Veteran Duo lead Blue Devils to 71-58 opening win

Veteran Duo lead Blue Devils to 71-58 opening win

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