LADY DRAGONS ADVANCE TO REGION VI FINALS FOR FOURTH-STRAIGHT SEASONMarch 8, 2014
HCC Sports Information
WICHITA – The No. 3-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team overcame and incredible performance by Garden City’s Shauqunna Collins on Friday to return to the Region VI Tournament championship game for the fourth-straight season.
Hutchinson defeated Jayhawk West rival Garden City for the third time this season, eliminating the Broncbusters in Friday’s Region VI semifinals 68-56 at Charles Koch Arena.
The Lady Dragons earned a fourth-straight regional finals berth and sixth overall. Hutchinson (31-0) will meet No. 6 Butler (32-1) at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the 2014 NJCAA Women’s National Tournament. The loser will likely receive an at-large bid.
The Lady Dragons won their 32nd consecutive game with a strong effort by their Jayhawk Conference-leading defense. HCC held Garden City to 18 of 48 shooting (37.5 percent), going just 1 of 5 from 3-point range. Garden City also turned the ball over 24 times, leading to a 22-9 Hutch advantage in points off turnovers.
But Garden City (18-14) stayed in the game with the effort of Collins, who scored half of Garden City’s points with 28 on 9 of 20 shooting and 10 of 13 from the free-throw line. Collins’ free throws with 5:41 to play pulled Garden City within 55-50. From that point, HCC outscored the Busters 13-6. Garden City missed 7 of its final 10 shot attempts. Hutch had just two field goals in the final five minutes, but was 8 of 8 from the foul line over that stretch to close out the victory.
Sophomore Jamie Patrick led three Hutchinson players scoring in double figures with 15 points and eight rebounds. Patrick was a perfect 3 of 3 from 3-point range. Sophomore Briana Starks had eight of her 14 points in the first half.
Freshman Kalani Purcell posted her second-straight and 14th of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Purcell also had five steals and four assists.
Freshman Shakira Harding had nine points and sophomore Jen’Von’Ta Hill had seven points, despite playing only two minutes of the first half with foul trouble.
The Lady Dragons his 21 of 46 field-goal attempts (45.7 percent), hitting 4 of 10 from 3-point range and 22 of 30 from the free-throw line. HCC had to overcome 22 turnovers, but out-rebounded Garden City 31-29.
Jasmine Christmas was the only other Garden City player with 11 points. Loysha Morris had seven.
Hutchinson held Garden City scoreless for a stretch of 5 minutes, 1 second as the Lady Dragons opened the game with a 12-5 run; scoring 12 unanswered after the Busters tallied the first five points.
Leading 21-15, HCC stretched its lead to double figures for the first time on back-to-back baskets by Starks and freshman Chelsea Dewey to build a 25-15 lead with 8:40 remaining in the half.
HCC’s offense then went silent for nearly 4 full minutes, but Garden City couldn’t take full advantage. Still an 8-0 run brought Garden City within 26-24 with 4:37 to play after two Collins’ free throws. A Purcell free throw at the 2:02 mark gave HCC a five-point lead, but Garden City got four free-throws from Jasmine Christmas and Tori Spann in the final 1:21 and Hutchinson led 31-30 at halftime.
A couple of early 3-pointers by Patrick and Hill seemed to give HCC a bit of momentum. Leading 37-34, HCC stretched the lead to 42-34 after a Hill steal and layup with 16:06 to play.
Patrick dropped a pair of 3-pointers in the middle stages of the second half. The first bumped the lead back to double figures at 52-41 with 9:33 remaining. The second at the 8:49 mark gave the Lady Dragons their largest lead of the game at 55-43.
From that point, HCC scored just two more field goals and Garden City scored seven unanswered points to pull within 55-50 with 5:41 to play.
Hutchinson’s defense took over from there in spurring a game-clinching 13-6 run. The Busters didn’t score in the final 1:43 of the game.
GAME NOTES – Hutchinson is now 49-32 all-time in the Region VI Tournament, going 1-1 vs. Garden City in tournament play. … HCC head coach John Ontjes is now 20-3 in Region VI games. … HCC is 62-16 all-time vs. Garden City. … Jamie Patrick jumped up to No. 4 in career field goals with 371. She is alone in sixth place in career 3-pointers with 122. … Patrick jumped up to No. 5 on the single-season scoring list with 550 points. He moved up to No. 5 in single-season field goals with 202. … Kalani Purcell moved into a tie for fourth place in single-season blocked shots with 45. … The HCC sophomores won their 67th game. … Purcell had her 17th game this season with 10 or more rebounds and 12th game of five or more steals. … HCC’s 31 rebounds were a season low. … HCC forced 20 or more turnovers for the 20th time this season.