State Colleges

Seward County tops Butler at Region VI women’s basketball quarterfinals

When it comes to the Seward County women’s basketball team, there’s no element of surprise.

Everyone knows about Joanna Grymek, the 6-foot-7 center, and everyone knows they need to prepare to solve the triangle-and-two defense that Seward County coach Toby Wynn loves to throw out.

But just because you know what’s coming doesn’t make it any easier to face, which Seward County proved in its 77-61 victory over Butler on Tuesday night at Hartman Arena in the NJCAA Region VI Division I tournament.

Seward County (24-7) advanced to the semifinals to play top-seeded Hutchinson, while Butler (24-8) is elimated and its season likely over.

“We practiced hard on it for four straight days in practice, but you can’t simulate a 6-7 girl on the inside,” Butler coach Mike Helmer said. “You can’t simulate a lot of stuff they do. They just cause a lot of problems.”

Butler was so mystified by the defense of Seward County that it fell apart on the road for its worst loss of the season in a 75-40 defeat on Dec. 9.

This time Wynn stuck the length of Clitan de Sousa (6-foot) on Butler’s leading scorer Tamara Lee and had Daniela Galindo (5-10) face-guard Butler’s Nakylia Carter on the perimeter.

“We feel like throwing a little junk defense in there this late in the year is difficult on a lot of teams,” Wynn said. “Nobody really prepares for that kind of stuff. You always go into the game thinking it’s only going to work for a few possessions, but it ended up working pretty much the entire game so we stuck with it.”

Wynn’s trust was put to the test early when Butler made 7 of its 12 shots to open the first quarter and take an 18-17 lead on Seward, which swept the regular-season series.

“You just hope that the percentages play out and that they’re not going to keep making shots at that level,” Wynn said.

His patience was rewarded, as Butler finished the final three quarters of the game shooting 30 percent (15 of 50). Seward built a 10-point halftime lead and extended it to as many as 16 in the second half to secure the victory.

Butler rallied to close the gap to as few as seven points in the fourth quarter, but could never piece together an extended rally to threaten the lead.

“We just couldn’t get over that last hump,” Helmer said. “They made the plays down the stretch and we didn’t.”

Lee was held to 14 points on 4 of 12 shooting, while Carter finished with nine points.

In the end, Seward’s two strengths – its defense and Grymek (23 points on 10 of 11 shooting) – were too much for Butler.

“I’m proud of my teammates because the first time we lost by almost 40,” Lee said. “I thought we could have won, but we couldn’t just come up there at the end.”

Butler

18

11

15

17

61

Seward

17

22

14

24

77

BUTLER: Lee 14, Hannah 13, Carter 9, Arnold 8, Roberts 7, Bell 4, Franklin 3, Prince 3.

SEWARD COUNTY: Grymek 23, Galindo 18, White 10, Bernard 8, de Sousa 7, Speer 6, Ocuane 5.

Three-point shooting–Butler 5-15 (Hannah 1-1, Roberts 1-3, Carter 1-3, Franklin 1-3, Lee 1-4, Prince 0-1); Seward County 6-14 (Galindo 4-6, Ocuane 1-1, White 1-3, Bernard 0-1, de Sousa 0-1, Richardson 0-2). Rebounds–Butler 32 (Lee 7); Seward County 27 (Bernard 8). Assists–Butler 10 (Arnold 3); Seward County 23 (White, de Sousa 7). Fouls–Butler 22, Seward County 14.

Hutchinson 67, Independence 63 – The top seed in the tournament was nearly upset when Independence (22-9) rattled off a 13-2 run to take a late lead, but Hutchinson’s Inja Butina drained a jumper at the buzzer to force overtime.

Butina, who scored a game-best 26 points and dished out eight assists, came through again in overtime, sinking two free throws late to seal the victory for Hutchinson (27-3), which will advance to the semifinals to play Seward County.

“Inja was big for us and she’s been solid for us all year long,” Hutchinson coach John Ontjes said. “She kind of controlled the game for us and came up with the big shots when Independence made that run.”

Since a 24-1 start to the season, Hutchinson has stumbled a bit in its last five games with two losses and two more close games.

“That’s something we’ve battled here late in the year,” Ontjes said. “We haven’t been able to close out leads, so it was nice to have some poise to be able to get the game into overtime and then make some plays to win it.”

Cowley 56, Coffeyville 51 – A 24-point second quarter gave Cowley enough of a cushion to close out the victory to advance to the semifinals to face Cloud County. Grace Diaz-Brito came off the bench for Cowley (25-7) to play her best game of the season, posting a season-best line of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Coffeyville (22-10) shot 32.1 percent from the field and only had one scorer in double-figures in Chanel Khammarath (11 points).

Cloud County 70, Garden City 51 – Behind a monster effort from Erin Alexander, who had 17 points and 22 rebounds, Cloud County (23-9) was able to blow past second-seeded Garden City to advance to the semifinals to face Cowley. Shala Dobbins came off the bench to score 13 points to lead Garden City (21-11).

Independence

12

14

13

16

8

63

Hutchinson

12

17

18

8

12

67

INDEPENDENCE: Jackson-Brewer 20, Costa 16, Berzina 10, Hadjukukovich 9, Milum 3, Daniels 3, Palmer 2.

HUTCHINSON: Butina 26, Rogers 16, Stahly 11, DeGarmo 8, Madden 5, Terry 1.

Three-pointers–Independence 3-16 (Costa 2-5, Daniels 1-6, Jackson-Brewer 0-1, Alston 0-2, Berzina 0-2); Hutchinson 4-16 (DeGarmo 2-5, Butina 1-3, Stahly 1-4, Preisner 0-4). Rebounds–Independence 36 (Berzina 11); Hutchinson 30 (Rogers 12). Assists–Independence 9 (Four tied at 2); Hutchinson 12 (Butina 8). Fouls–Independence 19, Hutchinson 14.

Cloud County

24

23

10

13

70

Garden City

12

20

9

10

51

CLOUD COUNTY: Alexander 17, Kizart 15, Broeckelman 15, Thomson 6, Price 6, Farber 4, Owens 4, Figgers 3.

GARDEN CITY: Dobbins 13, Scott 12, Bernbeck 11, Lewis 8, Akula 3, Maxwell 3, Classen 1.

Three-point shooting–Cloud County 8-18 (Broeckelman 3-8, Kizart 2-3, Thomson 2-4, Figgers 1-2, Alexander 0-1); Garden City 3-15 (Bernbeck 1-1, Maxwell 1-1, Akula 1-6, Hawkins 0-1, Scott 0-1, Classen 0-5). Rebounds–Cloud County 36 (Alexander 22); Garden City 42 (Scott, Dobbins 8). Assists–Cloud County 20 (Kizart 7); Garden City 6 (six tied at 1). Fouls–Cloud County 14, Garden City 11.

Coffeyville

10

11

15

15

51

Cowley

9

24

11

12

56

COFFEYVILLE: Khammarath 11, Curtis 8, Torian 7, Trussell 6, Nelson 6, Dodson 6, Daniels 4, Fisher 3.

COWLEY: Diaz-Brito 14, Branch 12, O’Neil 9, Greenwood 9, McCartney 7, Lainge 3, Mimmo 2.

Three-point shooting–Coffeyville 7-19 (Trussell 2-3, Dodson 2-3, Nelson 2-5, Khammarath 1-6, Fisher 0-1, Curtis 0-1); Cowley 5-14 (Branch 2-5, O’Neil 1-2, Greenwood 1-3, McCartney 1-4). Rebounds–Coffeyville 30 (Curtis 7); Cowley 32 (Diaz-Brito 13). Assists–Coffeyville 7 (Khammarath 3); Cowley 12 (O’Neil 6). Fouls–Coffeyville 19, Cowley 15.

Region VI

At Hartman Arena

Women

Wednesday’s semifinals

  • Cloud County vs. Cowley, 1 p.m.
  • Seward County vs. Hutchinson, 3 p.m.

Men

Wednesday’s semifinals

  • Butler vs. Neosho County, 5 p.m.
  • Cowley vs. Hutchinson, 7 p.m.
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