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January 4, 2013LADY DRAGONS OPEN JAYHAWK WEST WITH ROAD TEST AT DODGE CITY ON SATURDAY
After completing a second-straight undefeated non-conference season, the No. 2-ranked Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team begins its quest for a third-straight Jayhawk Conference Western Division championship on Saturday night at Dodge City.
The Lady Dragons (14-0, 0-0 Jayhawk West) will meet Dodge City (6-8, 0-0) at 6 p.m. in Dodge City's United Wireless Arena. The game can be heard on Blue Dragon Flagship Station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister station KWBW-AM (1450) beginning at 5:50 p.m. The game can also be seen and heard on the internet on the blue Dragon Sports Network (bluedragonsports.com).
The Lady Dragons knocked the rust from an 18-day layoff on Wednesday when HCC rolled to an 81-52 victory over Neosho County.
Dodge City (6-8, 0-0) played on Wednesday and lost at Northwest Tech 61-51.
Entering Jayhawk West play on Saturday, the Lady Dragons have won 28-straight Jayhawk West games. HCC has also reeled off 55-consecutive regular-season victories. Hutchinson has defeated Dodge City a series-record 12-straight times.
The Lady Dragons enter the 2013 conference season as the No. 10 offensive team in the NJCAA at 78.9 points per game. They rank fifth in the nation in scoring defense at 46.1 points per contest.
Hutchinson opens a busy start as conference play begins. Starting with Saturday's game at Dodge City, the Lady Dragons will play three games in five days. On Monday, HCC opens the home conference season with a battle against No. 12 Garden City at the Sports Arena. Then it's off to El Dorado to take on a surging Butler team that went 12-2 in the non-conference season.
HCC's Sports Arena winning streak up to 71 games
A 82-51 victory over Neosho County on Wednesday extended the Lady Dragons' team-record home-court winning streak to 71 games.
The current streak started with an 80-26 victory over Pratt on Jan. 28, 2009. The last team to defeat the Lady Dragons at the Sports Arena was Barton.
HCC has won 85 of its last 87 games at home and are 98-3 at the Sports Arena under head coach John Ontjes.
HCC has had 11 streaks of at least 10 or more consecutive home victories.
Current winning streak tied for program's 6th longest
Hutchinson's current 14-game winning streak is tied with three 14-game runs for the sixth-longest in team history.
The 2012-13 Lady Dragons are tied with the 2001-02, 2009-10 and 2010-11 teams for sixth place. A victory over Dodge City on Saturday would give the current Lady Dragon team sole possession of sixth place.
Three HCC teams are tied for third with 16 straight victories. The 1977-78 Lady Dragons were reached 16-straight wins as did the 1989-90 and 2004-05 teams.
The longest winning streak in team history is 36, set by last season's NJCAA national runner-up team who started the season 36-0 before losing in the national championship game. The second-longest streak in team history was also snapped in the NJCAA Tournament. The 1976-77 Lady Dragons reeled off 26-consecutive wins before falling in the national semifinals.
2012-13 Lady Dragons tied for 5th best start ever
Now 14-0 to start the season, the 2012-13 Lady Dragons are tied for the fifth-best start in program history.
The current Lady Dragons have tied the 2001-02 team at 14-0.
Last year's NJCAA national runner-up team holds the record by winning its first 36 games before dropping the national championship game.
The 1976-77 Lady Dragons, which finished fourth in the NJCAA Tournament, started that season with 24-straight wins before losing the final two games of the national tournament.
The 1989-90 and 2004-05 Lady Dragons are tied for the third-best start to a season at 16-0. HCC's women have had 10 starts to seasons of at least 10-0.
HCC working on other impressive streaks
+ Regular-season streak - The Lady Dragons won 55 consecutive regular-season games entering play vs. Dodge City.
The last regular-season loss came on Jan. 15, 2011 at El Dorado, a 55-51 loss at Butler.
The current regular-season winning streak is the longest since HCC reeled off 25 straight regular-season wins from 1977-79.
+ Non-Conference regular-season streak - With its 81-52 victory over Neosho County on Jan. 2, the Lady Dragons have reeled off 35-straight non-conference victories dating back to a 69-63 loss to South Plains on Nov. 20, 2010.
+ Opponents shooting less than 50 percent - Opponents have not shot 50 percent or more from the field in 78 consecutive games.
The last time an opponent shot 50 percent or better came in the sixth game of the 2010-11 season when South Plains shot right at 50 percent (23 of 46) from the field. That's the only time in the John Ontjes era that an opponent has shot 50 percent.
Before that, the Lady Dragons went 118 straight games without allowing a team to shoot 50 percent or better.
Lady Dragons in the NJCAA National Poll
The HCC Lady Dragons ran their streak of being ranked in the Top 10 of the NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball Poll to 23 weeks with a No. 2 ranking on Dec. 12.
The Lady Dragons maintained their No. 2 ranking after victories over No. 25 NEO, the Bethany College JV and No. 4 Iowa Western.
The No. 2 ranking ties the highest mark ever achieved by the Lady Dragons, matching an eight-week run at No. 2 during last seasons' 36-1 national runner-up season.
Hutchinson started the season ranked No. 6 after last season's national runner-up finish. The Lady Dragons were No. 5 in the first regular-season poll.
This is the fourth-straight season that the HCC women have appeared in the NJCAA preseason poll. The No. 6 preseason pick is the highest in team history, topping last season's starting point of No. 7. Two years ago, the Lady Dragons started the season ranked 17th in the preseason poll. Three years ago, Hutchinson opened the season at No. 10.
HCC's current run in the Top 10 is the longest since a 16-week run during the 1977 and 1978 seasons.
HCC has been a part of the NJCAA poll for 40-straight and 50 of the last 52 polls.
About the 2012-13 Lady Dragons
+ The Lady Dragons are second in the Jayhawk West and 10th in the NJCAA in scoring average at 78.9 points per game. HCC also leads the league in field-goal percentage (46.5 percent) and 3-point shooting (38.9 percent). The Lady Dragons are shooting 62.8 percent from the free-throw line.
+ Hutchinson leads the Jayhawk West and is fifth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 45.7 points per game. The Lady Dragons are second in field-goal defense at 29.7 percent. Opponents are shooting 22.6 from 3-point range, which ranks second in the league.
+ Sophomore Chrisstasia Walter is HCC's leading scorer and is leading the league in steals and assists. Walter is averaging 14.1 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Jayhawk West. She is shooting 45.5 percent and she has scored in double figures in 12 of 14 games. Walter averages 5.6 rebounds and league highs of 5.9 assists and 3.9 steals per game.
+ Freshman Jamie Patrick is sixth in the KJCCC West in scoring averaging 12.9 points per game. She leads the West in field-goal percentage at 58.6 percent and 3-point field-goal percentage at 51.0 percent. She has a team-high 25 3-point goals, coming off a season-high four treys against Neosho County on Wednesday. Patrick is averaging 5.8 rebound per game. Over her last eight games, Patrick is averaging 13.9 points per game, shooting 63.9 percent from the field.
+ Coming off a season-high 18 points on Wednesday, sophomore Jasmine Patterson averages 11.3 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds. She also has a team-high 16 blocks, which is fourth in the Jayhawk West.
+ Sophomore Aja Sorrells is fourth on the team at 9.4 points per game. She is averaging 5.6 rebounds. Sorrells ranks sixth in the KJCCC West in free-throw percentage at 78.0 percent. She is fifth in steals at 2.8 per game. She had five steals on Wednesday vs. Neosho County.
+ The Lady Dragons average a league-best 22.0 assists per game. Walter has a team-high 83 and freshman Jen'Von'Ta Hill has 56. Hill is sixth in the league with 4.00 assists per game. Walter has had four-straight and eight total games of seven assists or more. Both Walter and Hill have 10-assist games this season.
+ The Lady Dragons are out-rebounding opponents with a plus-11.1 rebounding margin. HCC is pulling down 44.0 rebounds, while giving up 32.9 boards. HCC is averaging 15.9 offensive rebounds per game.
+ HCC turns the ball over 15.8 times per game, while forcing 24.9 turnovers.
+ The Lady Dragons are scoring 25.7 points per game off the bench. Freshman Bri Starks is averaging 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds. Freshman Tahniya Sweatt is averaging 8.3 points, but has missed the last 10 games because of injury.
+ Starks ranks fourth in the Jayhawk West in field-goal percentage at 56.3 percent.
+ Hutchinson is 2-0 vs. nationally ranked opponents, defeating No. 25 NEO and No. 4 Iowa Western.
+ The Lady Dragons have had 20 or more assists in 10 of 14 games this season. HCC has seven players with 20 or more assists so far this season.
Scouting Dodge City
+ The Conquistadors enter the Jayhawk West season with a 6-8 record under second-year coach Lucas McDonald, who has 14 non-conference wins in his tenure. Dodge City had 17 non-conference wins combined in the five previous seasons.
+ Dodge City dropped a 61-51 decision on Wednesday at Northwest Tech. According to the Dodge City Globe, two key players were missing. Kesha Buckner missed the game because of injury and Samantha Herrera (8.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg) left the program, according to the published report.
+ The Conquistadors ranks low in several Jayhawk West statistically categories, but are improve offensively so far this season. The Conqs average 64.2 points per game and shoots 37.8 percent overall. Dodge City averages 34.6 percent from 3-point range and 61.2 percent from the free throw line.
+ Defensively, the Conquistadors are allowing an improved 59.7 points per game. DCCC allows opponents 35.2 percent overall and 30.4 percent from 3-point range.
+ Two players average in double figures to lead Dodge City. Kelli Tolar averages 11.2 points per game, shooting 37.2 percent overall. She also averages 3.4 assists.
+ Casey McCauley averages 10.0 points per game, shooting 47.7 percent from the field. McCauley averages 4.0 rebounds per game.
+ Five players average at lead 7.7 points per game. Jameeshia Armstrong averages 9.6 points, Buckner averages 9.2 points and Nicole Salazar averages 7.7 points per game.
+ Dodge City has three main 3-point threats in Tolar (24 makes, 32.0%), Salazar (22, 44.9%) and Armstrong (18, 34.0%).
+ Dodge City has a minus-2.0 rebounding margin, pulling down 41.1 rebounds per game. Bucker leads the Jayhawk West in rebounding at 10.2 boards per game.
+ The Conqs turn the ball over 19.0 times per game and force 22.1 turnovers.
+ DCCC is averaging 13.4 assists, 9.8 steals and 1.7 blocked shots per game. Salazar is tied for fourth in assists with 4.1 per game.
Series History vs. Dodge City
This will be the 82nd meeting between Hutchinson and Dodge City. The Lady Dragons own a 56-25 overall record, including 12-straight victories over the Conqs.
HCC is 27-12 against Dodge City at the Sports Arena and 27-12 in Dodge City. The teams are 2-1 in neutral floors and HCC leads Region VI meetings 4-2. The last postseason meeting game in 1985.
Lady Dragons return to commercial radio
All 16 Lady Dragon Jayhawk West basketball games will be broadcast on commercial radio for the first time this season.
HCC's conference games and subsequent postseason games will be aired on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister station KWBW-AM (1450). Air times for games will be 10 minutes before scheduled tipoff.
Glen Grunwald will provide the play-by-play and Rusty Hilst will serve as analyst.
The games will continue to be available on video or an audio-only feed on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at www.bluedragonsports.com.