LADY BLUE DEVILS TOP FIVE IN NATION FOR A REASON: LABETTE COACH

LADY BLUE DEVILS TOP FIVE IN NATION FOR A REASON: LABETTE COACH

LADY BLUE DEVILS TOP FIVE IN NATION FOR A REASON: LABETTE COACH

                Kansas City Kansas Community College wasted no time in living up to its new No. 5 ranking in the NJCAA Division women's basketball poll Wednesday by cruising to a 74-47 win over Labette at Parsons.

            The win, the Blue Devils' sixth in a row, boosted their overall record to 22-2, a league-leading 8-1 record in the Jayhawk Conference and kept them perfect at 7-0 atop the Region VI Division II standings. Meanwhile, Johnson County, which fell to No. 6 in the latest Division II rankings, dropped its second game in a row at Coffeyville 55-53.

            "It was clear from the get-go that the Lady Blue Devils were the superior team as they raced out to a double-digit lead before the media timeout midway through the first half," wrote Sean Frye in the Parsons Sun. "By halftime, KCKCC was up 44-25 thanks largely in part to 16 points from Cierra Gaines. The Blue Devils essentially went on cruise control the second half, playing a platoon of subs while maintaining their lead despite an at time feisty Lady Cardinals squad."

            "Kansas City Kansas is top five in the nation for a reason," said Labette head coach Anna Nimz. "They have incredible athleticism and they came ready to play tonight. We did a nice job possession by possession but lost our consistency and didn't quite have it tonight."

            Gaines, who was 7 of 9 from the field, led four Blue Devils in double figures with 16 points while Cheyenne North turned a double double with 13 points and a game high 10 rebounds. Janai Mitchell added 14 and Julia Garrard turned in a near double double with 11 points and eight rebounds. Cassidy Harbert led in assists with five and collected seven rebounds.

            KCKCC built the 44-25 halftime lead on 57.5 per cent shooting but was only 3 of 14 from 3-point for the game (21.4 percent).

            "Another good road win, especially after playing three in a row," said KCKCC Coach Valerie Stambersky. "We're getting better – but still have a lot of things we need to improve."

            The game ended a three-game road trip for the Blue Devils, who are home against Fort Scott Saturday at 2 p.m. and again next Wednesday against Hesston at 5 p.m.