|ALL-TIME BLUE DRAGON
NJCAA TOURNAMENT SCORES
All-Time Record - 19-11
|1977 (Fourth Place)
Monroe, N.Y. (Rochester)
Faulkner State, Ala.
St. Clair College
All-Tournament Team: Jeanie Martin,
Walters State, Tenn.
Trinity Valley, Texas
All-Tournament Team: Laura Patrick,
Jackie Patterson, Chelsea Small
|2013 (Third place)
Northwest Florida State
Gulf Coast State
All-Tournament Team: Chrisstasia Walter,
Trinity Valley, Texas
All-Tournament Team: Jamie Patrick,
W, 77-68 (OT)
South Georgia Tech
Northwest Florida State
All-Tournament Team: Kalani Purcell,
While the Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team has known almost nothing but success since its inception in 1974-75, going to the NJCAA national tournament wasn’t usually in the cards for most of the program’s history.
A 1977 appearance at the NJCAA Tournament in Overland Park was the only appearance the HCC women had for the first 34 years of the program. Starting in 2009, that history began to change for the Blue Dragons. Since 2009, the Blue Dragons have appeared in five national tournaments, all in Salina.
In Hutchinson’s nine overall NJCAA Tournament appearances, the Blue Dragons have been to six national semifinals and appeared in three national championship games. Hutchinson is 19-11 overall in nine NJCAA Tournament appearances.
The 1977 Blue Dragons, coached by Larry Brin, started the season on a roll by going 19-0 in the regular season. Hutchinson then won its first Region VI championship by an average of 27 points per game, defeating Highland 61-53 in the championship game to increase the winning streak to 23 games.
In order for the 1977 Blue Dragons to win it all, they needed five more wins in Overland Park. They got the first three to run the winning streak to 26 games with wins over Monroe College (51-47), Faulkner State (85-61) and St. Clair College (70-58) in the quarterfinals. The win streak came to an end in the national semifinals after Panola College defeated HCC 62-56. The 1977 Blue Dragons finished fourth after falling in the consolation game to Temple College.
Jeanie Martin and Connie Wilkins were named to the 1977 NJCAA All-Tournament Team.
The 1978 Blue Dragons’ bid for a repeat trip to nationals was halted in the Region VI championship game by Cowley County. From that point, the Blue Dragon women had great season after great season, but fell short in the postseason, advancing to only two Region VI semifinal rounds over the next 30 seasons.
In 2008-09 – head coach John Ontjes’ second season at HCC – the Blue Dragons finally returned to the national stage. After defeating rival Seward County 53-51 in the Region VI championship game, HCC headed to the Bicentennial Center in Salina for the NJCAA Tournament. It took overtime, but the Blue Dragons fell in the opening round of their first national tournament appearance in 32 seasons to Shelton State 60-59. HCC topped Middle Georgia 65-59 in a consolation game, but finished the 2009 tournament 1-2 after a 67-61 loss to Vincennes.
HCC advanced to the 2010 Region VI semifinals and 2011 championship game, but were upset in both seasons.
In 2012, the Blue Dragons weren’t going to be denied. HCC completed its second undefeated regular season in school history (29-0) and won the program’s third Region VI title with a defensive struggle against Independence (43-42) in the championship game.
Led, by All-Americans Jackie Patterson and Laura Patrick, HCC overpowers Meridian (75-42) and Walters State (62-46) to return to the national semifinals for the second time. In HCC’s semifinal matchup with perennial power Central Arizona, the Blue Dragons pulled away late for a 69-56 victory and a berth in the program’s first national championship game.
No. 1 Trinity Valley put HCC in a deep hole early in the 2012 championship game with a barrage of first-half 3-pointers and build a 20-point lead in the second half. HCC pulled within seven points with four minutes to go, but the Cardinals won the game 69-55 and snapped HCC’s 36-game winning streak. Patrick, Patterson and Chelsea Small were all named to the All-Tournament team.
The 2013 Blue Dragons suffered only one loss in the regular season and repeated as Jayhawk West and Region VI champions. Hutchinson opened with a resounding 77-55 victory over ASA and then won a nail-biter 73-71 over Northwest Florida State when Jamie Patrick hit two free throws with 2 seconds remaining in regulation.
Central Arizona exacted some revenge in a second-straight national semifinal matchup with the Blue Dragons. Central held HCC to a frigid 22 percent shooting and a season-low 10 points in the first half and toppled HCC 52-40. The 2013 Blue Dragons wound up third in the tournament with a 63-61 victory over Gulf Coast State in the consolation game. Patrick and Chrisstasia Walter were named to the All-Tournament team.
The 2013-14 Blue Dragons produced a third undefeated regular season (28 wins) and a fourth-straight conference and third-consecutive Region VI championship.
After receiving an opening-round bye as the No. 3 overall seed in the national tournament’s new 24-team single-elimination format, a spot in another championship game seemed remote in a second-round matchup with Northern Oklahoma-Enid. HCC trailed by five points with 2:08 remaining in regulation. HCC wound up scoring the final five points of regulation and the first 12 points of overtime to advance with a 77-67 win over the Jets.
Kalani Purcell (26 points), Jamie Patrick (23 points) and Jen’Von’Ta Hill (20 points) combined for 69 points in an 87-77 quarterfinal victory over Tyler Junior College. HCC then ran its winning streak to 35 games as the Blue Dragons battled through foul trouble for a 78-71 semifinal victory over Chipola. Trinity Valley once again got the best of the Blue Dragons in the 2014 championship game, 65-46. Patrick and Purcell were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
The 2014-15 Blue Dragons returned to the national tournament for a fourth-consecutive year as the No. 1 team in the NJCAA. After an opening-round bye, Kalani Purcell had 25 points and 17 rebounds in an 80-61 second-round win over South Georgia Tech. HCC’s defense locked down on No. 5 Northwest Florida State, holding the Raiders to 29.4 percent shooting in a 68-54 quarterfinal victory.
Purcell had 21 points and Cynthia Petke was huge down the stretch with 16 points and 10 rebounds as Hutchinson advanced to a third national championship game in four seasons with a 63-55 semifinal win over Walters State.
Facing Chipola in the finals, HCC’s offense struggled (34.6 percent) and scored only 17 points in the first half of a 54-46 loss to the Indians. Purcell and Petke earned All-Tournament team recognition.
After a pair of second-round upsets in 2017 and 2018, the Blue Dragons returned to the national semifinals in 2019 with a memorable run that began as an at-large bid into the field of 24 teams.
That run all started with a career-high six 3-pointers and 20 points from freshman Makayla Vannett in an 81-60 victory over Western Nebraska in the opening round of the tournament. Vannett again led the way for Hutch in the second round against Angelina with 18 points and five 3-pointers, but the Dragons got big help from Tijuana Kimbro off the bench as Hutchinson's bigs were in serious foul trouble. Kimbro had 12 points and six rebounds in a 72-59 win over fourth-seeded Angelina. Hutch then advanced to the national semifinals wtih a 66-50 win over fifth-seeded Odessa.
The semifinals would be the end of the magical 2019 postseason run as the offense struggled in a 60-54 loss to preseason No. 1 New Mexico Junior College. Vannett and Jada Mickens were both selected to the 2019 All-Tournament Team.