Abby Ogle hit the game-winning shot with 2.7 seconds left to give the No. 8 Blue Dragons to a 72-70 win over No. 12 Seward County on Saturday night in Liberal. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Abby Ogle hit the game-winning shot with 2.7 seconds left to give the No. 8 Blue Dragons to a 72-70 win over No. 12 Seward County on Saturday night in Liberal. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

LIBERAL – The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team pulled into a first-place tie in the Jayhawk West Saturday night with a thrilling victory at Seward County in a battle of nationally ranked teams.

Abby Ogle scored with 2.7 seconds to play in regulation and Seward County wasn't able to get a final shot off as the No. 8-ranked Blue Dragons defeated the No. 12-ranked Saints 72-70, snapping a four-game losing streak to the Saints and Seward's 61-game home-court winning streak.

The Blue Dragons improve to 21-2 overall while the Saints fall to 18-4. Hutchinson and Seward County are now tied at the top of the Jayhawk West standings at 14-1. Hutchinson starts its second time through the Jayhawk West on Wednesday with a road trip to Northwest Tech.

The Blue Dragons jumped out to a 20-5 lead after one quarter and made that lead stand up well into the fourth quarter.

The Saints finally took their first lead with 6:13 to play in the fourth when Leilani Augmon hit a jump shot. After Karolina Szydlowska's field goal with 5:19 left, the Blue Dragons trailed 61-58. The Blue Dragons then reeled off six straight points to take a 64-58 lead after a Tor'e Alford 3-pointer with 4:08 to go.

The lead changed hands two more times. Makayla Vannett hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game with 2:31 left to give the Blue Dragons a 67-65 lead. Brooklyn Bethem hit two free throws – Hutch was 7 of 10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter – for a 70-67 Dragon lead with 59.8 seconds to play.

The Saints tied the game at 70 on a Tianna Johnson 3-pointer with 19 seconds to play. The Dragons advanced the ball to the front-court after a timeout. Running the clock down for the final shot, Alford got the ball to Ogle at the top of the key. With the clock running down, Ogle drove down the right side of the lane and banked in a short floater with 2.7 seconds left for a 72-70 Hutchinson lead.

With a foul to give, the Blue Dragons fouled on the inbound with 2.1 seconds to play. From there, the Saints inbounded to Szydlowska, who had the ball knocked out of her hands and the clock ran out.

Ogle led the Blue Dragons with 20 points on 9 of 14 shooting, including an early 3-pointer. She added six rebounds. Ogle scored 15 points in the first half.

Vannett hit 4 of 9 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Vannett tied Amy Ansel (1994-96) for third place on the Blue Dragon career 3-point list with 167.

Nafatoumata Haidara came off the bench and had a huge third quarter for the Blue Dragons. She scored 9 of her 10 points in the third period. Haidara was 4 of 5 shooting and had one big blocked shot.

Bethem had eight points, hitting a career-high six free throws in seven attempts. Alford had six points.

The Blue Dragons shot 47.2 percent from the floor (25 of 53), hitting 6 of 14 from 3-point range and 16 of 23 from the foul line. The Blue Dragons were out-rebounded 40-37 and they turned the ball over 15 times.

Szydlowska had 15 points on 6 of 18 shooting to lead Seward County. Augmon and Johnson had 14 points.

The Saints were held to 38.6 percent shooting (27 of 70), hitting 7 of 25 from 3-point range and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line.

The Blue Dragons stunned Seward County in the opening quarter, hitting 7 of their first 10 shots to build a 15-2 lead after an Ogle transition layup with 4:15 to play in the period. The Blue Dragons were 8 of 15 shooting, while Seward was 2 of 13 with seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes as Hutchinson opened a 20-5 lead after one quarter.

Szydlowska ignited the Saints in the second quarter with a pair of early 3-pointers. Seward County outscored Hutchinson 20-7 over the first 7 minutes of the second quarter and pulled within 27-25 on an Aquila Mucubaquire 3-pointer with 3:07 to play in the period. A Vannett jumper stopped that Saints run and started a 9-3 Dragon run to end the quarter. Kyra Paniora hit two free throws and Vannett dropped a 3-pointer with 57 seconds left to give Hutchinson a 36-28 lead at halftime.

Hutchinson continued to hold Seward County at arm's length in the third quarter and Haidara had a huge role in the period. Four different times Haidara scored in the period to extend the Dragon lead to two possessions. The final time came with 16 seconds left in the third period when Haidara converted an offensive rebound into a bucket to give Hutchinson a 57-52 lead after three quarters.

GAME NOTES – Hutchinson has now snapped two Seward County home court winning streaks of 60 or more games. The Blue Dragons snapped Seward's record 135-game home court win streak in 2004. … The Blue Dragons snapped a five-game losing streak in the Green House. … The Blue Dragons are now 42-23 against nationally ranked teams in the John Ontjes era. … The Blue Dragons are now 45-48 all-time against Seward County. … This was all-time win No. 997. … Abby Ogle recorded her eighth 20-point game and 13th-consecutive double-figure scoring game of the season.