By STEVE CARPENTER - Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team's 13th-straight Region VI Tournament quarterfinal victory featured a couple of career highs by sophomore Tor'e Alford and two single-game school records going down.
The Blue Dragons used a school-record 18 3-pointers to defeat the Cowley Tigers 84-64 on Wednesday at the Sports Arena to advance to Friday's Region VI semifinals. The top-seeded Blue Dragons (19-4) will play Independence (18-6), which defeated Seward County on Wednesday in Independence.
That game will be played at Noon on Friday at Friends University in Wichita.
Hutchinson hit 18 of 36 3-point attempts against the Tigers, who finish their season at 15-8. The 18 3-pointers break the 2015 record of 16 3-pointers against Neosho County on November 30, 2015 and tied this season against the Bethany College JV on opening night back on January 22.
Six different Blue Dragons hit 3-pointers against Cowley with a career-high eight treys in 10 attempts from Alford, who also finished with a career-high 26 points to lead Hutchinson. This was Alford's ninth career game with four or more 3-pointers in a single game.
The other Blue Dragon single-game record to fall came from freshman K.K. Adams, who dished out a record 15 assists. That broke the 1988 record of Staci Unruh of 14 assists, which was tied by Inja Butina in 2016. The Blue Dragons had 27 assists on 31 makes on Wednesday, which tied a team season high.
Kalyn Ervin had a career-high four 3-pointers for the second-straight game to finish with 14 points for the Blue Dragons. Ishante Suttington was the third Dragon to score in double figures with 12. Nafatoumata Haidara had nine points.
The Blue Dragons shot 49.3 percent for the game (31 of 63) overall and 4 of 8 from the free-throw line. The Dragons were out-rebounded 37-33, but limited their turnovers to 11.
The Tigers shot 38.9 percent from the floor (21 of 54) for the game. Cowley hit 11 of 18 shots in the first half, but was limited to 10 of 36 overall in the final two quarters.
Held to two points in the regular-season matchup against the Blue Dragons, Seanna Boltz hit four 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 18 points to lead Cowley. Baylee Fincher and Martyna Kowalska had nine points each.
The Tigers were 6 of 16 from 3-point range and 16 of 26 from the free-throw line.
The Blue Dragons hit five first-quarter 3-pointers to build a 23-15 lead after 10 minutes. Hutchinson had a 10-point lead in the opening period when Alford nailed a 3 for a 23-13 lead with 1:15 to play. The Tigers stayed close with seven free throws in the first quarter.
The Tigers outscored Hutchinson 9-2 over the first 3:42 of the second quarter and pulled within 25-24 after a Fincher free throw with 6:18 remaining in the period. Lojong Gore followed with a 3-pointer and Alford added three more treys in a 12-2 Dragon run over the next 2 minutes, 55 seconds for a 37-26 lead. Cherrelle Newsom joined in with a trey for a 40-29 lead. The Blue Dragons led 43-34 at halftime.
The Dragons hit five more 3-pointers in a 22-12 third period. The Dragons led 65-46 after three quarters. Hutchinson's largest lead was 31 points in the fourth quarter.
GAME NOTES: The Blue Dragons are now 7-6 against Cowley in 13 postseason meetings and 28-23 all-time against the Tigers. … The Blue Dragons are now 63-36 all-time in the Region VI Tournament, including 19-16 in the quarterfinal round. … The 84 points scored are the most Hutchinson has scored against Cowley in a Region VI Tournament game. … Blue Dragon head coach John Ontjes breaks a tie with Cowley coach Todd Clark on the all-time KJCCC coaching wins' list. Ontjes now has 394 wins to Clark's 393. Ontjes is fourth on the all-time league coaching list. … This was the second game of 10 or more 3-pointers by the Blue Dragons. … The four made free throws tied a season low for the Dragons. … The Dragons are now 5-3 in games where they are out-rebounded. … This was Hutch's seven game scoring 80 or more points.