-53 in the women’s contest.