By ALAN HOSKINS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Over its first road hurdle, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s men’s basketball team turned its focus on hosting the annual Keith Lindsey Classic Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-15.
The Blue Devils got their first road win Saturday, 60-50 over Wentworth Military Academy at Lexington, Mo., to move to 3-0 on the season.
KCKCC used a 9-0 run and solid defense to build a 33-21 halftime lead and then held off repeated comebacks by the Red Dragons before stretching the lead to 59-43 in the waning minutes. Wentworth was limited to just 23 shots and six field goals (26.1 percent) in the first half while the Blue Devils were 11 for 25 for 44.0 percent.
Three Blue Devils, Tevin Downing, Joe Lendway and Austin Hall, had 11 points each while Braeson Sester added nine points and Roberto Hernandez seven and a game high four assists. A 6-3 guard from Shawnee Heights in Topeka, Downing also led all rebounders with a career high 14 as KCKCC held a 33-31 rebound advantage.
“I was real proud this team could get its first road win,” said head coach Kelley Newton. “It’s a young, inexperienced team, one we want to learn as many lessons as possible and it’s nice to have it learn while winning.”
Newton said he was particularly pleased with the play of Downing and his 14 rebounds and 11 points, and his high school teammate, 6-0 guard Braeson Sester. “Braeson did a real good job in keeping everything together along with a couple of big steals.”
KCKCC will play On Point Academy at 8 p.m. Friday in the Lindsey Classic and then take on St. Louis Community College Saturday at 6 p.m. immediately after the induction of Duane Shaw and the late Keith Lindsey into the KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame.
In other men’s action, Highland will play St. Louis Friday at 4 p.m. and On Point Saturday at 2 p.m. Penn Valley’s women will play Fort Scott in the Classic opener Friday at 2 p.m. with KCKCC facing Ellsworth at 6 p.m.