Photo by Nathan Addis/HutchCC Sports Information: Blue Dragon women cheering on teammates in the game against Barton in Dodge City

Barton upsets Hutchinson in Region 6 semifinal

By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor

The law of averages finally worked against the Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team on Monday in the Region 6 Tournament semifinals against the Barton Cougars.

Not losing to Barton since 2009 and winning the last eight matchups against the Cougars by an average of 25.2 points per game, when the Blue Dragons led by 20 points in the second quarter, they looked to be in good shape to advance to Tuesday’s championship game.

Things drastically changed in the second half and when Vanessa Oduah hit a long 3-point shot off an inbound with 2.3 seconds to play, sixth-seeded Barton officially turned things around against Hutchinson with a 58-57 victory over the ninth-ranked and second-seeded Blue Dragons at United Wireless Arena.

The Cougars got off to a hot start in the second half, scoring the first 14 points of the third quarter, while Hutchinson went scoreless in the first three minutes, 52 seconds.

Barton extended its third-quarter start to 22-4 over the first 6:36 of the period and cut the Blue Dragon lead to 37-35 with 3:24 to play. Abby Ogle helped in keeping Hutchinson in the lead, first with a three-point jumper, and then a two-pointer with 37 seconds to go. Hutch led 44-40 after three quarters.

With 3:30 seconds left in the game, Hutch had a 53-48 lead, but ended up losing that lead by the 2:02 mark after a three-pointer from Barton. The game was tied with 42 seconds left, and the Blue Dragons had some momentum in the final seconds of the game, thanks to an Ogle steal and a layup with 18.9 seconds to go, but a Barton three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left gave the Cougars a one-point victory over the Blue Dragons.

Makayla Vannett and Tor’e Alford led the Blue Dragons with 13 points each, while Ogle finished with nine points with eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals.

Hutchinson now falls to 28-4, but with a No. 9 national ranking should be in position to capture one of the eight-at large bids for the 2020 NJCAA Tournament, beginning on March 17 in Lubbock, Texas.

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