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JCCC's chance at a conference title comes up short

Paige Elston signed to play at Arkansas Forth Smith next year
Paige Elston signed to play at Arkansas Forth Smith next year

OVERAND PARK, Kan. –Johnson County Community College women's basketball team's bid to force a four-way tie for first place in the Kansas Jayhawk Division II Conference race came up four points short, as the ninth-ranked Lady Cavaliers fell 64-60 to No 4 Kansas City Kansas Community College Saturday afternoon at Kansas City, Kan.

With the loss, Johnson County (26-4) drops to fourth place in the conference standings with a 6-4 record. The Blue Devils finished 8-2 in conference play to win their first D-II title and fourth in team history. 

Johnson County trailed a majority of the game, taking the lead only twice, both times in the second quarter. JCCC led for the first time at the 9:13 mark, 21-20, then again with 1:41 to pay in the second at 29-28. 

Kansas City Kansas built its largest lead of 10 points, 50-40, with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Lady Cavaliers managed to chip away at that deficit and even cut the lead to two points with 15 seconds to play, two free throws by Lexy Watts gave KCKCC the margin they needed to hold of Johnson County's upset bid. 

Sophomore guard Paige Elston led all scorers with 18 points. She was 8-of-18 shooting and 2-of-3 at the free throw line. She also contributed three rebounds, three steals and an assist. 

Sophomore guard Jacionna Stowers also finished in double figures scoring with 11. She was 4-of-13 from the field and 3-of-9 from 3-point range. Stowers now has 87 made 3-point baskets this season and 182 for her career. He 87 treys rank 6th in the NJCAA and lead the conference. Her 182 career made long range shots rank second all-time at JCCC and she is just eight shy of setting a new career standard. 

The Lady Cavaliers leading scorer on the season, freshman KK Jackson-Morris, was held to just six points. 

Nija Collier led KCKCC with 15 points, followed by Kisi Young and Lillie Moore with 11 and 10 respectively. 

Region VI Women's Division II Playoff Schedule

Wednesday, Feb. 27

No. 5 Fort Scott (16-10) at No. 4 Johnson County (26-4)
No. 6 Hesston (4-14) at No. 3 Labette (20-10) 

Saturday, March 2

(No. 5/4) Fort Scott/Johnson County winner at No. 1 Kansas City Kansas (26-4)
(No. 6/3) Hesston/Labette winner at No. 2 Highland  (23-4) 

Tuesday, March 5

Region VI D-II Championship at Hartman Arena, Park City, Kan.