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Dragons’ Furious Rally at Barton Falls Just Short


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


GREAT BEND, Kan. – The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team’s rally from a 21-point deficit early in the third quarter came up four points short as the No. 17-ranked Barton Cougars earned a key Jayhawk Conference victory over the Blue Dragons on Saturday at the Kirkman Activities Center.

Barton became just the 11th team in the 533 games of Blue Dragon head coach John Ontjes’ tenure to shoot 50 percent for a game as the Blue Dragons cut that deficit down to a one possession game on three times in a 78-74 Barton victory.

The Blue Dragons fell to 17-5 overall and 11-5 in the Jayhawk Conference with a pair of home games coming up against Cowley on Wednesday and Butler next Saturday. Barton improved to 17-4 overall and 11-4 in the league.

The Blue Dragons trailed by 10 points twice in the first quarter, but on the power of six first-period 3-pointers, Hutchinson trailed only 24-20 after 10 minutes. Barton was white hot in the first half, shooting 70 percent in the first two quarters. Barton nailed six second-quarter 3-pointers and built a 50-34 lead at halftime. Barton’s lead grew to 21 at 59-38 after a Jenny Nkem Womsi basket with 6:36 to play in the third quarter.

Hutchinson started its comeback with an 11-2 run and cut the Cougar lead to 65-53 after three quarters. The Blue Dragons had a 13-2 fourth-quarter run to pull within 71-68 after a Monae Duffy three-point play with 3:37 to play. Duffy scored again with 33 seconds to play to cut the deficit to 76-74. Barton closed out the win with two free throws and Brennan Kirchhoff came up with a big steal with 9 second to play.

Duffy led the Blue Dragons with 16 points and six rebounds. Duffy was 7 of 11 shooting from the field.

Mya Williams had 13 points with a pair of 3-pointers. Williams jumped into the Top 5 on Hutchinson’s career scoring list, moving past Tor’e Alford and Cian Carvalho into fourth place with 1,039 points.

Morgan Browning also had 13 points. Journey Armstead had nine points and six assists. Kali Howard and Bree Horyna both score nine points.

The Blue Dragons shot 30 of 63 overall (47.6 percent), hitting 7 of 23 from 3-point range and 7 of 10 from the free-throw line. The Blue Dragons committed just six turnovers. The Dragons were held to a season-low 23 rebounds and were out-rebounded 33-23.

Morgan Meyers led Barton with 22 points on 7 of 9 shooting and 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Meyers had 12 points in the first half. Mikaela Hall had 17 points. Cori Lard finished with 15 points. Nkym Womsi had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Barton finished 53.1 percent (26 of 49), hitting 7 of 11 3-pointers and 19 of 23 from the foul line. The Cougars made their first 18 straight free throws of the game.

The Blue Dragons got off to a slow start as Barton built a 13-3 lead just 4:45 into the game. Down 15-5, Horyna sparked the Dragons with three-straight 3-point goals to pull the Dragons within 19-14 with 19:14 to play in the period. Williams and Natalie Payne hit back-to-back treys to pull within 22-20, but Barton led 24-20 after the first quarter.

The second quarter belonged to the Cougars, hitting 7 of 9 total shots and 6 of 7 3-pointers. Barton opened the second quarter with a 13-6 run to build a 37-26 lead. Browning hit a jumper for a 5-0 Dragon run to pull within seven. Barton then scored eight unanswered to build 45-30 lead. The Cougars took all the momentum into halftime when Lard hit a guarded fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Dragons to the locker room down 50-34.

Barton had leads as large as 21 points in the third quarter and led 61-42 when a Williams 3-pointer with 3:47 to play in the quarter. That started an 11-2 run to pull within 63-53 after a Browning bucket with 1:05 to play. Barton took a 65-53 lead into the fourth quarter.

Down 69-55, the Dragons made a huge charge with a 13-2 run. Duffy’s three-point play with 3:37 to go cut the deficit to 71-68. The Dragons had three cracks at tying or taking the lead, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons fall to 4-5 on the road this season. … The Dragons are now 47-28 all-time in the John Ontjes era against nationally ranked opponents … The Dragons are now 42-59 all-time vs. Barton, 17-31 in Great Bend. … Mya Williams jumped up one spot on the Blue Dragon career free-throw list into eighth place with 227. … The Dragons allowed season highs of 78 points and 53.1 percent field-goal shooting. … This was Journey Armstead‘s eighth game of six or more assists. … Morgan Browning scored in double figures for the eighth time in the last 10 games.