There will be a new women’s basketball Region VI Tournament champion this season as defending champ Seward County Community College was eliminated by Cowley College, 67-52, in the quarterfinals of the Region VI Tournament on Friday evening at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita. Cowley, the tournament No. 5 seed, out-rebounded Seward County (51-34) and held the Lady Saints to a season-low 31 percent shooting from the field. Four Cowley players scored in double figures as they advance to the semifinals on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. Cowley will face Cloud County who defeated Coffeyville C.C. 77-47 in the other quarterfinals match-up on Friday night. Seward County ends its season with a 23-9 overall record, and Cowley improves to 21-11 overall with its seventh straight victory.

Seward County started the game slow with Cowley jumping out to a 9-2 lead at the 16:18 mark. Freshman guard Stephani Rhoten led all players in the first half with 13 points, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Rhoten also finished with four steals in the opening period.

With the Lady Tigers leading 21-12 midway through the first half, Seward County sophomore All-American Tegan Cunningham made her first bucket with a 3-pointer from the left corner. Cunningham scored 10 first-half points on 4-of-14 shooting. The Lady Saints finished the half on a 12-5 run to trail 26-30 at halftime. Cowley’s largest lead of the half came with a 25-14 lead with 4:33 until halftime.

Cowley out-rebounded Seward County 23-18 in the first half, and Seward County shot just 30 percent from the field (9-of-30).

The Lady Tigers, who never trailed in the game, stretched its lead back to double figures taking a 46-36 lead with 10:45 left to play. Sophomore post Haley Rogers played well for the Lady Saints scoring all of her 10 points in the second half on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor.

Rogers made a 3-pointer and a jump shot on back-to-back possessions cut Cowley’s lead to six points (46-52) with 7:56 remaining. That was the closest the Lady Saints would come as Cowley went on a 14-0 run over the next five minutes to take its largest lead of the game (46-66) with 2:18 to play.

Shirolacille Holloway scored 14 points with a game-high 17 rebounds, and Elena Yankova led all players scoring 20 points on 8-of-19 shooting to lead Cowley College. Rhoten finished her standout freshman season with a team-high 16 points, four 3-pointers and six assists. Cunningham scored 14 points with nine rebounds and two steals for Seward County.

Cunningham finishes her career as one of the best players to ever play in the Region VI, and as one of the all-time greatest players in Seward County Community College history. Cunningham ends her two-year career at Seward County with a school-record 1,368 career points, which ranks her sixth all-time in Region VI history. Cunningham also set Seward County records in career scoring average (19.5 ppg.) and career field goals (564).

Rhoten, meanwhile, set a new Seward County single-season record for free throw shooting percentage (.880), and she ranks fifth in single-season assists (190) and ninth in single-season free throws made (146).

Seward County finished the season winning 11 of its last 13 games overall, and advanced to the Region VI quarterfinals for the 16th straight season. The Lady Saints also tallied 23 victories, marking the 16th straight season with over 20 victories.