It has often been said that the Kansas Jayhawk West Basketball teams play tougher Conference schedules than the East Conference, beat each other up in the win/loss column all year long and often have a lower seeding heading into the Region VI Tournament. That was the case this year as the East Conference teams got the overall number one seeds with better records, but the top seeds do alternate each year, however, it was the Jayhawk West teams that emerged as the Region VI Champions and will advance to their National Tournaments next week. Undefeated and ranked #2 in the NJCAA National polls, the Hutchinson Lady Blue Dragons had a battle on their hands with the #20 Independence Lady Pirates last night in the Region VI Championship game at the Hartman Arena in Wichita, but had enough reserve at the end to collect the 43-41 victory and secure a 33-0 record heading into the National Tournament next week at the Salina Bi-Centennial Center. The Lady Blue Dragons were led in scoring by sophomore Chelsea Small with 14 points and the lone Dragon player in double digits. The Region VI Tournament MVP sophomore Jackie Patterson had 9 points and 10 boards in the win. This is the 2nd Region VI Title for the Hutchinson women in the last four years, plus according to the Chinese calendar this is the year of the Dragon. An added note for the Garden City Community College Lady Busters, congratulations to sophomore Ashley Walker from Washington D.C. being selected to the All-Tournament Teams for 2012, the Lady Busters lost to Independence in the semi-finals 71-58.
For the Region VI men, it was the #17 Seward County Saints winning the title with a convincing 62-48 victory over Cowley County. The Saints received big games from Kaheem Ransom who recorded a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds and tournament MVP Deverell Biggs added 20 points helping the Saints cruise to their 28th victory on the season and a ticket to the NJCAA National Tournament next week at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson.