ACCC teams gear up for conference

Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Sophomore Andra Bailey (33) leads Allen County Community College and the Jayhawk Conference in rebounding, plus is 12th in the conference scoring ranks.
Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Freshman Breanna Shaw (11) leads Allen County Community College’s women and the Jayhawk Conference in scoring, averaging 22 points a game.

Bright and early this morning, Allen County Community College’s men opened the 2010 Kansas
Jayhawk Community College Conference’ Jayhawk Shoot-Out. This weekend’s showcase of Kansas community college basketball teams — men and women — runs through Sunday at Coffeyville.
Allen County Community College’s men played Northeastern Oklahoma A&M of Miami, Okla., at 9 this morning. The ACCC women open Shoot-Out play against NEO at 9 tonight.
“We’re looking forward to playing in the Shoot-Out,” said Mike Hayes, ACCC men’s head coach. The Red Devil men went 6-5 before the Christmas break. That included a 1-1 Jayhawk Eastern Division mark.
“You never know how teams will be coming off the long holiday break. Having the Shoot-Out now gives us a chance to see all the teams in the conference play before we get into the teeth of our conference season.”
For Red Devil women’s head coach Andy Hamilton, the first semester of basketball was a learning process. The ACCC women — all freshman but one — went 6-6 in November and December. They were 0-2 in Jayhawk East action.
“This is a group of hard working young ladies and they are a fun group to be around. We’re young and we have to go through growing pains,” Hamilton said. “Coming back off break, there’s a renewed excitement and enthusiasm.
“We know we have two very tough tests this weekend in the Shoot-Out with NEO and Cloud County.”
When the ACCC players returned to campus after Christmas, both men and women had two-a-day practices. Hayes said the Red Devil men were stiff and sore trying to get back into playing condition. Hamilton said the Red Devil women have worked hard this week to prepare for the tough conference stretch.
The Jayhawk Shoot-Out hosted by Coffeyville Community College is a tune-up to the grind of Jayhawk Conference play in January and February. This is the first season for the Shoot-Out in January. It has usually been held in December.
“Everything we do in November and December gets us focused and pointed toward conference play,” Hayes said. “We had two tough road games in the conference last semester and were fortunate to come out with a split.”
The Red Devil men have five players averaging in double-digit scoring. Freshman Keevis Tukes, a 6-3 forward, is 11th in the conference scoring ranks, averaging 15 points. He is second in the conference in three-point shooting, 30 of 57 for 53 percent.
Andra Bailey, a 6-4 sophomore, is the conference’s and the team’s leading rebounder. He averages 14 rebounds and almost 15 points a game for ACCC. He leads Allen County in steals with 42, which is second in the conference.
Sophomore point guard Anthony Clagett is fourth in the conference in assists, 60, plus averages 11.7 points a game. 6-5 freshman Erik Law averages 12 points a game while 5-11 sophomore guard Aaron Jackson is at 11 points a game. Jackson shoots 39 percent from three-point range.
Sophomore Dennis Rumph, 6-6, has 19 blocked shots, fourth in the conference, and is Allen County’s second-leading rebounder with 91.
Sophomore Chris Lee should be full strength this semester after being hampered with knee and finger injuries before the break.
“We’re excited about the challenge of our conference games. We’ve already played two of our nine road games but we have to win at home,” Hayes said.
The Red Devils were 5-3 at home before Christmas. Hayes said he’d like to see his team shoot the ball better, from the field and from the free-throw line.
Allen County shot just 59 percent from the line in its first 11 games. It was shooting 48 percent from the field but holding opponents to 46.5 percent. The Red Devils have outrebounded opponents 473 to 366.
Allen County’s women feature the Jayhawk Conference leading scorer in 6-foot forward Breanna Shaw. Shaw averages 22.4 points a game for the Red Devil women.
Shaw has scored 30 points in a game twice this season plus is in the conference’s top 10 as a three-point shooter. She shoots 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Dysyan Malone, a 5-9 freshman, averages 16 points and almost nine rebounds a game for the Red Devil women.
Allen County gains the services of 5-10 freshman Danielle Best, who became eligible this semester.
“With Danielle’s ability to shoot the ball, it will help stretch defenses. She’s an excellent shooter,” said Hamilton, whose team averaged 70 points a game in its first 12 games.
Hamilton said he dismissed freshman point guard Lacey Thomas, who led the team in assists, from the team at the end of the first semester.
Thomas and freshman Miranda Mock did not return following the break.
“We’ll do point guard by committee. Maurissa Shaffer (5-5 freshman) will start at point for us,” Hamilton said. “We also have a 6-2 transfer player, Mariah El Amin, who isn’t eligible but will help us get better by practicing with us. She transferred from Garden City.”