Saturday, March 2, 2019
PARK CITY – The No. 8-ranked Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team won its 11th-consecutive Region VI Tournament quarterfinal on Saturday, but had to grind to get there.
The Blue Dragons jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first half and then withstood an Independence comeback to eliminate the Pirates 74-62 at Hartman Arena.
The Blue Dragons, now 30-2, will play the Butler/Pratt winner at 1 p.m. on Monday in the semifinals. Hutchinson snaps Independence's 11-game winning streak. The Pirates end their season at 19-10.
Hutchinson reached the 30-win plateau for the seventh time, all under head coach John Ontjes. The 2018-19 Blue Dragons tie the 2010-11 team for the sixth-most wins in program history.
Playing Independence in the Region VI Tournament for the 10th time in 12 seasons, the Blue Dragons raced out to a 27-12 lead with 7:18 to play in the second quarter after a Dejanae Roebuck free throw. Hutchinson went the next 4 minutes, 26 seconds with only one point as Indy cut the lead to 28-20.
The Blue Dragons were only 3 of 12 shooting in the second quarter and saw an 11-point lead after one quarter dwindle to 32-26 at halftime.
Indy got a 3-pointer from Jessica Goodluck with 7:49 to play to cut the Dragon lead to 35-31. Jada Mickens knocked down a 3-pointer for a seven-point lead with 7:11 to play. Indy later pulled within 40-38 when Vannett nailed her third 3-pointer of the game. That gave Hutch a 43-38 lead with 3:07 to play in the third.
That 3-pointer was Vannett's 75th trey of the season, which ties her with Tessa Morrow and Wendy Fehrenbach for ninth on the single-season 3-point list and ties Morrow for third on the freshman 3-point list.
With the Dragon in foul trouble, Makayla Johnson came up big late in the third quarter. Leading 47-43, Johnson converted a three-point play with 26 seconds left in the quarter. Then Abby Ogle's had a three-point play 3 seconds to play to give the Dragons a 53-43 lead after three quarters.
The closest Independence got in the fourth quarter was eight points.
Vannett and Roebuck scored 17 points each to lead the Blue Dragons. Roebuck was 6 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line. Vannett hit 3 of 7 3-pointers.
The Blue Dragons finished shooting 23 of 52 (44.2 percent) overall, hitting 6 of 21 from 3-point range and 22 of 32 from the free-throw line. The Dragons out-rebounded Independence 39-24, but had to overcome 22 turnovers.
Independence was 18 of 48 shooting (37.5 percent), going 4 of 14 from 3-point range and 22 of 30 from the foul line. The Pirates had 19 turnovers.
Fatarah Kinnard had 14 points and Goodluck had 13 points to lead the Pirates.
GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 10-6 all-time in Region VI Tournament games against Independence and 35-12 against Indy all-time. … With one blocked shot on Saturday, Jada Mickens now has 63 career blocked, which ties Ariella McGhee and Mandy Madden for eighth on the career list. … Dejanae Roebuck now has 228 career free throws, which is seventh on the career list. … This was the 28th time the Blue Dragons the Blue Dragons held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting. … With 218 3-pointers this season, the 2018-19 Blue Dragons have the third-most 3-pointers in team history. … With 403 steals, the Blue Dragons are seventh all-time. … With 146 blocked shots this season, the 2018-19 Dragons are tied for sixth most in team history.