PARK CITY, Kan. - After battling all season long, the stage was set for the Independence Lady Pirates as they faced off against the #8 Hutchinson Blue Dragons in the quarterfinals of the Region VI Tournament. The contest was back and forth for most of the evening, but a sudden burst of energy from the Blue Dragons took out the Lady Pirates, 74-62.
Independence had two players in double figures with Fatarah Kinnard scoring 14 points Jessica Goodluck scored 13 points.
In the first quarter, the Lady Pirates took the early lead with a three-pointer by Jessica Goodluck before a three from Tia Bradshaw tied it at 3-3, but a bucket by Kierra Crockett gave Independence a two-point lead. A jumper Crockett pushed the lead to four before a trip to the line for Jada Mickens and a three by Makayla Vannett cut it to one and a layup from Milan Schimmel gave Hutchinson a 9-7 lead at the 4:31 mark.
A trip to the line for Lauryn Mapusua made it a four-point lead for the Blue Dragons before a score from Abby Ogle and a pair of free throws for Dejanae Roebuck. Mickens scored a friendly roll along with a free throw to push the lead to eleven before a basket from Brittany Reeves, but a score by Vannett had Hutchinson leading 20-9 after the opening period.
The second quarter began with a three for Vannett and a bucket for Roebuck followed by a free throw by Mickens before a three from Victoria Mikkelsen. Two free throws for Hutchinson were answered with a layup from Sadie Jordan before a trip to the line for Mapusua, but a free throw for Jordan and bucket for Gray made the score 28-17 with 3:45 left in the first half.
Another score for Gray followed with a free cut the lead to eight before a jumper by Roebuck, but a trip to the line for Jordan followed by a layup from the freshman cut it down to seven. Another bucket for Jordan had the Lady Pirates within five before a trip to the line for Kelsey Brett, but a free throw for Goodluck in the final seconds had the Lady Pirates trailing 32-26 at the break.
In the third quarter, a basket for Rebuck pushed the lead to eight before a bucket by Reeves and a free throw for Roebuck gave the Blue Dragons a seven-point lead, but anther three from Goodluck had Independence within four. A three for Mickens put the lead to seven before a bucket for Reeves, but Mickens delivered another basket making the score 40-33 at the 5:50 mark.
A trip to the line for Gray cut the lead to five and a free throw by Mikkelsen followed by Gray with two free throws bringing Independence within two points. A three and a layup for Vannett pushed the lead back to seven for Hutchinson before a free throw by Goodluck, but a pair of free throws by Vannett made the score 47-39 at the 1:35 mark.
A jumper by Fatarah Kinnard cut the lead to six and free throws from Mikkelsen had the Lady Pirates within four before a score for Makayla Johnson followed by a free throw brought the lead to seven. A basket and free throw for Ogle in the final seconds of the period made the score 53-43.
The fourth quarter began with Kinnard making two free throws to cut the lead to eight before a score from Brett, but Goodluck with a jumper brought the score back down. A trip to the line for Johnson pushed the lead to nine before a three by Bradshaw and a jumper from Mickens, but Reeves with a put back made it 61-49 with 7:00 remaining.
A basket by Roebuck had the lead out to fourteen before back to back trips to the line for Kinnard, but a layup by Vannett and a three-point play by Roebuck had Independence trailing by fifteen. A free throw by Mickens had the lead a sixteen before a three from Goodluck, but a floater from Ogle made it 71-56 with 1:39 remaining.
A trip to the line for Kinnard made it a thirteen-point differential before a layup from the sophomore, but a trip to the line for Roebuck pushed the lead back to thirteen. A trip to the line for Kinnard brought the Lady Pirates within eleven before a trip to the line for Bradshaw and that was all as the Lady Pirates dropped the contest ending the season.
Independence finishes the season with a record of 19-10 and 13-8 in the KJCCC.