Kansas City Kansas Community College's young women's basketball team turned in a "Jekyll and Dr. Hyde" performance in a 95-78 win over Park University's Developmental team Tuesday.
On one hand, the Blue Devils forced 21 turnovers, many of which came off a dozen steals that were turned into easy breakaway layups and accounted for at least a third of the KCKCC offense.
But the Blue Devils were also outscored 49-48 in a second half that saw the Lady Pirates knock down 18 of 35 shots for 51.4 percent shooting, easily the most points given up in any half this season.
"Disappointing," said KCKCC Coach Joe McKinstry. "This was not a performance that is reflective of what this program is about. Our effort of defensive and offensive execution is going to get us beat on most nights. It's simply inexcusable."
The Blue Devils had 18 turnovers and although the easy transition baskets enabled them to shoot 50.7 percent (38-of-75) from the field, they were just 9-of-34 for a chilly 26.5 percent from 3-point and 10-of-22 (.455) from the foul line. "We were sloppy and undetailed and those are things we specifically watched on film from our loss this past weekend and that we wanted to correct," said McKinstry.
On the plus side, the Blue Devils got a career high 24 points from their lone veteran, 5-6 guard Brodi Byrd, who was 10-of-15 from the field including 4-of-7 treys. She also led in steals with five, shared the rebounding lead with six and handed out five assists. Byrd provided the shot of the game, a mid-court 45-footer at the buzzer that helped KCKCC expand a 16-14 lead to 23-14 after one quarter. The Blue Devils were in front 47-29 at the half.
Freshman Alieyya Jones had her best night with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and Kamryn Estell had five assists and four rebounds to go along with 12 points. Nine of 10 Blue Devils had at least five points with Adoreya Williams adding 9, Tiaira Earnest 8 and Jada Mayberry 7.
"It feels good to be 5-1 at this point but we know we have to get better if we want to put ourselves in position to compete at the end of the season," said McKinstry.
The Blue Devils are home for the last time in November this weekend when they host Southwestern Iowa (3-3) Friday at 6 p.m. and North Central Missouri (4-2) Saturday at 4 p.m. in the annual Keith Lindsey Classic. The KCKCC men will play Cowley College Friday at 8 p.m. and North Central Missouri Saturday at 6 p.m. The tournament schedule:
FRIDAY – Fort Scott women vs. North Central Missouri, 2 p.m.; Labette men vs. North Central Missouri, 4 p.m.; KCKCC women vs. Southwestern (Iowa), 6 p.m.; KCKCC men vs. Cowley, 8 p.m.
SATURDAY – Fort Scott women vs. Southwestern, noon; Labette men vs. Cowley, 2 p.m.; KCKCC women vs. North Central Missouri, 4 p.m.; KCKCC men vs. North Central Missouri, 6 p.m.