2019-2020 Blue Devil Basketball News

  • Dramtic shot, comeback and clinch first Jayhawk Title
    February 24, 2020
    Not only will 2020 go down as the year the Kansas City Chiefs ended 50 years without a Super Bowl, it is the year Kansas City Kansas Community College’s men’s basketball team ended 50 years without a conference championship. Trailing by 14 points with seven minutes remaining, the Blue Devils surged from behind for a dramatic 71-67 win over Highland Wednesday that wrapped up the first Jayhawk Conference championship in the 51-year history of the conference and KCKCC’s furst conference championship since the 1968-69 season, the last year of the old Interstate Conference. The win, the Blue Devils’ ninth in a row, improved their record to 8-1 and maintained a 2-game lead over second place Johnson County (6-3) heading into the season’s finale between the two arch-rivals in Overland Park Saturday at 4 p.m. The win also assured KCKCC (16-12) of hosting a Region VI semifinal playoff game Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. The biggest goal of Calvin Slaughter’s two-year career at KCKCC provided the dramatics and had an enthusiastic crowd of Blue Devil softball and women’s soccer players on its feet. In a 66-66 deadlock and time running out on the shot clock, Slaughter momentarily lost control of his dribble only to square up and drill a 3-pointer for a 69-66 lead with 51.7 seconds left. “Desperation shot,” admitted Slaughter, “I knew it was good when it left my hand.” “It’s almost March; a one shining moment type of shot,” said KCKCC Coach Brandon Burgette of Slaughter’s game-winner. It also made Burgette a championship winner in his first year as head Blue Devil coach. Highland cut the lead to 69-67 on a free throw but Slaughter and Deron McDaniel sealed the win with free throws after grabbing crucial defensive rebounds and set of a wild mid-court celebration and cutting down of the nets. The Scotties had built their biggest lead at 62-48 with 7½ minutes left when Slaughter and McDaniel fueled one of the biggest comebacks in KCKCC history, outscoring Highland 18-4 to pull into the 66-66 tie. Two free throws from Robert Rhodes and a McDaniel layup ignited the rally and Slaughter lit it up with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit 58-52 and McDaniel took it from there, converting six of seven free throws for a 64-64 deadlock. Rhodes’ follow shot seconds left kept the Blue Devils’ even and set up Slaughter for his game-winner. “We showed ourselves how to win,” said Burgette. “Being down 14, we didn’t mope or quit or give up. We stayed with it and figured out how to win. We got stops and steals that led to layups and free throws. We shot the ball well from the free throw line, obviously Deron was amazing. And Calvin stepped up and made big shots, two to get us going and then the one that put us ahead. That’s what you need is your upperclassmen to step up.” Slaughter finished with a game-high 22 points, 16 in the second half including four of his five 3-pointers when he was 4-of-5 from the perimeter. McDaniel added 20 points including a clutch 11-of-13 free throws. “A little nervous,” admitted McDaniel. “I knew we needed them and we’d keep fighting.” DeAngelo Bell and Rhodes were the only other Blue Devils with more than one field goal, Bell scoring 10 points and Rhodes eight. Rhodes also had eight rebounds as did Jermaine Yarbough in just 16 minutes of playing time. Three-pointers and free throws were crucial. KCKCC outscored the Scotties by 21 points from 3-point, knocking down 10-of-32 for 31.3 percent to just 3-of-13 for Highland (.231). The Blue Devils also converted 19-of-27 free throws to 6-of-9 for the Scotties, who shot better from the field (.474-.389) and had more rebounds (36-34) but committed 20 turnovers to 11 for KCKCC.
  • Blue Devils clinch tie for first Jayhawk Title
    February 17, 2020
    In the 50 years of Jayhawk Conference men’s basketball, Kansas City Kansas Community College had never won, never tied for a conference championship. That streak is over! The drought has ended! A 74-69 win over Fort Scott in a furiously fought battle that went right down to the wire Saturday clinched no worse than a tie for the 2020 championship with two games to go starting with a home contest Wednesday with Highland at 7:30 p.m. “I don’t like to share; we want to cut the nets down,” said first year KCKCC head coach Brandon Burgette. “But every game gets tougher.” The win was the Blue Devils’ eighth in a row in improving to 15-12. While there’s been no Jayhawk championship, KCKCC is not without conference titles. From 1940-69, Blue Devil teams dominated the Interstate Conference, winning 12 championships. Late heroics by Jalen Davis and Deron McDaniel in the final three minutes rallied the Blue Devils past Fort Scott. In a span of 58 seconds, McDaniel pulled KCKCC even 64-64 with his third 3-pointer of the game and Davis followed with two tie-breaking free throws and a 3-pointer for a 69-64 lead with 1:39 remaining and the Blue Devils protected the lead from the free throw line – two each by McDaniel and Jermaine Yarbough after a game-clinching rebound. “Deron made some clutch shots, Jalen hit big throws, Jermaine had key rebounds and Robert Rhodes had four blocked shots and was great on the boards,” said Burgette. “Robert has been our savior all year, protecting the rim and rebounding the basketball.” In addition to four blocks, Rhodes hauled down 16 rebounds and scored six points before fouling out with 1:09 left. Davis and McDaniel shared offensive honors with 18 points each while Yarbough and Calvin Slaughter had 10 apiece and Ezekiel Lopes nine. Yarbough also had seven rebounds and Slaughter five although the Greyhounds had a 41-39 edge on the boards. In addition, the Blue Devils had 17 assists on 24 field goals with DeAngelo Bell and McDaniel handing out five each and Slaughter four. KCKCC trailed by as many as eight points and led by as many as eight in the first half in a roller coaster game that would have six lead changes and seven ties. Trailing 34-27 at halftime, the Greyhounds surged to a 49-43 lead in the first six minutes of the second half. McDaniel wiped out most of that lead with a trey and a layup to set up a furious race to the finish. Twice Fort Scott led by four points but two free throws by Yarbough and a McDaniel field goal kept KCKCC close and the Blue Devils went ahead briefly 61-59 on a Rhodes basket and two more Yarbough free throws. However, a Craig Jordan 3-pointer and two free throws put the Greyhounds in front 64-61 and set up the Blue Devils’13-5 finish in the final 2:37. “We did a great job of keeping our composure when they went on a run and got key stops when it mattered,” said Burgette. “We struggled defensively all night and then did a good job of guarding them in the last two minutes.” Statistically, the two teams were as close as the outcome. KCKCC shot .414, Fort Scott .406 from the field; KCKCC was 9 of 29 from 3-point, the Greyhounds 8 of 29. The Blue Devils had a slight edge in turnovers, 11 against Fort Scott’s 14. In other action Saturday, Johnson County (5-3) stayed two games back of KCKCC with a 59-51 win at Labette while Highland (4-4) moved into a tie for third place with Fort Scott with a 73-63 win over Hesston. Fort Scott will be at Labette and Hesston at JCCC in other action Wednesday. PHOTO IDENT KCKCC’s basketball team had much to celebrate Saturday. Sophomores Calvin Slaughter (left) and Jalen Davis were presented photos and basketballs in recognition of their play the last two years and the Blue Devils clinched a share of KCKCC’s first ever Jayhawk championship with a 74-69 win over Fort Scott. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)
  • Blue Devils' Rhodes named Jayhawk Player of the Week
    February 13, 2020
    Kansas City Kansas Community College forward Robert Rhodes is the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) Player of the Week. The Jayhawk Conference leader in rebounding, Rhodes was honored for his play in Blue Devil wins over nationally ranked Johnson County and Labette last week. He had double-doubles in both games as he helped the Blue Devils vault into undisputed possession of the Jayhawk Conference lead. His fourth double-double of the season – 15 points and 14 rebounds – came in an 82-65 win in a showdown with JCCC for first place in the conference Feb. 5 and he followed it up with 14 points and a career high 18 rebounds in an 81-77 win over Labette on Saturday. He’s the first KCKCC men’s player to be named Player of the Week. The Lady Blue Devils’ Kamryn Estell earned the women’s honor earlier. Rhodes leads the Jayhawk in both rebounds (9.0) and blocked shots (47), is third in field goal accuracy (57.4 percent) and seventh in steals (32). Averaging 9.5 points in conference play and 8.6 overall, he’s one of seven Blue Devils averaging seven or more points a game this season. “Robert has the instinct to go get the ball wherever it is rebounding-wise,” says KCKCC head coach Brandon Burgette. “He does everything requested of him with an effort that goes above and beyond. He has a lot of energy and motor that never stops.” Rhodes has posted double figures in rebounding 11 times and been in double figures scoring-wise 10 times. He also has 42 assists, an average of nearly two a game. “He’s been playing great; really consistent every night,” says Burgette. On the road at Hesston Wednesday, the Blue Devils will close out their home schedule with doubleheaders Saturday against Fort Scott (2 and 4 p.m.) and next Wednesday night against Highland (5:30 and 7:30 p.m.).
  • Blue Devils hold off Labette 81-77
    February 10, 2020
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s streaking Blue Devils refused to surrender first place in the Jayhawk Conference Saturday, repeatedly turning back Labette rallies in an 81-77 thriller that went right to the wire. Two clutch free throws by Calvin Slaughter with 17 seconds left sealed the win, the Blue Devils’ sixth in a row. The win kept KCKCC (5-1) a game ahead of Johnson County (4-2) in the Jayhawk race and set up a key road game for the Blue Devils at dangerous Hesston (13-10) Wednesday night. The Blue Devils (13-12) never trailed against Labette, bolting to a 14-2 lead in the first six minutes and leading 40-29 at halftime. The lead was still 54-43 with 13 minutes left when the Cardinals made run after run at overtaking the Blue Devils. Eight times the Cardinals got within five points or less, the closest at 78-77 when Slaughter calmly sank two free throws and Jermaine Yarbough added another after the Cardinals had missed a game-tying 3-pointer. The Blue Devils got huge performances from their two big men, 6-7 Robert Rhodes and the 6-8 Yarbough, who combined for 35 points and 27 rebounds. Rhodes had a double-double with 14 points and a career high 18 rebounds; Yarbough just missed a double-double with a game high 21 points and nine rebounds. Most significant, they combined for 13 of KCKCC’s season high 21 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second chance points. They were also responsible for KCKCC’s 40-29 halftime lead with a combined 19 points and 13 rebounds including seven offensively. “Jermaine played great tonight, great presence around the basket and scoring around the rim and Robert was terrific. He’s getting comfortable in his shell and is really playing well,” said KCKCC Coach Brandon Burgette. Slaughter added 12 points, Ezekiel Lopes 11, Deron McDaniel 10, DeAngelo Bell 7 and Jalen Davis 6 and everyone had a hand in holding off the late Labette charges. The first came when the Cardinals closed to 56-51 with 12½ minutes left but a Yarbough trey and two McDaniel free throws quelled that comeback. But a half-dozen more would follow in the final seven minutes. Lopes made three free throws and Yarbough tipped in a rebound and added a free throw after Labette had twice pulled to within four points. Slaughter had a huge offensive rebound, put back and free throw after the Cardinals had closed to 69-66 followed by perhaps the biggest defensive play of the game, a block by Rhodes who corralled the rebound that led to two Lopes free throws for a 74-68 lead with 2:11 left. Field goals by Bell and Rhodes kept the spread at six points before a 3-pointer by Tyler Garrett and layup by Dennis Bryson sandwiched around a turnover cut the lead to 78-77 and set up Slaughter for the game-clinching free throws. “I wasn’t nervous,” said Slaughter. “I knew I had to knock them down. I’ve done it before in high school and college.” “Calvin played big minutes after getting in foul trouble early,” said Burgette. “He made the big free throws down the stretch and some big plays for us (seven rebounds, four assists).” Mike Flenorey kept Labette close with 17 of his 19 points in the second half including four 3-pointers. Dennis added 18 off the bench for the Cardinals. KCKCC had a 48-36 command of the rebounding including the 23 off the offensive boards. “A big difference – and a season high,” said Burgette. “Labette was good tonight. They stopped us running, contested shots and slowed us down and we had some bad turnovers (18). But every game the rest of the season is going to just like this. There are no easy teams. We need to get better.” In addition to KCKCC’s game at Hesston and Labette’s invasion of Highland, Johnson County will be at Fort Scott Wednesday. The Blue Devils then return to close out their home schedule against Fort Scott Saturday (2 and 4 p.m.) and Highland Feb. 19.
  • Blue Devils crush No. 11 JCCC; Take First place in Jayhawk
    February 06, 2020
    Guess what team has the undisputed possession of first place in the Jayhawk Conference? One hint: It’s the same team that started the season 2-8 including eight straight losses, all on the road. For perhaps the first time ever, the Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College have the Jayhawk Conference lead thanks to an 82-65 win Wednesday over Johnson County, a team that started the season ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA DII and came into the game ranked No. 11 nationally. Records aren’t immediately available but this may be the first time a Blue Devil team has been alone at the top of the Jayhawk at the halfway point of the season. And the Blue Devils have a chance Saturday to avenge their only conference loss when they put a five-game winning streak on the line when they host Labette (13-9) in the second half of a 2 and 4 p.m. doubleheader. “Our goal obviously was to be in good position but being in first is great,” said KCKCC Coach Brandon Burgette. ”Nothing comes easy. You have to earn it and I think we earned it.” Indeed after losing 79-71 at Labette, KCKCC has beaten Hesston 88-69 and won at Fort Scott 75-64 and Highland 91-73. The Blue Devils took command from the very outset against JCCC, exploding to an 18-6 lead in the first 7½ minutes and expanding it to 28-12 with 8:20 left in the half. Their biggest lead was 60-37 with 12 minutes left in the second half. Five Blue Devils scored in double figures led by 6-7 Park Hill South freshman Robert Rhodes, who had his third double-double of the season – 15 points and a game high 14 rebounds. Jalen Davis led the scoring with 17 points, 14 in the second half; Jermaine Yarbough scored 16 including 4-of-5 from 3-point; Calvin Slaughter had 12 points and DeAngelo Bell 11. Slaughter and Bell led in assists with four apiece and each had a pair of threes. “Rob (Rhodes) played the best game of the year,” said Burgette. “He was really big on the glass. And Jalen (Davis) played better the second half. We didn’t shoot the ball that well (.449) but we had five in double figures which is great. And 22 assists versus nine turnovers is just amazing.” Trailing by 16 points with 8:20 left in the half, the Cavaliers twice closed to within eight points. The first time at 32-24 but Rhodes scored from close range and Yarbough knocked down his first trey to make it 37-24. A thunderous tomahawk dunk by Yarbough off an in-bounds lob from Bell and a basket by Tim Barbieri quelled the second JCCC comeback. Ahead 41-31, Davis opened the second half with a 3-pointer and Bell scored on a layup for a 46-31 lead and it was never close the rest of the way. “We played well in spurts, some ugly possessions and some good possessions,” said Burgette, who applied full court defensive pressure much of the game. “We kept the tempo high. We wanted to make them play fast and us play fast. And we did a real good job of sharing the ball. Not everything is perfect but I’m a perfectionist and I want them to do everything right. We have to keep pushing. You cannot overlook anyone.” “They (KCKCC) came to play and we didn’t,” said JCCC Coach Mike Jeffers, whose Cavaliers helped the KCKCC cause by missing 15 of their first 17 free throws and shot 39.7 percent from the field. It was Burgette’s first game against Jeffers, for whom Burgette was an assistant for three years, and the last for Jeffers at KCKCC. Elected this spring to the NJCAA Hall of Fame, Jeffers is retiring after a 29-year career at JCCC which included two national championships. PHOTO IDENTS (thunderous dunk) Jermaine Yarbough’s thunderous tomahawk dunk off an in-bounds lob pass from DeAngelo Bell helped quell a Johnson County rally in KCKCC’s 82-65 win in Wednesday’s first place clash for the Jayhawk Conference lead. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)
  • 3-pointers end Hesston win streak
    January 27, 2020
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Brandon Burgette has his first Jayhawk Conference win as a head coach, thanks to a workmanlike 88-69 win over Hesston Saturday. Building a 15-point lead in the first half, the Blue Devils never trailed in ending Hesston’s 9-game winning streak. The loss dropped the Larks to 13-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play while KCKCC (8-12) won for the sixth time in the last 10 games. Enjoying the win will be short-lived, The Blue Devils are right back in action Monday when they host Park University’s JV at 6 p.m. (a game originally scheduled for 7 p.m.). Then it’s back on the road for the Blue Devils, who are at Fort Scott Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) and Highland Saturday (3 p.m.). The Blue Devils took control against Hesston with long-range shooting and domination of the defensive rebounding. KCKCC outscored Hesston 24-3 from 3-point in the first half, knocking down 8-of-20 treys while the Larks managed just one three in eight attempts. Deron McDaniel had three 3-pointers and Ezekiel Lopes and Jalen Davis two each in the opening surge. The Blue Devils also limited Hesston to just one first half offensive rebound on the way to a 40-34 edge on the boards. Robert Rhodes had a game high 12 rebounds, six in each half, while Jermaine Yarbough added seven and Calvin Slaughter six. KCKCC opened a 27-12 lead in the first 13 minutes, had a 43-34 advantage at halftime and then expanded it to as many as 23 points in the second half. “The guys stepped up and made shots in the zone,” said Burgette. “We also did a good job guarding the three and gang rebounding.” Hesston managed just 4-of-19 3-pointers for 21.1 percent and 39.6 percent overall. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils were an identical 15-of-34 each half for 44.1 percent. Six Blue Devils accounted for all but two points. Davis had 19 points, McDaniel 18, Lopes 17 and Slaughter 15 to lead the way while DeAngelo Ball added nine and Rhodes eight. Slaughter and Ball shared assist honors with five while Slaughter also had four steals and Lopes and Rhodes three each. “We let one slip away Wednesday,” said Burgette. “Today, we came back with a lot of energy, played fast, made shots and sped them up to run in transition. A good win.”
  • Big Blue Devils' finish jolts Division 1 State Fair
    December 11, 2019
    Brandon Burgette got an early Christmas present Tuesday – an 87-74 Kansas City Kansas Community College win over State Fair, his first victory over an NJCAA Division I team. The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Blue Devils, who forged a lead early in the second half and then turned back every State Fair challenge. “I told our team after our loss to Mineral Area that our goal was to be 4-0 going into the break,” said Burgette. KCKCC (5-8) can reach that goal Saturday in a 4 p.m. home game against Southwestern (Iowa). State Fair (10-6) and KCKCC battled through nine lead changes and seven ties in the first half and exchanged leads 13 times and had nine deadlocks total before the Blue Devils grabbed the lead for good with 16:15 remaining. Bishop Miege sophomore Ezekiel Lopes put KCKCC ahead to stay 46-45 with a spectacular dunk off a missed shot and then drained a pair of 3-pointers to expand the lead to 53-46, a lead the Blue Devils would not give up. The closest the Roadrunners could get was 58-57 with 11:07 remaining but freshman Deron McDaniel knocked down a pair of threes to make it 64-57 and the defense took it from there, forcing three straight turnovers. “We did a great job of forcing 18 turnovers which led to transition baskets,” said Burgette. “Getting 20 points off turnovers is great. And we took care of the ball (9 turnovers). That was the main thing, that and getting stops and making them take some bad shots. And we made free throws (20-of-24), the best percentage this season.” The Blue Devils also got a big shot in the arm from sophomore Jalen Davis, who came off the bench in the second half to score 14 points and grab five rebounds. “Jalen really stepped up in the second half,” said Burgette. Four Blue Devils scored in double figures led by the 3-point shooters, Lopes and McDaniel, each with three treys with Lopes scoring 17 points and McDaniel 15. Robert Rhodes provided the early offense with 12 first half points along with five assists and a game high nine rebounds and Calvin Slaughter added nine points and five rebounds. The night’s unsung hero was DeAngelo Ball, a 5-9 freshman from JC Harmon, who had a career high nine assists and just one turnover against an aggressive State Fair defense. For the game, the Blue Devils had 20 assists on 28 field goals. Three-point goals were also paramount to the win. KCKCC outscored State Fair 33-3 from the perimeter, the Roadrunners making only 1-of-18 for 5.6 percent. The Blue Devils were 11-of-30 for 36.7 percent from 3-point and the two teams were almost dead even from the field at 41 percent. “All week this team has been 10 times better than all year,” said Burgette. “It’s been consistent, all 10 guys buying into the system and believing in each other. No one cares who scores. It becomes contagious.”
  • Late KCKCC rally falls short in 74-71 loss to Ellsworth
    November 13, 2019
    Finding the right chemistry for a young basketball team is tough enough for a first year head coach. Doing it on the road is even tougher. For the second time in less than 20 hours, Kansas City Kansas Community College had a big second half rally come up short in a 74-71 loss to Ellsworth Saturday. The loss came in the Koenigsmark Klassic in Mason City, Iowa, and left the Blue Devils 1-2 heading into the final game of a four-game season opening road trip at Allen County Tuesday at 7 p.m. Trailing 42-32 at halftime, the Blue Devils went ahead with seven minutes remaining before Ellsworth (4-1) pulled away in a see-saw finish. “After Friday’s second half rally against NIACC, I thought with the late ending and quick turnaround Saturday, we would be hungry and eager to play,” said KCKCC Coach Brandon Burgette. “Instead. I think we were tired and fatigued.” The Blue Devils got a standout double-double performance from 6-8 Sevon Witt, who had game highs of 31 points and 13 rebounds although in foul trouble with four. Robert Rhodes, a 6-7 freshman from Park Hill South, just missed a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds as KCKCC dominated the rebounding 56-30 with 24 of the boards coming on the offensive end. Cody Dortch added nine points, Ezekiel Lopes eight points and six rebounds and Jalen Davis six points and five rebounds for the Blue Devils, who had just 12 turnovers to nine for Ellsworth. “Ellsworth couldn’t handles our bigs but our bigs couldn’t score around the basket,” said Burgette. Field goal shooting continued to be a problem. The Blue Devils were just 27-of-73 from the floor for 37.0 percent and a frigid 2-of-18 from 3-point (.111). “We’re in a rough patch struggling to score,” said Burgette. “We’re just not shooting the ball well anywhere on the floor. In the two days, we barely shot 30 percent from the field and less than 20 percent from 3-point. “Having 24 offensive rebounds and not scoring really hurts. We’re going to have to step up and make shots and make plays. It’s still early but we’ve got to figure out about us as a team and an identity. We have to stay together. “It’s a long road ahead of us. With two home games and then five more on the road, it doesn’t get any easier.” After Tuesday’s game at longtime rival Allen County in Iola, the Blue Devils finally get to play at home in the Keith Lindsey Classic. They’ll host another longtime foe in Cowley College Friday at 8 p.m. and North Central Missouri Saturday at 6 p.m.
  • Veteran Duo lead Blue Devils to 71-58 opening win
    November 07, 2019
    With a pair of veterans leading the way, Brandon Burgette got his first win as Kansas City Kansas Community College men’s basketball coach Tuesday. Sophomores Cody Dortch and Calvin Slaughter combined for 38 points in leading the Blue Devils to a season-opening 71-58 win over Washburn University’s JV in Topeka. A 6-2 sophomore guard from Paragould, Ark., Dortch drained 4-of-8 3-pointers on the way to a career high 21 points; Slaughter, last year’s leading scorer from Macon, Ga., had a double-double with 17 points and a game and career high 11 rebounds. Most importantly was when they got their career bests. Dortch had 18 of his 21 points in the second half; Slaughter had 11 points and seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes. Each also had three assists. Freshmen Jermaine Yarbough added 10 points and Robert Rhodes 11 rebounds and eight points in a game that had six lead changes and four ties before the Blue Devils closed with a 22-8 run. KCKCC trailed 50-49 before a 3-point goal by freshman Jaemaal Newson pushed the Blue Devils in front 52-50 with 5:59 left and Dortch and Slaughter took it from there, scoring KCKCC’s final 19 points. Two Dortch 3-pointers and a pair of free throws by Slaughter opened a 60-53 lead with three minutes left and Dortch sealed the win with his fourth 3-pointer and a pair of free throws. “Cody and Calvin showed some maturity and leadership in how poised they were,” said Burgette. “Washburn made a run with 13 minutes left but they never folded, attacking back and making shots and getting rebounds.” KCKCC surged to a 17-0 lead in the first 14½ minutes and led 31-21 at the half by holding the Ichabods to just five field goals in 25 attempts (.250). Meanwhile, the Blue Devils were 11-for-27 for 40.7 percent each half and 39.1 percent from 3-point for the contest. KCKCC had 17 turnovers, Washburn 19. “A typical opening game with first game jitters but I was proud of the way our guys competed,” said Burgette. “We jumped out with a 17-0 run and then they made their run with 13 minutes left. We had to battle through some adversity in figuring out our lineups but with our backs against the wall, we found a way to win. That’s a good Washburn JV team with a lot more experience.” The Blue Devils stay on the road this weekend when they’ll compete in the North Iowa Area Classic in Mason City. The Blue Devils will face host NIACC Friday at 5 p.m. and Ellsworth Saturday at 3 p.m. At Allen County Tuesday, KCKCC plays its opening home games in the Keith Lindsey Classic, hosting Cowley County on Friday, Nov. 15, and North Central Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 16
  • Burgette anxious to get Blue Devil Basketball under way
    September 04, 2019
    Less than three months on the job, one month from the first official practice and two months from the season opener, new Kansas City Kansas Community College men’s basketball coach Brandon Burgette is chomping at the bit. “I can’t wait to get to Oct. 1 and neither can our players,” says Burgette. “I like the pieces we have, pieces at each position with a lot of talent and experience.” Right now, NJCAA rules limit Burgette to conditioning, workouts with an eight hour a week time restriction, “We’re using the eight hours to get the guys into shape, to get them to know each other, to find out what we’re going to do and able to do and establish an identity.” Five sophomores return from last year’s 14-17 team and all five finished among the top eight scorers. To that group, Burgette has added three transfers and eight freshmen since his hiring June 5. With all five of his returning veterans playing the guard position, emphasis was put on size and netted six players ranging from 6-6 to 6-8 in height. The five returning guards combined to score 49.2 percent of the Blue Devils’ 2,102 points in 2018-19. Calvin Slaughter of Macon, Ga., led the way with a 9.8-point average followed by Jalen Davis of Houston (8.1) and assist leader Kelyn Bolton of SM East (6.3 points and 3.6 assists). The team’s top two 3-point shooters round out the quintet. Taylor Turner of Albuquerque, N.M., who had 10 3-pointers in a single game last year, had 48 treys for the season while averaging 6.2 points; Cody Dortch of Paragould, Ark., averaged 5.5 points while notching 46 3-pointers. Added experience will come from a pair of 6-8 transfers, Sevon Witt of Raytown South who averaged 7.1 points and 3.2 rebounds at Washburn University; and Caleb McCray Jones of Raytown South, who averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds at Colby Community College. A third transfer, 6-1 guard Ezekiel Lopes of Bishop Miege, was a redshirt freshman at Coffeyville and has two years of eligibility remaining. Two KCK prospects are among the eight freshmen, 5-9 guard Deangelo Bell from JC Harmon and 6-6 forward Tyione Gilmore of FL Schlagle, along with Missouri area grads 6-8 forward Jermaine Yarbough of Grandview, 6-7 Robert Rhodes of Park Hill South and 6-0 guard Deron McDaniel of Next Level Prep in Wichita, KS. They are joined by Marquise Walker, a 6-0 guard from Chicago; 6-6 forward Timothy Barbieri of Abilene and 6-5 Jaemaal Newson of Bradenton, Fla. “A good foundation with experience from our returners and transfers,” says Burgette. “We’re obviously deep at the guard position but with the new recruits, we’ve added some big, long athletes who can not only protect the rim but finish above it. We’ve also got a lot of versatility, multiple guys who can play multiple positions.” Burgette said fans can expect fast paced Blue Devil basketball. “We want to push the tempo and play fast but under control. We’ll also press for 40 minutes to try to make teams turn the ball over which gives us opportunities to score off transition in the half court. Depth will be a strength. We have a lot of depth 1 through 15 and any one of several players who can lead us in scoring any given night.”