Kansas City Kansas Community College continued its late season Wednesday, knocking off Fort Scott 65-58 for the Blue Devils' fifth win in their last six starts.
The win elevated the Blue Devils (10-13) in to a tie for second place in the Jayhawk Conference heading into a big home court collision with No. 3 ranked Highland (18-2) Saturday at 4 p.m. Both the Scotties and Blue Devils are 2-1 behind Johnson County (3-0).
The Blue Devils lead almost wire-to-wire against Fort Scott, building leads of 14 and 15 points and then turning back every challenge by the Greyhounds, who fell to 13-10 overall and 1-2 in the league.
Calvin Slaughter, a 6-2 freshman guard from Macon, Ga., led the Blue Devils with a game high 18 points including 11 in the opening half. Kelyn Bolton added eight points; Daiyon Taylor, Jalen Davis and Malcolm Tate seven points each; Cody Dortch six and Arother Ratliff and Taylor Turner five apiece in the well-balanced KCKCC attack.
"An all-around good team win," said KCKCC Coach Kelley Newton. "Calvin Slaughter played well, was real aggressive and got some big rebounds."
KCKCC opened a 32-25 halftime lead despite only going to the free throw line one time while Fort Scott was 7-of-9. "We did a better job the second half (9-of-16)," said Newton. "It was an ugly win but that's okay. We kept pounding away. A win anytime this time of the season is a big win."
Good ball-handling was a big factor in KCKCC gaining control – just three turnovers in the 32-25 first half and 10 for the game compared to 16 Fort Scott errors.
Three Slaughter field goals and two each by Bolton and Davis fired KCKCC to an early 19-7 lead and the Blue Devils opened the margin to 27-13 on 3-pointers by Slaughter and Dortch. However, the Greyhounds closed the gap to 27-25 before a 3-pointer by Tate and a Slaughter layup in the final 30 seconds reopened the halftime lead to 32-25.
The Blue Devils opened a 43-28 lead with 15 minutes left in the game only to have Fort Scott cut the deficit to 47-44 midway through the second half and the KCKCC lead was just 51-46 when Tate scored on an acrobatic layup and Dortch drained a 3-pointer to open a game-clinching 10-point lead.