Tuesday, January 13, 2015

KCKCC women clear one road hurdle; another awaits on Wednesday


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- No sooner over their first conference road hurdle, an even tougher one looms for Kansas City Kansas Community’s No. 9 ranked Lady Blue Devils.

Pulling away in the second half for a 77-43 win at Hesston Monday night, the Blue Devils go right back on the road Wednesday at Coffeyville. Winner of three in a row, the Lady Red Ravens (11-7) are unbeaten in seven games at home. KCKCC then returns home Saturday to host unbeaten and No. 8 ranked Highland at 2 p.m.

Tied 17-17, the Lady Blue Devils ran off 10 straight points on the way to a 35-26 halftime lead at Hesston and then put a defensive stranglehold on the Lady Larks in the second half, allowing just one field goal the first 14 minutes and only four the entire second half. The win was the ninth in a row for the Blue Devils, who improved to 16-1.

“A great road win,” said KCKCC Coach Valerie Stambersky. “We knew it was going to be tough to travel after a quick turn-around on the heels of such an emotional win over Cowley Saturday. Fortunately we found a way and settled in during the second half. Every game from here on out is going to be tough so we will take the win, make adjustments where needed and start preparing for Coffeyville.”

Outscoring Hesston 42-17 in the second half, Stambersky was able to go to her bench often. As a result no Blue Devil played more than 24 minutes.

As usual, a balanced offense was the key as all 12 Blue Devils scored. Cierra Gaines and Iland Shurn led with 11 points each while Janai Mitchell added 10, Rashaun Casey 9 and Cassidy Harbert. Harbert also led KCKCC to a 39-34 rebounding advantage with 10 and shared the lead in assists with Julia Garrard with four each.

Defensively, the Blue Devils harassed the Larks into 29 turnovers on 21 steals with Aricca Daye pilfering five and Erin Anderson four. KCKCC also limited Hesston to 4-of-25 second half shots for 16 percent and 24.4 percent for the game.

Just 12 of 35 for 34.3 percent the first half, the Blue Devils were 15-of-32 (.469) the second half to overcome 22 turnovers.