By Ben Short
Online Editor

The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team ran away with it Monday night, winning against the first-place Independence Pirates, 80-49.

The Blue Dragons lost to Independence in the first round of Jayhawk Conference play by 16, 85-69, in Independence, but Blue Dragons coach John Ontjes said he believed this team is very different from the one that Independence beat in late November.

“I think our ball club is tougher than we were in the month of November, and we definitely play better at home than we do on the road,” Ontjes said.   

The Blue Dragons, at 9-4 in the Jayhawk Conference and 15-4 overall, are now just 1.5 games out of first place, behind Independence (14-3, 10-2) and believe tonight’s game sent a message to the rest of the Jayhawk Conference.

“That we are a really good team, if we do everything we can do, and execute everything correctly,” said Tor’e Alford who led the Blue Dragons in scoring with 26 points on 8-13 shooting.

The Blue Dragons got rolling early and couldn’t be stopped. They shot 33.3% from behind the 3-point arc. Four Blue Dragons had double-digit scoring nights including Kalyn Ervin (16 points), Mele Kailahi (10 points), Mya Williams (13 points), and Alford.

The Blue Dragons also outrebounded the Pirates 42-33, with Alford’s 10 leading the way. Alford’s five assists were also a game high, tying with teammate Natalie Payne

Their next battle is against Cloud County at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sports Arena, while Independence will host Colby.

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