Defense Leads Butler to Region VI Semifinal Win Over Dodge City

Defense Leads Butler to Region VI Semifinal Win Over Dodge City

HUTCHINSON Kan. – The No. 3 seed Butler Grizzlies will play for a Region VI title on Saturday afternoon.

Butler (25-7) took down 2-seed Dodge City (26-6) 65-52 in a semifinal matchup on Friday evening at the Hutchinson Sports Arena. The Grizzlies advance to play 1-seed and No. 1-ranked Hutchinson (32-0) on their home floor on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the region title game.

"It's a big game and we're excited to play them (Hutch)," said head coach Mike Helmer. "We know how good of a team they are, but we are just focusing on us and what we need to do."

Butler held Dodge City's impressive offensive attack to 25.0% shooting from the field. The 52 points from the Conqs was their lowest output of the season.

"Our defense was turning into offensive opportunities for us which is something I love to see," said Helmer. "We knew how well they shoot the ball from three so that was a priority for us, trying to affect their shots."

The Grizzlies and Conquistadors split the regular season series with each team winning at home, Butler by two at the Power Plant and the Conqs by nine in overtime in Dodge City. The third meeting was all Grizzlies in the 13-point postseason win.

Dayuna Colvin led Butler with 21 points on 7-9 shooting, also adding four rebounds and three assists.

"She's a beast," said Helmer. "When she's playing well, she's a matchup nightmare. She shot the ball well tonight and gave us great energy and effort."

Butler built a quick 7-0 lead in the first 1:30 of the game before Dodge City gained its first lead of the game, 9-8 at the 5:51 mark. A Randi Harding three for Butler helped them to a 13-9 advantage after one quarter of play.

The second quarter had the most combined points of any quarter in the game with the Grizzlies outscoring Dodge 20-17. The Conqs opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run, taking a 17-13 lead on a Kyriana Jones three. Butler snapped the run with a Freddie Wallace layup followed by Colvin connecting on a three to regain the lead 18-17. Dodge retook a lead at 22-20 off a Monique Rudder three but it was the final lead of the game for the Conqs as Butler used a 13-6 run to close out the half and lead 33-26 at halftime.

Following a theme from Butler's quarterfinal round win over Seward, they played an impressive third quarter, outscoring Dodge 22-13. The Grizzlies built their biggest lead of the game, 19 points, when Tiana Winn made a layup off an assist from J'unti Franklin.

The fourth quarter saw Butler lead by double digits for its entirety.

Butler narrowly outrebounded Dodge, 49-45. Turnovers were also close with Butler having 14 and Dodge 16. The Grizzlies doubled up the Conquistadors in the paint 32-16.

Franklin finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Wallace had 10 points and nine rebounds while Harding totaled 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. Dodge City was led by Jones' 19 points as she was the only Conquistador in double figures.

The Grizzlies advance to their first Region VI title game since the 2019-20 season when they defeated Barton 84-52, winning their second consecutive Region VI crown. The Grizzlies have appeared twice in Region VI title games throughout Helmer's tenure, winning in both.

Postgame Press Conference Below



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