Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Not only has Kansas City Kansas Community College become a fixture in the NJCAA Division II national women’S basketball rankings, Lady Blue Devil players are attaining state and national recognition.
Freshman forward Iland Shurn was chosen both National Division II Player of the Week and Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (NJCCC) Player of the Week for her play in wins over Southeast Nebraska and Allen County after sophomore forward Bailey West had been selected NJCCC Player of the Week for her performance against Cottey College.
Ranked No. 8 in the latest NJCAA poll, the Lady Blue Devils (16-2) are home Friday against Westminster at 5 p.m. (men at 7 p.m.) and again Monday against Benedictine JV at 6 p.m. before beginning Division II Conference play at No. 2 ranked Johnson County (17-0) on Wednesday and at No. 5 ranked Highland (18-1) a week from Saturday, Jan. 25.
Shurn, a Raytown native who played high school basketball at Bishop Miege, earned national Player of the Week honors by stepping front and center when the Lady Blue Devils needed it most, scoring the game’s two biggest field goals in the final minutes of a 59-52 win over Southeast Nebraska. Southeast had closed to 50-48 before Shurn converted a 3-point play for a 53-48 lead with 2:13 left. Kalah Jiggetts’ two free throws made it 55-48 but Southeast again closed to 55-52 before Shurn scored again with 45 seconds left.
Hitting 9-of-11 shots from the floor, Iland finished with career highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds. “Iland played out of her mind,” said KCKCC Coach Valerie Stambersky. “She was phenomenal, the best game of her career.” Shurn has since followed up with 15 points and 7 rebounds in an 80-46 win at Allen County and 22 points and 10 rebounds in an 83-75 loss to Wentworth Military Academy. KCKCC’s most accurate shooter, Shurn is shooting 54.9 percent from the field while averaging 8.6 points and 6.9 rebounds.
A 5-11 forward from Omaha Burke High School, West earned NJCCC Player of the Week honors by hitting 5-of-8 three-point shots on the way to scoring 17 points, grabbing seven rebounds and handing out five assists in a 79-60 win over Cottey. Averaging 7.9 points and 5.2 rebounds, West has since scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds at Allen County and had a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Wentworth.