For the first time this season, Kansas City Kansas Community basketball coach Brandon Burgette could relax in the closing minutes of a Blue Devil game Thursday night.
Getting big production from a deep bench and shooting 53.9 percent from the field, the Blue Devils built leads of up to 28 points in a 99-73 win over Park University's developmental team. The win evened KCKCC's record at 2-2 in a season that has seen the first three games decided in the final minute and in two cases, the final seconds.
The Blue Devils are right back in action tonight, playing William Penn's JV at 7:30 p.m. in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The KCKCC women's team will also play William Penn at 5:30 p.m. and both games will be streamed on the William Penn website.
The one-sided win enabled Burgette to get a lot of production from a bench that provided nearly half (47 points) of the Blue Devil scoring and 16 of 23 assists. All 12 Blue Devils in uniform saw a least 11 minutes of action and 11 scored, 11 had assists and 10 had rebounds.
Five Blue Devils scored in double figures led by sophomores Jermaine Yarbough, who had a career high 22 points and seven rebounds, and Caleb Jones, who had another double with 13 points and a game high 10 rebounds. Freshman Don'vae Ferguson just missed a double double with 14 points and 9 rebounds, both career highs; Deron McDaniel added 15 points, and Bryce Johnson 14 points in just 11 minutes. Basehor-Linwood freshman Conner Younger led in assists with five; Trey Bates had four and Ezekiel Lyons three and seven points, all off the bench.
Guilty of a dozen first half turnovers (16 total), the Blue Devils led only 25-20 midway through the first half. McDaniel scored nine of KCKCC's first 17 points to get the lead before Yarbough almost single handedly broke the game open, scoring 10 straight points on two layups and two 3-pointers to expand the lead to 35-22. The Blue Devils led 48-20 at halftime.
"I think we let our guard down early," said Burgette. "We have to come prepared no matter who we play and understand we have to compete and guard the right way. A good game, we are still learning and progressing. These games are getting us moving in the right direction."