|BLUE DRAGON WOMEN'S BASKETBALL|
No. 12 Hutchinson (0-0) vs. Bethany College JV (0-0)
When: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Where: Hutchinson Sports Arena
Game Time: 5:30 p.m.
Live Radio: None
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The one reality of coaching basketball at the junior college level is sometimes player turnover is part of the equation in building a roster each year.
For the second time in three seasons, Hutchinson Community College women's basketball coach John Ontjes sees many, many new faces as his looks out over preseason practice.
When the Blue Dragons meet the Bethany College Junior Varsity to open the 2017-18 season on Wednesday at the Sports Arena, Ontjes has just three players back from a Jayhawk Conference/Region VI championship team that produced 33 victories in 35 games last year. Two years ago, Ontjes returned just one player from a national runner-up team, so despite all the inexperience on the floor, dealing with this scenario isn't uncharted waters for the Blue Dragons' 11th-year head coach, who has a record of 287-62.
Expectations are always high for Blue Dragon women's basketball. Hutchinson is the preseason pick to win the Jayhawk Conference and start the season ranked No. 12 in the NJCAA Preseason rankings.
What the 2017-18 Blue Dragons must replace might seem immense.
Last year's Blue Dragons set a program scoring average record at 80.3 points per game. The 2016-17 Blue Dragon roster produced Hutchinson women's basketball's career 3-point shooter (Taylor Stahly), career assists person (Inja Butina), single-game steals record holder (Brenna McClure) and five future Division I players.
Brown played the most of the three returnees, playing in all 35 games, starting three. She averaged 7.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a freshman. Brown shot 42.6 percent from the field with 11 3-pointers.
Bradshaw played in 27 games last season. She averaged 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds.
Barber averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds.
Ontjes will work eight freshmen and one transfer into the mix this season.
The transfer is Tijuana Kimbro, a 6-4 redshirt sophomore who joined the team at second semester last season.
In the backcourt will be Allissia Green (Philadelphia), Coretta Hopkins (Manvel, Texas), Kelsey Brett (Adelaide, South Australia), Sara Cramer (Dighton) and Tia Bradshaw (Dodge City), who is the younger sister of Brianna Bradshaw.
The new forwards and centers are Dejanae Roebuck (Olathe), Vivian Chigbu (Abjia, Nigeria), Jada Mickens (Liberal) and Fama Gueye (Dakar, Senegal). Mickens has HutchCC ties. Her older sister Jai Chapman was an all-conference volleyball player in 2014 and 2015.
After Opening Night on Wednesday, the Blue Dragons won't play again until next Tuesday when Lamar comes to the Sports Arena for a 6 p.m. game. Then the Blue Dragons open the Jayhawk Conference season at No. 7 Seward County. Hutch will have three-straight conference games on the road – because of the KCAC Postseason Volleyball and NJCAA National Volleyball Tournaments. The Dragons' first three conference games – Seward, Cloud County and Pratt – are all on the road before turning on November 21 to play host to Coffeyville.
The Blue Dragons will travel to Florida over the break to play Santa Fe College and Florida Southwestern on December 29 and 30.