(BY STEVE CARPENTER)
(HUTCHINSON CC SPORTS INFORMATION)
HUTCHINSON, Kan. = Freshman Tor’e Alford scored a season-high 19 points and helped push her head coach a little higher of a historical Jayhawk Conference statistical chart on Saturday at the Atrium Classic.
No. 9-ranked Hutchinson defeated NEO 74-46 on Saturday at the Arena. That was Blue Dragon head coach John Ontjes’ 350th career win. He now moves past Seward County’s Toby Wynn into sole possession of fourth place on the KJCCC’s Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Career victories list.
The Blue Dragons improve to 3-0 for the season, while NEO drops to 1-5.
Alford scored 13 of her 19 points in a second half where the Blue Dragons pulled away from the Lady Norse. The Blue Dragons led 31-21 at halftime and outscored NEO 43-25 in the second half and 21-6 in the fourth quarter alone. All 13 of Alford’s second half points came in the fourth quarter.
The Blue Dragons finished shooting 25 of 58 overall (43.1 percent), going 8 of 19 from 3-points range and 16 of 28 from the foul line.
Sophomore Abby Ogle finished a tremendous weekend with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals against NEO. Ogle hit three more 3-pointers on Saturday. She finished the weekend with 31 points, six 3-pointers and seven steals.
NEO was 19 of 63 shooting overall (30.2 percent). The Lady Norse hit 3 of 18 from 3-point range and 3 of 8 from the foul line. The Blue Dragon defense held the Norse to 2 of 15 shooting in the fourth quarter.
Eliska Stebettakova had 14 points to lead NEO. Koreea Kirksey and Gabriela Chivata had 10 points each.
The Blue Dragons had a 44-35 rebounding advantage. NEO had 21 turnovers and the Blue Dragons had a 23-8 scoring advantage in points off turnovers. Hutch committed a season-low 14 turnovers.
The Blue Dragons will close their season-opening four-game homestand with a matchup against Hesston College at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Sports Arena.