By ALAN HOSKINS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Over a hurdle at Fort Scott Monday night, Kansas City Kansas Community College gets a home shot at two of the top five Division II women’s basketball team in the nation this week.
It all starts Wednesday when the Lady Blue Devils (21-4) host No. 5 ranked Johnson County (24-1) at 5 p.m. followed by a Saturday home contest with No. 2 ranked Highland (24-1) at 2 p.m. Men’s games will follow each day.
The Lady Blue Devils had to overcome frigid shooting for a 67-60 win at Fort Scott Monday while the Greyhound men pulled away in the second half for an 84-74 win.
Balance was again the key for the KCKCC women, who had four players in double figures led by Iland Shurn and Janai Mitchell, both of whom had double doubles. Shurn led with 17 points and a game high 11 rebounds; Mitchell had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Rashaun Casey added 13 points and six rebounds, Julia Garrard 10 points and Imani White seven rebounds.
While shooting only 32.9 percent for the game, the Blue Devils were able to build a 32-23 halftime lead by holding the Lady Greyhounds to just 8 of 29 shots for 27.6 percent.
The Blue Devils also had a 55-45 command of the rebounding and forced 22 turnovers although committing 17 of their own. The women moved KCKCC (3-2) to within a game of second place JCCC (4-1) in the Jayhawk Division II race.
Five Blue Devils were in double figures in the men’s game. Lucas Smith and Anthony Ridley led the way, Smith with 20 points and Ridley with a double double 11 points and 10 assists. Willis Garner and Marcus Allen added 11 points each off the bench while Stephan Leimbach chipped in with 10.
KCKCC matched Fort Scott nearly point-for-point the first half, trailing only 41-39 at the half only be outscored 43-35 the second half as the Greyhounds took advantage of four Blue Devils with four fouls each.
The Blue Devils shot well enough, hitting 26 of 60 attempts for 43.3 percent, and were guilty of a season low six turnovers but gave up a 37-24 advantage to the Greyhounds on the boards.