By ALAN HOSKINS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Kansas City Kansas Community College’s hopes for a Cinderella finish to the 2013-14 men’s basketball season were abruptly dashed at hot-shooting Fort Scott Tuesday night.
Hitting 11 of their first 15 shots, the No. 2 seeded Greyhounds built a 28-9 lead on their way to an 82-65 win in the semifinals of the Region VI Division playoffs.
“We weren’t ready mentally and they came out and jumped on us early and set the tone for the whole game,” said KCKCC Coach Kelley Newton, whose Blue Devils (7-25) had upset Johnson County 69-57 in opening round playoff action.
“We came out with a great deal of energy and the crowd helped us with that,” said Fort Scott Coach Michael Cook. Fort Scott’s fourth win in a row, the win advanced the Greyhounds (13-16) into the championship game against Brown Mackie Saturday at Wichita.
While Fort Scott was starting with 11 of 15, the Blue Devils were just 3 of 15, all 3-pointers in trailing 28-9 with 6:33 left in the half. A torrid 13 of 20 for 65 percent, the Greyhounds led 39-17 at halftime.
Lucas Smith scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead KCKCC. Anthony Ridley added 15 points and five assists, Stephen Leimbach 13 points, Marcus Allen eight and Clay Young seven while Nate Collins had eight rebounds and four points.
Kevin House led Fort Scott with 26 points including 13 of 14 free throws as the Greyhounds were 22 of 27 from the free throw line (.813) and 27 of 49 from the field (.551).