2019 KJCCC Women's Basketball All-Conference Teams
Divisional champions Butler in the East and Seward in the West each had a pair of first-team selections on the 2018-19 All-Jayhawk Conference teams that were announced Friday afternoon.
Seward swept major honors on the West, while three schools shared major honors in the East. PDF of selections - https://kjccc.org/sports/wbkb/2018-19/2019_Awards
Player of the Year (West) – Silvia Veloso, Seward
Veloso earned not only Player of the Year honors, but also Defensive Player of the Year as well. She started 31 games, averaging 31.6 minutes per contest. She led Seward with 13.6 points per game, making 51 percent of her shot attempts. She also averaged 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.6 steals per contest and blocked 20 shots on the season. She scored in double figures in 25 games with a high of 26 at Independence on Jan. 9.
Player of the Year (East) – Kedranae' Addison, Cowley
Addison led the Jayhawk Conference in scoring with 394 points in conference games, an average of 19.7 per contest. She had 25 games in double figures, including a season-high 41 in an overtime loss to East champion Butler. She also poured in 33 against Cloud and 37 at Allen in back-to-back games. She made 42 percent of her shots from 3-point range.
Defensive Player of the Year (East) – Fatarah Kinnard, Independence
Kinnard led an Independence defense that held its opponents to just 59 points a game. She ranked sixth in the Jayhawk Conference in steals with 72, all while averaging less than two fouls per game for the season.
Freshman of the Year (West) – Aquila Mucubaquire, Seward
Mucubaquire made an impact for the Saints, starting 24 of the 33 games she played in. She averaged 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds with 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. She scored in double figures in 12 games with a season-high 24 points in a win over Cowley on Dec. 12.
Freshman of the Year (East) – Brittany Reeves, Independence
Reeves, a 6-foot-5 center from Macon, Ga., averaged 12.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for Independence, ranking her 16th in scoring and 11th in rebounding among all players in the KJCCC. Her biggest impact may have come protecting the rim, as she had 44 blocked shots on the season, which was four best in the league.
Coach of the Year (West) – Austin Mefford, Seward
In his first season in Liberal, Austin Mefford led Seward to an undisputed Jayhawk West Conference championship. Seward (30-3, 19-1 KJCCC) lost its conference opener to Butler then reeled off 24 straight wins, earning a No. 2 national ranking at the end of the regular season.
Coach of the Year (East) – Todd Clark, Cowley; Leslie Crane, Independence; Mike Helmer, Butler
Three coaches shared the honor. Todd Clark of Cowley, Leslie Crane of Independence and Mike Helmer of Butler. Helmer, in his 11th season, led Butler to the East championship, going 16-4 in KJCCC play (28-4 overall) and then leading his team to its first-ever Region VI title. Clark's Cowley team finished second at 24-8 overall (14-6 KJCCC) in his 15th season with the Tigers, while Crane led Independence to a 19-10 mark and a third-place finish in the East at 19-10 (13-7 KJCCC)
All-Conference (West) – In addition to Veloso, Seward also placed Carla Covane on the first team. Hutchinson, which went 18-2 in Jayhawk Conference play and finished as league runner-up to Seward, also had a pair of first-team selections in Dejanae Roebuck and Jada Mickens. Jaylin Stapleton from Barton rounded out the first team. Seward had five players named either first-team, second-team or honorable mention.
All-Conference (East) – Players from five teams from the East made the first team. Kyla Callins and Jalise Smallwood from Butler represented the division champions. They were joined by Addison from Cowley and Reeves of Independence as well as Scout Frame (Cloud County) and Kelcey Hinz (Neosho County). Butler and Independence each had four players earn all-conference accolades either as first-team, second-team or honorable mention.
DIVISION II WOMEN'S ALL-CONFERENCE - KCK'S COLLIER, McKINSTRY NAIL DOWN TOP LEAGUE D-II HONORS
By Steve Carpenter
KJCCC Women's Division II Sports Information Chairperson
In a season where four KJCCC Division II teams were ranked in the NJCAA Top 10 for most of the season, The Kansas City Blue Devils were head and shoulders above them all in 2019.
The Blue Devils won the KJCCC Division II regular-season championship and captured their second Region VI championship in four seasons.
Leading the way this season was sophomore Nija Collier and guiding the Blue Devils as fourth-year head coach Joe McKinstry – who on Friday were named the KJCCC Division I Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Also honored on Friday were Highland's Tiana Gipson, the league's Freshman of the Year, and Labette's Upe Atosu, the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – NIJA COLLIER, Kansas City
Nija Collier is a 6-foot sophomore from Roseville, Arkansas. She won the league's top award primarily coming off the bench, only starting in 5 of 32 games played this season.
She was the KJCCC Division II's second-leading scorer at 17.2 points per game. She ranked second in field-goal percentage at 59.8 percent (12th in the NJCAA), second in free-throw percentage at 80.2 percent and was second in rebounding at 9.8 boards per game.
Collier registered 14 games of 20 or more points this season with a season-high 31 against North Central Missouri. She had 20 games of 10 or more rebounds with a season-high of 18, also against North Central Missouri and against the St. Mary's University JV. Collier recorded 17 double-doubles this season.
COACH OF THE YEAR – JOE MCKINSTRY, Kansas City
The four-year coach of the Blue Devils, Joe McKinstry won his first KJCCC Coach of the Year award after traversing the toughest KJCCC Division II season in history.
Kansas City, Highland, Johnson County and Labette all resided in The NJCAA Division II Top 10 this season. McKinstry guided the Blue Devils to a 28-4 overall record and an 8-2 mark in league play.
McKinstry's 2019 Blue Devils led the league in scoring offense (89.9 points per game) and Kansas City was the top 3-point shooting team statistically at 34.3 percent.
The difference in 2019 was the Blue Devils' ability to win close games. In the league regular season and Region VI Tournament, Kansas City was 6-2 in games decided by nine points or less.
McKinstry is now 101-31 in four seasons at Kansas City with the NJCAA Division II Tournament still to come.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – TIANA GIPSON, Highland
Guard Tiana Gipson averaged 13.1 points per game while shooting 49.8 percent overall and 43.9 percent from 3-point range. The freshman from Lee's Summit, Missouri had a five-game stretch late in the season where she averaged 23.8 points per game with a career-best 38 points on 10 of 15 3-point shooting against Fort Scott.
Gipson was also fifth in the league in assists (82) and fourth in the league in steals (51). Her scoring average was ninth best in KJCCC Division II this season.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – UPE ATOSU, Labette
A 5-9 freshman from Lagos, Nigeria, Upe Atosu didn't see her first action of the season until January 23 against Kansas City. In 12 games, Atosu averaged 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. She scored 15.3 points per game.