It was a time for getting even for Kansas City Kansas Community College basketball Saturday.
On an evening four new members were inducted into the KCKCC Athletic Hall of Fame, both Blue Devil basketball teams avenged earlier losses – the KCKCC women getting even for a 69-57 loss at Labette with a 54-36 thumping of the Lady Cardinals while the Blue Devil men got revenge for a 68-50 loss with a 64-60 triumph to pull even with Labette for third place in Jayhawk Division I play at 10-7.
The wins set up a big finish Wednesday night when Coffeyville comes to KCKCC for what will be the Blue Devils final games in Division I of the Jayhawk Conference. Next year KCKCC’s only conference games will be in Division II.
The home finales (women at 5 p.m.; men at 7 p.m.) will also give both teams chances to get even for narrow losses in their first meetings. Coffeyville escaped 67-64 in the women’s game while the Coffeyville men got one of their biggest scares of the season before winning 71-65. Ranked No. 2 nationally in Division I, the Red Ravens (28-1) will come in with 21 wins in a row.
The Blue Devils (15-14), meanwhile, have lost only once since that last meeting and will bring an eight-game winning streak into the game thanks to a big second half against Labette. Down 45-40 with 12 minutes to go, the Blue Devils surged to the lead with a 10-0 run on field goals by D.J. Booker, Jordan Banks, Evrard Atcho and Dominque Washington and stayed in front at the free throw line including three of four by Antonio Winn in the final 27 seconds. KCKCC also got a huge offensive rebound by Atcho off a Booker missed free throw with 44 seconds left in a 61-58 game.
A back-and-forth affair, the game had 20 lead changes, five ties and no team led by more than five points. Winn led KCKCC’s second half rally, scoring 12 of his 16 points and was 3-for-3 from three-point territory. Washington again led the way with 17 points and five rebounds while Booker added 13 points and Jordan Banks nine points and six rebounds. For the game, the two KCKCC guards, Winn and Booker, were a combined 8 of 11 from the floor and 4-of-4 from three-point. The win came despite the fact Labette shot 57.7 percent the first half and .511 for the game compared to .412 for KCKCC. However, the Blue Devils committed just eight turnovers while forcing 16.
Turning in one of their best offensive performances of the season, the Lady Blue Devils make quick work of the opener, giving up only one field goal in the first eight minutes in surging to a 16-5 lead and building it to 38-14 at halftime by shooting a season’s best 52 percent.
Six of the Blue Devils’ 13 first half field goals came on 3-pointers including two each by Brittany Clement and Alexandria Blaurock. Samantha Hurst scored 11 points, Jherica Montgomery 10, Blaurock 9 and Nage Umutlu 7 for KCKCC. Blaurock also had six rebounds and Hurst and Montgomery five each for KCKCC (10-19).