Brooklyn Betham battled for one of her career-high 16 rebounds in Hutchinson's 69-48 Region VI Tournament quarterfinal victory over the Cowley Tigers on Saturday at United Wireless Arena in Dodge City. (Nathan Addis/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Brooklyn Betham battled for one of her career-high 16 rebounds in Hutchinson's 69-48 Region VI Tournament quarterfinal victory over the Cowley Tigers on Saturday at United Wireless Arena in Dodge City. (Nathan Addis/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

DODGE CITY – The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team's NJCAA fourth-ranked scoring defense lived up to its reputation on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Region VI Tournament at United Wireless Arena.

The Blue Dragons held Cowley 25 points under its season scoring average and forced nine more turnovers than the Tigers normally average in a game as ninth-ranked and tournament second-seed Hutchinson eliminated eighth-seed Cowley 69-48.

Hutchinson (28-3) advances to the Region VI Tournament semifinals for the 12th consecutive season. The Blue Dragons will meet the Barton Cougars in the semifinals at 1 p.m. on Monday in Dodge City. Cowley ends its season at 20-12.

The Blue Dragons avenged a January 11 loss to Cowley when Shontrice Austin hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 72-70 win over Hutchinson.

The Dragon defense on Saturday held Cowley to 28.6 percent overall shooting (14 of 49). Hutch held Cowley scoreless for the first 5 minutes, 13 seconds and without a field goal for 7 minutes, 35 seconds. The Tigers also committed 22 turnovers in the game.

Hutchinson also shut out Cowley's leading scorer, Seanna Boltz, who averaged 15.3 points per game this season. Boltz was held to 0 of 4 shooting.

The Blue Dragons jumped out to an 11-1 lead after a Makayla Vannett 3-pointer with 3:25 to go in the first quarter. The closest the Tigers got after that was seven points.

Sophomore center Brooklyn Betham posted her eighth double-double of the season, the third in the last four games, with 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Betham shot 9 of 14 from the floor and 3 of 3 from the free-throw line. She scored eight points in an opening quarter that Hutchinson built a 16-5 lead.

Freshman Tor'e Alford scored all 12 of her points in the second half. Sophomore Abby Ogle nearly had a double-double with 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.

The Blue Dragons shot 39.1 percent from the field (27 of 69) with a season-low-tying 3 of 26 from 3-point range and 12 of 16 from the free-throw line. Hutchinson committed only seven turnovers, the fewest since November 12, and outrebounded the Tigers 40-37.

Kalyne Daniels had 12 points to lead Cowley, which shot 14 of 49 overall, 4 of 14 from 3-point range and 16 of 21 from the free-throw line. Austin, Milenna Fromming and Torri Vang had nine points each.

The first nine possessions of the game resulted in 0 of 4 shooting with six turnovers by the Tigers. With that, the Dragons were only able to build an 8-0 lead – six points from Betham – before the Tigers scored their first point on an Austin free throw with 4:47 to play in the first quarters. The lead grew to 16-3 on a Vannett 3-pointer with 59 seconds to play. The Dragons led 16-5 after one quarter.

Hutch boosted its lead to 12 points when Lauryn Mapusua scored with 7:49 to play in the second to lead 19-7. Cowley scored five points in a row to trim the Hutch lead to seven. Betham, who had 12 points in the first half, scored with 6:30 to go and then again with 5:42 to play in the half for a 21-12 Dragon lead. Two more Betham buckets made it an 8-0 Dragon run and Hutch led 25-12 with 4:27 remaining in the half. Cowley closed the half on a 9-3 run and Hutch led 28-21 at halftime.

Cowley made several small runs back to within seven points in the second half, but the Blue Dragons had an answer every time.

The end of the third could have been a huge momentum shift toward the Tigers. Hutch led 44-33, but the Tigers scored five quick points, including a three-point play by Daniels with 2 seconds remaining to cut the Hutch lead to 44-37 after three quarters.

Right out of the fourth-quarter chute, the Dragons got a three-point play from Vannett to push the cushion back to 10 points at 47-37. Vang hit her third 3-pointer of the game to slice the lead back to seven. The Dragons finally sealed the victory with a 13-0 run and held Cowley scoreless for 4 minutes, 13 seconds.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 18-16 in the Region VI Quarterfinal round and have won 12 consecutive quarterfinal games. … Hutchinson is now 62-35 all-time in the Region VI Tournament, 24-6 under Johnson Ontjes, including 24-3 since 2011. … The Blue Dragons now own a 26-23 all-time series lead over Cowley and are 6-6 in Region VI games with the Tigers. … Makayla Vannett moved into seventh place on the Blue Dragon single-season 3-point list last Brittany Dietz with 91 3-pointers this season. … Abby Ogle scored in double figures for the 24th time this season, 35th in her career. … This was Brooklyn Betham's five game this season with 12 or more rebounds.