For the third time in five years, the Cowley College men’s basketball team is in the Region VI finals.
That they haven’t been able to to close out a title since 1957 isn’t lost on coach Tommy DeSalme.
“We know the history, and we know what we’re playing for,” said DeSalme after Monday’s 76-67 win over Barton in the Region VI semifinals. “We’ve got a special group here, no matter what happens tomorrow.”
The Tigers will face Seward or Cloud in today’s final at Hartman Arena.
Against Barton, Cowley trailed 35-33 at halftime before taking the lead back early in the second half behind the solid play of point guard E.J. Dobbins, a Heights product, and guard James Milliken, who led all scorers with 28 points — including four three-pointers and a huge dunk late that helped seal the win.
Dobbins, who took over as a starter late in the season, finished with 10 points, four assists, three steals and no turnovers.
“E.J. is a winner, people in Wichita know that better than anybody,” DeSalme said. “And Milliken is an elite player, a special player. He was a little off in our last game and everybody else picked him up … tonight he picked everybody else up.”
Algie Key led Barton with 19 points.
Seward 69, Cloud 66 OT
“Just because my shot’s not going down doesn’t me I’m going to back down or be less aggressive,” said Patterson, who led Hutchinson with 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. “I can rebound, I can play defense, I can alter shots when they get in the paint. There’s other stuff I’m capable of doing besides scoring.”
Jayhawk West player of the year Laura Patrick was the other double-digit player for the Blue Dragons with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Hutchinson (32-0) will face Independence in today’s Region VI final.
Hutchinson won Region VI in 2009 and lost to Cloud in last year’s final.
“Being undefeated is something I can’t really fathom,” Patrick said. “You tell yourself that everybody’s 0-0 starting the preseason, but it’s something most of us have never been a part of.”
Halftime—Garden City 31, Independence 25. Three-pointers—GC 4-12 (Jones 2-3, Walker 2-5, Moore 0-3, Gottschalk 0-1), Independence 3-17 (Moore 3-10, Curtis 0-1, Graves 0-2, McGrath 0-1, Anderson 0-3). Rebounds—GC 36 (Walker 13), Independence 35 (Mosley 11). Assists—GC 14 (Skidmore 5), Independence 10 (Curtis 4). Total fouls—GC 25, Independence 12. Fouled out—GC (Jacobs, Jones).