By ALAN HOSKINS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Kansas City Kansas Community College’s basketball teams gave their fans their money’s worth in the opening round of the 11th annual Keith Lindsey Classic Friday.
The Lady Blue Devils looked every bit their national ranking in the second half in a 93-41 win over Ellsworth Community College while the Blue Devil men provided the drama, winning a 76-73 overtime thriller over On Point Hoops Academy that went right down to the final shot not once but twice.
KCKCC led the men’s game by nine points midway through the second half only to have On Point go ahead 55-54 with four minutes to go. Freshman Tevin Downing regained the lead for KCKCC with a 3-pointer with 3:28 left and soph C.J. Vallejo kept the Blue Devils in front 61-56 with a pair of free throws and a field goal. But three straight misses from the foul line opened the door for a pair of On Point 3-point goals by Nick Treleaven and Ty Hawkins, the one by Hawkins a spectacular 35-footer as time expired.
The Blue Devils (4-0) trailed only momentarily in overtime, thanks to the passing of Vallejo, a former Bishop Ward standout. Downing put KCKCC ahead to stay 65-64 with a 3-pointer; Clay Young drilled a baseline jumper and a 3-pointer; and Joe Lendway broke loose for a layup and all four field goals came on assists from Vallejo.
However, the lead was never more than three points and it took two Ray Ridley free throws with 10 seconds to clinch it – but only when Deshon Bell’s desperation 3-pointer to tie rimmed out at the horn.
Six Blue Devils scored eight or more points with Lendway leading with a career high 19 points and six rebounds while Downing had his second double double of the season, 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ridley notched 13 points and a game high seven assists; Vallejo had 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists; Young nine points and Austin Hall eight points and five rebounds. Former Blue Devil Delondre Williams had 13 points and 12 rebounds for On Point.
Janai Mitchell scored 12 of KCKCC’s first 17 points as the Lady Blue Devils surged to a 26-9 lead only to have Ellsworth close to 40-28 at halftime behind 48 percent shooting. However, the Blue Devils erased any chance of another Panther comeback by scoring the first 24 points of the second half for a 64-28 lead.
Thirteen Blue Devils scored for the 18th ranked Blue Devils (3-0). Cheyenne North had 14 and Mitchell, Cassidy Harbert and Cierra Gaines 13 each in the well-balanced attack. Erin Anderson led in rebounds with nine while Gaines and North eight each.
North also had six assists, Anderson five and Harbert four. KCKCC had 18 steals in the game including four each by Sierra Roberts and Mitchell.