Baldwin’s Kivett gains honors
OVERLAND PARK -- At tournament time in basketball, players look to elevate their level of play, hoping to make a difference and help their team extend its season. The player that fit that role for the Johnson County Community College womens basketball team this postseason was sophomore guard Colleen Kivett.
The Baldwin City native averaged 13.3 points per game, which led her team. She led all players in the tournament in field goal percentage (.700, 14-of-20) and free throw percentage (1.000, 8-of-8), and was second in 3-point field goal percentage (.800, 4-of-5). She also averaged six rebounds. Her efforts fueled the JCCC team to a seventh-place finish in the tournament.
Kivett's performance was no surprise to JCCC head coach Debbie Carrier. In fact, she told her she needed shoot the ball more prior to the start of the national tournament.
"I asked the team before the tournament if they knew who had the best shooting percentage on the team, and it was Colleen," said Carrier. "We need her to be shooting more."
Carrier said Kivett's deadly shooting is a result of her countless hours before and after practices working on her game.
"Over her two years here, Colleen stays after and comes before (practice) more than any player I've coached," said Carrier. "Her dedication and work ethic really paid off for her. It just doesn't happen by accident."
Kivett scored seven points in JCCC's opening-round loss to Owens Community College (Ohio). Owens trailed the entire game, except the final 13 seconds, and came away with a three-point win over tournament host Johnson County, 62-59. The Cavaliers let a 13-point second-half lead slip away, as Owens' center Nicole Brown began to find room in the paint. Brown scored a game-high 23 points and hauled down 15 rebounds to lead the Express to the
come-from-behind win. JCCC was led by freshman center Danielle Riekeberg, who finished with 14 points and seven blocked shots. Sophomore Amanda Koetting added 13 points.
Just hours after Johnson County blew that 13-point lead in the loss to Owens, the Cavaliers bounced back with an 82-68 victory, sending CC of Rhode Island home. Starters Laura Reeves and Liz Burks and reserves Kivett and Riekeberg powered the tournament hosts to the victory, and a chance to finish seventh in the country. Reeves, who led JCCC with 16 points, also had eight rebounds and four steals. Burks finished with 13 points, and had eight assists with just two turnovers. Kivett and Riekeberg came in off the bench to pour in 15 points each. They also added six and five rebounds,
respectively. CC of Rhode Island was led by Rebecca Haynes, who finished with a game-high 24 points.
Fueled by a 10-0 run to start the game, Johnson County built a 31-point lead by halftime, and cruised to a 91-55 victory in the finals of the consolation bracket, placing the Cavaliers seventh in the country. All 10 JCCC players scored in the first half, led by sophomore Maegan Pulse's 10-points.
Six JCCC players finished the game scoring in double figures, led by Kivett, who finished with a game-high 18 points. That total was also her best effort as a collegiate player. She also led the team with nine rebounds.
Also in double figures for JCCC were Pulse with 15, Burks with 12, Laura Reeves and Chelsea Campbell with 11 each, and Riekeberg with 10. Kankakee, which shot just 13 percent in the nightmarish first half, had just one player in double figures. Sophomore guard Kara Rewerts finished with 12
However, Kivett's hot play was not just confined to the national tournament. She was the team's leader the entire postseason. She averaged 13.8 points in five postseason games, and shot an amazing 74 percent. From 3-point range she was even better, hitting 7-of-9 shots for 78 percent, and she was a perfect 16-of-16 from the line.
Kivett poured in 13 in JCCC's 79-54 win against Hesston in the Region VI Championship, then followed with 16 points in the Cavaliers' 105-82 win over nationally ranked Redlands in the
District B Championship, advancing JCCC to its fourth national tournament in five years.
Kivett finished the year averaging 7.0 points, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 81 percent from the line. In addition to her national all-tournament honor, she was named to the Region VI and District B All-Tournament teams.