HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Following a tough loss to open conference play, the Independence Lady Pirates looked to get back on track on the road against the #13 Hutchinson Blue Dragons. The game was close for much of the contest, but missed opportunities would cost the Lady Pirates as they dropped the contest, 53-41. The Lady Pirates were led by Brittany Reeves who posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
In the first quarter, the Lady Pirates opened with a three-pointer by Logan Collyer and that was all the scoring for several minutes until a foul sent Victoria Mikkelsen to the line where she would make only one for a 4-0 lead.
Hutchinson fired back with a long shot from the outside by Dejenae Roebuck to cut the lead down to one and a quick layup by Abby Ogle gave the Blue Dragons their first lead at 5-4 at the 4:55 mark. A three-pointer from Macie Price gave Independence a 7-6 lead following a free throw and a hook layup by Kierra Crockett pushed the lead to three at the 1:36 mark. One free throw each from Makayla Vannett and Keeley Tini pulled the score within one and another foul sent Tini to the kine tying the game at 9-9 with one free throw to end the period.
The second quarter began with a layup by Brittany Reeves for an 11-9 lead, but a shot from downtown by Sara Cramer put Hutchinson back up by one with 7:18 left in the first half. A bank shot by Reeves was answered by a layup from Jada Mickens who was fouled and made the shot for a 15-13 lead for the Blue Dragons, but a foul sent Fatarah Kinnard to the line to make two shots for the tie.
A lengthy scoring drought was answered as Mikkelsen was fouled and made two shots at the line and the Lady Pirates grew their lead to four after a layup by Crockett. The half closed out with a free throw from each team with Independence leading 20-16.
In the third quarter, Reeves made two at the line to push the lead to six, but a layup from MIlan Schimel cut the lead back to four at 22-18. A three-pointer by Tini cut the lead down to one, but a three-pointer by Collyer mad the score 25-21 at the 5:30 mark.
A layup and free throw from Roebuck brought Hutchinson within one and the Blue Dragons took the lead as Tijuana Kimbro found the basket to score. The lead grew to three after a layup from Tia Bradshaw, but a quick shot by Crockett made the score 28-27 Hutchinson at the 2:12 mark.
Reeves made two free throws to tie the game after a make from the line by the Blue Dragons, but Kimbro was there in the low post to give Hutchinson a 31-29 lead. A layup by Roebuck pushed the lead to four, but a foul sent Mikkelsen to the line where she made two shots making the score 33-31 at the end of the period.
The fourth quarter began with many missed shots for both teams, but Independence tied it at 33-33 with a quick inside shot by Reeves with 7:58 left to play. A quick layup by Bradshaw put the Blue Dragons back in the lead and the Lady Pirates cut it down to one, but a three-pointer by Ogle made it 38-34 with 6:35 left to play.
Bradshaw broke sown to another quick layup, but an answer by Jessica Goodluck made the score 41-36 and it was quickly down to a three-point lead as Goodluck found the basket again with 4:46 left to play. Roebuck stretched the lead back to five with a breakaway layup followed by a quick shot from Mickens to make the score 45-38 for Hutchinson with 3:45 remaining.
Five straight points from Vannett pushed the lead to eleven and three from Bradshaw had the score at 52-38, but a quick shot by Ania Markowska brought Independence back with 11 points with 52 seconds remaining. One free throw from HUtchinson closed out the scoring as the Lady Pirates dropped the hard-fought battle.
Independence (5-4, 0-2) returns home Wednesday December 5 hosting Northwest Tech with tip-off set for 6 pm.