Natalie Payne worked hard on the board for seven offensive rebounds to help the No. 20 Blue Dragons to a 65-58 win on Friday at Butler. (Sammi Carpenter/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Natalie Payne worked hard on the board for seven offensive rebounds to help the No. 20 Blue Dragons to a 65-58 win on Friday at Butler. (Sammi Carpenter/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

EL DORADO – Clutch performances by sophomore Mele Kailahi and freshman Natalie Payne helped offset a cold-shooting night from 3-point range by the Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team in a Jayhawk Conference victory on Friday Butler.

The Blue Dragons won their fourth-straight road game with a 65-58 victory over Butler at the Power Plant in a game finally made up after three postponements.

Hutchinson improved to 24-5 overall and 18-5 in the Jayhawk Conference with one game to play. That game will be at Garden City on Wednesday. The Blue Dragons complete a season sweep of the Grizzlies who fall to 15-11 overall and 10-11 in the KJCCC.

With the victory, Blue Dragon head coach John Ontjes tied Jim Littell for the second-most coaching wins in Jayhawk Conference and Region VI history with his 418th win with the Blue Dragons.

The Blue Dragons had an odd shooting night, shooting 34.3 percent overall for the game and just 4 of 35 from 3-point range. Inside the 3-point line, though, the Blue Dragons shot 59.3 percent (19 of 32).

Kailahi led the Blue Dragons with 21 points, going 8 of 8 from inside the arc and 5 of 5 from the foul line. Kailahi added nine rebounds. Kailahi had 13 points and five rebounds to help the Blue Dragons extend a three-point lead at halftime.

Payne was tremendous on the boards with 7 of her 8 rebounds on the offensive glass. That effort led to a 33-30 Hutchinson rebounding advantage with 14 offensive rebounds and 11 second-chance points.

Mya Williams scored 14 points and dished out a career-high six assists. Tor'e Alford had 11 points with four assists and three steals.

Mallory Cowman came off the bench to lead Butler with 14 points, 11 coming in the second quarter. Syncere Harrod had 10 points.

The Grizzlies became only the eighth opponent in Ontjes' 15 seasons on the Blue Dragon bench to shoot 50 percent or better in a game. Butler hit 25 of 50 shots, but was just 1 of 10 from 3-point range and 7 of 10 from the free-throw line.

Butler scored the first points of the game, but the Blue Dragons quickly responded with nine unanswered points and a total run of 17-4 to build a 17-6 lead after a Williams' 3-pointer with 2:47 to play in the quarter.

The Blue Dragons led 22-13 early in the second quarter, but Butler put together a 13-3 run over a stretch of 7 minutes, 35 seconds and took a 26-25 lead on a Cowman three-point play with 2:58 to go in the half. The Blue Dragons got a Williams free throw and back-to-back transition baskets by Kailahi and Williams for a 30-26 lead. The Dragons led 30-27 at halftime.

The Dragons scored the first seven points of the third quarter. Payne's putback gave the Blue Dragons a 37-27 lead with 8:09 to play in the third quarter. Another Payne putback by Payne gave the Dragons a 42-29 lead with 6:48 left. Butler surged again and got as close as five points at 46-41 after a Cymirah Williams bucket with 38 seconds to play. Kailahi scored inside with 7 seconds left for a 48-41 Hutchinson lead after three quarters.

Hutchinson's lead ballooned to 11 once again after a Williams layup made it 52-41 Hutchinson lead with 8:53 remaining. Once again, Butler got as close as five points at 58-53 after a Harrod basket with 1:43 remaining. The Dragons clinched the win by going 7 of 8 from the foul line in the final 1:04 and 11 of 12 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 7-4 in road games this season after starting the year 2-4 away from the Sports Arena. … The Dragons are 59-32 against Butler, including 29-16 at the Power Plant. … The Dragons tied a season low with nine turnovers. … This was Mele Kailahi's third 20-point game this season and sixth of her career. … This was Kailahi's 15th game of nine or more rebounds this season. … Tor'e Alford moves past Jackie Patterson into seventh place on the career scoring list with 925 points. … Alford is sixth in career 3-pointers with 152. … Mya Williams moved past Kalani Purcell into ninth place on the single-season free throw list with 132.