The Kansas City Kansas Community College women’s basketball team dethroned the defending national champions Thursday.
The Blue Devils beat previously undefeated Johnson County 63-56 in the NJCAA Division II, Region VI title game at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kan. Kansas City Kansas, 29-3, lost two of its three regular-season games against the Cavaliers, 31-1, the No. 1-ranked team from wire-to-wire this season.
KCK trailed 32-29 at halftime and 48-47 with 9 minutes, 8 seconds to play after Johnson County’s Shaleia Jamison made a three-pointer. But the Blue Devils closed the game on a 16-8 run with Cheyenne North scoring eight of her 14 points. North grabbed 11 rebounds, finishing with a double-double. Aricca Daye led the Blue Devils with 14 points and Brooklyn Wagler grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
Johnson County, 31-1, forced 18 turnovers but shot only 29.2 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from the free-throw line. Erica Nelson led the Cavaliers with 14 points.
It was the second straight strong finish by the Blue Devils, who closed out a 54-50 Region VI semifinal victory over No. 4 Highland with a 20-5 run. KCK advances to the NJCAA Division II tournament, which runs March 15-19 at Johnson County Community College. Seeds for the national tournament will be announced Tuesday.
Third-seeded Fort Hays State beat No. 6 seed Missouri Southern 79-65 in the first of four Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association women’s basketball quarterfinals Thursday at Municipal Auditorium. The Tigers, who opened the second half on an 11-0 run, will face No. 2 seed Pittsburg State, which beat 10th-seeded Central Missouri 78-68, at noon Saturday in the semifinals.
Top-seeded Missouri Western beat Nebraska-Kearney 64-53 on Thursday night and will play No 3 seed Emporia State, which beat Central Oklahoma 65-54.
Rockhurst lost 87-55 to Drury in the quarterfinal round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference women’s basketball tournament Thursday in St. Charles, Mo. The seventh-seeded Hawks, 15-13, fell behind 17-0 and 51-15 at halftime, shooting 14.8 percent from the field, before shooting 43.8 percent in the second half.
No. 2 seed Drury, 24-3, had five players score in double figures, led by senior guard Annie Armstrong’s 16 points.
No. 5 seed Truman State lost at No. 4 seed Quincy (Ill.) 62-49.
▪ Rockhurst junior guard Mary Dineen was voted all-league. She led the Hawks in scoring at 18.6 points per game, which ranks third in the conference. Two Drury players also made the first team, Armstrong and junior guard Alice Heinzler.
Rockhurst senior forward Jillian Myers, who averaged 1.15 blocks per game, was the league’s defensive player of the year.
Rockhurst men’s player all-league
Rockhurst’s Dominique Washington became the first Hawks men’s basketball player since 2010 to receive all-conference first-team honors.
Washington, a senior center from Kansas City, was chosen to the All-Great Lakes Valley first team after leading Rockhurst in scoring at 18.0 points per game. He was joined on the first team by Drury senior guard Kameron Bundy and sophomore guard Tevin Foster and Truman State University junior guard Cory Myers.
Rockhurst senior guard John Burke made the all-defensive team.