KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Coffeyville’s Nellis Hall has been a “black hole” for Kansas City Kansas Community College women’s basketball teams for more than three decades and Wednesday was no exception.
Jumping to an early lead, Coffeyville ended KCKCC’s 9-game winning streak and handed the Lady Blue Devils their first Jayhawk Conference loss 71-56. The win was the 16th straight for the Lady Red Ravens on their home court over KCKCC, which has not won at Coffeyville since Feb. 12, 1997.
“They just outplayed us. They had more energy and just played better.” said KCKCC Coach Valerie Stambersky, whose Blue Devils were playing their third game in five days. “Now we’ve got to get better and prepare for Highland Saturday.”
As big as the Coffeyville game was, Highland’s invasion of the KCKCC Field House looms even larger. The Jayhawk Conference’s lone qualifier in the Division II national tournament the last two seasons, the Lady Scotties are 17-0 and ranked No. 7 in the nation – one spot ahead of KCKCC which moved up to No. 8 on Wednesday.
The Scotties also lead the Division II standings at 5-0 followed by No. 1 ranked Johnson County (4-0) and KCKCC (3-0).
Limiting the Blue Devils to just eight first half field goals and 27.6 percent shooting, Coffeyville (12-7) built a 31-25 halftime lead and then turned back every KCKCC challenge in winning its fourth in a row. “We were still within six with three minutes to go,” said Stambersky.
Turnovers were the ultimate difference. The Blue Devils (16-2) committed 28 while their usually harassing defense could force only 13 by the Ravens.
Freshman guard Aricca Daye had her finest offensive performance for KCKCC, scoring a career high 17 points including three three-pointers while sophomore Cierra Gaines added 13 but no other Blue Devil had more than six as fouls kept the starters on the bench for lengthy spans.
Led by Julia Garrard’s 10 rebounds, KCKCC had a 44-37 advantage on the boards but it was not enough to offset the turnovers nor the fouls.