Kansas City Kansas Community College women got the 2017 Jayhawk Conference basketball season off to an impressive start Tuesday.
Despite playing their second game in two days and still without leading scorer Brie Tauai, the Lady Blue Devils led virtually from start to finish in a 78-44 win at Hesston.
The Blue Devils, who improved to 11-5, are right back in action today, hosting Washburn's JVs at 5:30 p.m. and again Saturday when they will entertain Brown Mackie at 2 p.m. Men's games will follow both days.
For the second game in a row, the Blue Devils got a pair of double-doubles. Brooklyn Wagler led all scorers with 21 points and corralled 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double while Ky'Ana French had her second in two days, scoring 14 points and hauling down 10 rebounds. The Blue Devils also got double digit scoring from Kayla Horn, who had 12 points, and Millie Shade 10. It was Shade's first game of the new year after missing the first two because of injury.
Rebounding domination and aggressive defensive play enabled the Blue Devils to take control of the contest from the start. Aided by nine rebounds from Kyliea Jarrett, KCKCC controlled the rebounding 45-27 and led by guards Horn and Valencia Scott, forced the Larks into 26 turnovers that led to 26 points. Horn led with five steals while Scott added four and Aeriel Holiday three.
"Very happy with our effort; a great way to start Region play," said KCKCC Coach Joe McKinstry. "Hesston is a much improvedI thought our energy led to our outstanding rebound numbers and to some easy transition baskets and second chance opportunities. On nights when you don't shoot the ball well (37.0 percent), rebounding and forcing turnovers can make up for your shooting percentage and that's what happened tonight.
KCKCC trailed only once in the opening minutes on the way to a 19-10 first quarter lead and widened it to 42-20 at halftime.