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HCC ATHLETICS

Shakira Harding pours in a career-high 18 points to lead the No. 1 Blue Dragon women's basketball team to an 82-47 Region VI Tournament semifinal victory over Independence on Friday at Koch Arena in Wichita. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)								        The No. 23 Blue Dragons meet No. 7 Butler at 7 p.m. on Friday at Koch Arena in Wichita in the Region VI Tournament semifinals. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)				    The No. 1-ranked Blue Dragon women's basketball team takes on Independence at 3 p.m. on Friday in Wichita in the Region VI semifinals. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)				    				    DeShawn Freeman has career highs of 37 points and 18 rebounds in No. 23 Hutchinson's 94-88 overtime victory over No. 19 Coffeyville in the Region VI Tournament quarterfinals s on Wednesday at Koch Arena in Wichita. (Maddi Cumpston/HCC Sports Information)
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NO. 1 BLUE DRAGON WOMEN ROLL PAST INDY INTO REGION VI TITLE GAME

Basketball - Women | 03.06.15

WICHITA – Sophomore Shakira Harding scored a career-high 18 points and the No. 1-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team dominated the game defensively in the second half as the Blue Dragons defeated Independence 81-47 in the semifinals of the Region VI Women’s Tournament at Koch Arena.

Hutchinson, now 32-0, advances to the championship game for the fifth-straight season and will bid for a fourth-consecutive regional championship. HCC will play Jayhawk East champion Coffeyville (25-8) in a battle of the top two seeds in this year’s tournament.

The Blue Dragons won their 14th consecutive Region VI Tournament game by shooting 53.7 percent from the field and turning in a lockdown defensive performance in the second half. Independence (20-10) shot 42.3 percent in the opening half and the Blue Dragons upped the defensive pressure in the final 20 minutes, holding the Pirates to 18.5 percent from the floor.

“The biggest difference between the two halves was how we defended dribble drive,” HCC head coach John Ontjes said. “We really shut of f their driving lanes to the basket.”

With starting point guard Alyx Bloom in early foul trouble, Harding stepped up to have one of the best game of her HCC career. Harding finished with 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting and 3 of 5 from 3-poitn range. Harding added six assists, three rebounds and two steals with an excellent defensive game.

“With the experience I had last year, I felt I could step up and fill that role,” said Harding, who started all 36 games last season as a freshman. “I lot of people may see that as a surprise, but any one of us who don’t average a lot can step up and score.”

Added Ontjes: “Shakira moved over and played exceptionally well. It was her best game of the season.”

Sophomore Kalani Purcell posted her 23rd double-double of the season and 41st of her career with 14 points and 17 rebounds. Purcell moved past Heather Robben (2008-10) into second place on the Blue Dragon career scoring list with 1,079 points. She also moved into third place on the single-season scoring list with 587 points.

Freshman Clemence LeFebvre scored 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting with four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Cynthia Petke posted her 16th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Bloom finished with eight points and six assists.

“We worked on a lot of things for this game,” Petke said. “We knew if we moved the ball that we would get a lot of the shots that we got. We always work on that in practice.”

Hutchinson shot 29 of 54 from the field (53.7 percent), hitting 8 of 17 from 3-point range and 15 of 23 from the foul line. The Dragons dominated the boards, out-rebounding Independence 45-23. The Dragons did have 17 turnovers.

Brianna Jackson-Brewer had 14 points to lead the Pirates, who dropped a sixth-straight Region VI Tournament game to the Blue Dragons. Gokce Cetin had 12 points and Simone Costa had 10.

The Pirates shot 16 of 53 (30.2 percent), going 4 of 16 from distance and 11 of 14 from the foul line. Indy turned the ball over 18 times.

Harding started a key 17-4 run early in the first half with a layup after a turnover and then a 3-pointer. She ended the run with 1 of 2 free throws and HCC led 19-8 with 12:28 to play.

The Pirates cut the lead to five at 27-22 after a 5-0 run, but the momentum instantly shifted back to the Blue Dragons when LeFebvre hit a high-arcing 3-pointer with 7:02 to play. That started a 13-2 HCC run that helped the Blue Dragons lead 40-24 with 2:51 remaining in the half after a Harding free throw.

Shooting 53.6 percent in the first half, the Blue Dragons led 42-26 at halftime.

The Blue Dragons’ NJCAA No. 5 defense back up its ranking in the second half, forcing 12 misses in Independence’s first 13 shots of the second half.  The Dragons used that defensive surge to build a 59-33 lead after a Taylor Jones 3-pointer with 10:41 remaining.

Hutchinson’s lead grew to as many as 38 points in the second half. HCC hit 14 of 26 shots in the second half and held Indy to 5 of 27 shooting, outscoring Independence 39-21.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 52-32 all-time in the Region VI Tournament, going 8-5 vs. Independence in tournament play. … HCC is now 7-5 in Region VI Tournament semifinal games. … HCC head coach John Ontjes is 23-3 in Region VI Tournament games at Hutch. .. The Dragons lead the all-time series with Indy 27-11 and have won nine games in a row. … The 32 wins are the fourth-most in HCC women’s basketball history. … The HCC sophomores won their 67th game. .. Cynthia Petke moved into a tie for 13th place on the single-season scoring list with 487 points. … This was the 31st time HCC has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting, the 19th time to shoot better than 50 percent and the 19th time to shoot 50 percent or better. … Kalani Purcell had her seventh game this season of 15 or more rebounds.

(HCC Sports Information)


BLUE DRAGONS MATCH UP WITH NO. 7 BUTLER IN REGION VI TOURNAMENT SEMIS

Basketball - Men | 03.06.15

The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team will meet arch rival Butler for the third time this season with plenty on the line.

The 23rd-ranked Blue Dragons (26-6) will meet No. 7 Butler (29-2) in the Region VI Tournament semifinals at 7 p.m. on Friday at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita.

The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 6:50 p.m. The game will also be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 6:50 p.m.

The two survivors in the tournament’s Top bracket, referred to as the “Group of Death” both needed overtime to advance to Friday’s semifinal.

Game 33: No. 23 Hutchinson vs. No. 7 Butler
Region VI Tournament Semifinals
Date
: Friday, March 6, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Site: Charles Koch Arena, Wichita, KS
Live Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM (1450); KWBW-FM (98.5), 6:50 p.m..
Live Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 6:50 p.m.
Live Stats: Blue Dragon Sports Network
Twitter: @bluedragonsport

HUTCHINSON BLUE DRAGONS
2014-15 Record: 26-6
2015 Jayhawk West Record: 11-5
NJCAA National Rank: No. 23
Head Coach: Steve Eck, 6th season

BUTLER GRIZZLIES
2014-15 Record: 29-2
2015 Jayhawk West Record: 14-2
NJCAA National Rank: No. 7
Head Coach: Mike Bargen, 8th season

The Blue Dragons survived an early Coffeyville 3-point onslaught to defeat the Red Ravens 94-88 in overtime. This will be Hutchinson’s third-straight semifinal appearance and 43rd Region VI Tournament semifinal appearance all-time.

Thursday’s Blue Dragon quarterfinal victory also tied an NJCAA record for all-time victories. The win over the Red Ravens was the 1,680th all-time victory, tying Southeastern Community College (Iowa) for the all-time lead. The Black Hawks’ season is already over.

No. 1 seed Butler was pushed hard by a depleted Seward County team, but prevailed 87-77 in overtime.

The Blue Dragons were swept in the regular season by Butler this season, falling  72-62 at the Sports Arena and 76-71 in overtime in El Dorado.

HCC’s DeShawn Freeman comes off a career game on Thursday after scoring 37 points and pulling down 18 rebounds. He jumped up to No. 19 on the HCC career scoring list with the performance.

The Blue Dragons will once again have to contend with one of the Jayhawk West’s top defenses. Butler allows 65.7 points per game. Opponents shoot 40.2 percent and the Grizzlies forced better than 18 turnovers per contest.

Friday’s contest will be the 15th meeting between Hutchinson and Butler in the Region VI Tournament. The Blue Dragons own a 10-4 record vs. the Grizzlies in the postseason. The last meeting came in last season’s Region VI quarterfinals, a 71-61 Blue Dragon victory.

The 2015 Region VI semifinals are an all-Jayhawk West field. The first semifinal will feature Dodge City against Pratt. The winners meet at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

(HCC Sports Information)
 


BLUE DRAGON WOMEN FACE INDEPENDENCE IN REGION VI SEMIFNIALS

Basketball - Women | 03.06.15

The Jayhawk West champion and NJCAA top-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team meets a familiar foe in Friday’s Region VI Tournament semifinals.

The 31-0 Blue Dragons will play the Independence Pirates (20-9) in the second regional semifinal at 3 p.m. on Friday at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita.

The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 2:50 p.m. The game will also be streamed live by the Blue Dragon Sports Network beginning at 2:50 p.m.

Friday’s meeting will be the seventh time in HCC head coach John Ontjes’ eight seasons that the Blue Dragons and Pirates will meet in the Region VI Tournament. This will be the ninth postseason meeting between the Blue Dragons and Pirates since 2005.

Game 32: No. 1 Hutchinson Blue Dragons vs. Independence Pirates
Region VI Semifinals
When
: Friday, March 6, 2015
Game Time: 3 p.m.
Site: Charles Koch Arena, Wichita, KS
Live Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM (1450); KWBW-FM (98.5), 2:50 p.m.
Live Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 2:50 p.m.
Live Stats: Blue Dragon Sports Network
Twitter: @bluedragonsport

HUTCHINSON BLUE DRAGONS
2014-15 Record
: 31-0
2015 Jayhawk West Record: 16-0
NJCAA National Rank: No. 1
Head Coach: John Ontjes, 8th season

INDEPENDENCE PIRATES
2014-15 Record
: 20-9
2015 Jayhawk East Record: 8-5
NJCAA National Rank: Unranked
Head Coach: Leslie Crane, 2nd season

Hutchinson has won the last five Region VI meetings with the Pirates. The Blue Dragons defeated Independence 70-53 in last year’s quarterfinals. The teams have met only once in the championship game, that coming in 2012, a 43-41 Blue Dragon victory at Hartman Arena.

The Blue Dragons won their 13th consecutive Region VI Tournament game on Wednesday with an 82-54 quarterfinal win over Pratt. Led by Kalani Purcell’s 40th career double-double, the Blue Dragons shot 54.2 percent from the field and placed five players in double figures.

Purcell picked up her third career team record on Wednesday when she surpassed Janay Vulgamore for the career field goals record. Heading into play on Friday, Purcell has 1,065 points, just eight points from surpassing Heather Robben for second on the career scoring list and 34 points away from breaking Jamie Patrick’s scoring record of 1,098 points.

Independence advanced to the semifinal with a come-from-behind 59-58 victory over Butler on Wednesday. Gokce Cetin had 12 points to lead the Pirates.

The Pirates are one of the top defensive teams in the Jayhawk East. They are holding opponents to 53.7 points per game, yet opponents are shooting 40.7 percent.

Briana Jackson-Brewer is Independence’s leading scorer at 13.7 points per game. Deja Robinson is a force inside with 11.7 points and 7.7 rebounds.

The Hutchinson-Independence winner will meet the Seward County-Coffeyville winner in Saturday’s 5 p.m. women’s championship game. HCC bids for its seventh championship game appearance.

(HCC Sports Information)
 


HCC-PRATT BASEBALL SERIES CHANGED TO TWO-DAY SERIES

Baseball | 03.06.15

Field conditions at Hobart-Detter Field have forced the change to Hutchinson’s Jayhawk West-opening series with the Pratt Beavers this weekend.

Originally a 1-2-1 series over three days, stadium officials wanted to give Hobart-Detter Field an extra day to dry after the early-week snow.

The series has been altered to a pair of doubleheaders – seven innings followed by a nine-inning game – to begin at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at Hobart-Detter Field.

Also, Hutchinson’s Tuesday game with Cowley has been cancelled because Cowley has to make up conference games. The Dragons are trying to pick up a game to replace Cowley on the schedule.

(HCC sports Information)


DRAGONS TOP RAVENS IN OT TO TIE NJCAA RECORD FOR ALL-TIME WINS

Basketball - Men | 03.06.15

WICHITA – The No. 23 Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team survived an early barrage of Coffeyville 3-pointers, falling behind by as many as 12 points in the first half, to rally and defeat the 19th-ranked  Red Ravens 94-88 in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Region VI Men’s Tournament on Thursday at Charles Koch Arena.

With the win, the Blue Dragons tie Southeastern Community College for the most wins in junior college basketball history with 1,680 victories. Southeastern’s season came to a close earlier this week.

Now 26-6, the Blue Dragons advance to the Region VI semifinals for the third-straight season and for the 43rd time since the regional format was created in 1954. Hutchinson will meet No. 7 Butler (29-2) in Friday’s second men’s semifinal at 7 p.m. Dodge City and Pratt meet in the first semifinal.

Sophomore forward DeShawn Freeman had career highs of 37 points and 18 rebounds to lead HCC. Freeman had a career-high 13 field goals in 18 attempts and hit 11 of 16 free throws. Freeman scored 22 points in the first half on 7 of 9 shooting and had four points in the extra session.

Freeman had his 14th double-double of the season and 16th of his career.

Coffeyville (26-6) had Hutchinson on the ropes early with three 3-pointers in the first 2:07 of the game to lead 9-0. The Red Ravens hit five treys in the first 5 minutes of the game to lead 15-4. Their sixth of seven first-half 3-pointers bumped the Red Ravens’ lead to 19-7 with 12:54 to go in the first half.

“Coffeyville was hot,” HCC head coach Steve Eck said. “We kept playing. Give credit to the team that they didn’t give up. We made Coffeyville work for their points.”

The Dragons managed to pull within 35-34 by halftime and led 79-74 with 1:19 to play in regulation. Coffeyville’s Darrion Strong hit a 3-pointer and then drove to the bucket to score and tie the game with 15 seconds to play in regulation and force overtime.

Five different HCC players scored as the Blue Dragons outscored Coffeyville 15-9 in overtime.

“Coach told us they could shoot,” Freeman said. “It was frustrating, but we were guarding them. We just kept going and tried to get stops when they were shooting 3s.”

Hoffman scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and overtime. He had a season-high eight rebounds with four assists and two steals. Freshman Bashier Ahmed had 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Sophomore Zach Winter had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Austin Budke finished with nine points.

“Deshawn was unbelievable,” Winter said. “He was unstoppable. We got it to him on the low block and he was able to score and get boards for us.”

The Blue Dragons hit 31 of 71 shot attempts (43.7 percent), hitting 4 of 5 shots, including two 3-pointers in overtime. In regulation, the Dragons were 1 of 12 from distance in regulation. Hutch connected on 29 of 51 free throws, 5 of 8 in overtime.

Hutch held a huge 60-36 rebounding advantage. HCC’s season-high 24 offensive rebounds led to a decisive 35-15 advantage in second-chance points.

Strong hit four 3-point goals and was 7 of 7 from the foul line for a team-high 29 points. Delano Spencer had three 3-pointers with 15 points. LaVone Holland had 14 points and Lionel Elliott had 11 points.

Coffeyville was 26 of 70 shooting (37.1 percent), hitting 13 of 36 from the 3-point line and 22 of 30 from the free-throw line.

After Coffeyville built a 19-7 lead at the 12:54 mark, the Blue Dragons went on a 21-8 run over the next 8 minutes, 34 seconds to grab a 28-27 lead after a Budke basket with 4:30 to go in the first half. That was HCC’s final field goal of the first half. Coffeyville closed the half on a small 8-6 run to lead 35-34 at halftime.

There were two lead changes and five ties in the first 5 minutes of the second half. A Spencer 3-pointer gave the Ravens a 45-44 lead, but HCC tied the game at 45-all with a Freeman free throw.

Tied at 65-all, Winter, Hoffman and Freeman scored on consecutive possessions to give HCC a 71-65 lead with 4:53 to go. Back-to-back Hoffman free throws gave Hutch a 79-74 lead, but Strong came up big for Coffeyville with a 3-pointer and drive to the hoop for a score with 15 seconds to play, knotting the score at 79-all. The Dragons missed on a final shot at the end of regulation.

Tied an 81-all in overtime, Hutch took the lead for good when Winter banked in a 3-pointer with 3:19 to go. That shot sparked an 8-0 run – Freeman scored inside and Akbar Hoffman drilled a 3-pointer – to give HCC an 89-81 lead with 2:12 remaining. Twice the Ravens got the game back to one possession, , but Hutch closed out the game with Ahmed hitting 3 of 4 free throws and Freeman finishing off the game with a dunk in the final seconds of the game.

“Sometimes you need a bounce to go your way,” Winter said of his banked-in 3-pointer.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 125-44 in Region VI competition, including 10-3 against Coffeyville. … HCC is 1-1 this season in overtime and 14-1 in overtime under Steve Eck. … HCC is 25-15 all-time vs. Coffeyville. … Keanu Pinder tied Coreantae DeBerry for 10th placed on the single-season blocked shots list with 56. … Freeman moved into 19th place on the career scoring list with 857 points. … The Dragons are 6-4 when trailing at halftime. … Freeman’s 37 points as the third 30-point game by HCC this season. Bashier Ahmed had 36 points and Che Bob had 31. … This was the ninth time that Hutch has allowed 10 or more 3-pointers in a game.

(HCC Sports Information)


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Additional Headlines

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