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January 25, 2013NO. 1 LADY DRAGONS HIT THE ROAD TO MEET SECOND-PLACE THUNDERBIRDS ON SATURDAY
The NJCAA No. 1-ranked Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team opens a key stretch of games to close out the first half of the Jayhawk Conference Western Division season beginning Saturday on the road.
Over the next two games, the top-ranked Lady Dragons (20-0, 6-0 Jayhawk West) will play two of the league's top teams beginning with second-place Cloud County at 6 p.m. Saturday in Concordia.
Tipoff will be at 6 p.m. at the Thunderdome. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister station KWBW-AM (1450) beginning at 5:50 p.m. A live videostream and audio-only stream are both available on the Blue Dragon Sports Network (www.bluedragonsports.com) beginning at 5:50 p.m.
After Saturday, the Lady Dragons will close out the first half of conference play against Seward County on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.
Hutchinson will make its first attempt at program milestone victory No. 800 on Saturday.
Victory No. 799 came on Wednesday when HCC defeated Pratt 78-46 at the Sports Arena. Sophomore Chrisstasia Walter tied a career high with 26 points, nailing 5 of 5 from 3-point range, as the Lady Dragons shot 53.6 percent overall, while holding Pratt to a season-low 46 points. HCC won its 74th consecutive game at the Sports Arena.
Cloud County (15-5, 5-1) had its nine-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday when Butler handed the Thunderbirds their first Jayhawk West loss of the season. The T-Birds were held to 34.6 percent shooting and turned the ball over 25 times in a 64-53 loss to the Grizzlies.
HCC's Sports Arena winning streak up to 74 games
A 78-46 victory over Pratt on Wednesday extended the Lady Dragons' team-record home-court winning streak to 74 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 88 of its last 90 games at home and are 101-3 at the Sports Arena under head coach John Ontjes.
HCC has had 13 streaks of at least 10 or more consecutive home victories.
Current winning streak now program's 3rd longest
Hutchinson's current 20-game winning streak is now the third-longest winning streak in team history.
The 2012-13 Lady Dragons surpassed the 1977-78, 1989-90 and 2004-05 teams for the third-longest start in team history.
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 off to 3rd best start ever
Now 20-0 to start the season, the 2012-13 Lady Dragons have tied the third-best start in program history.
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.
HCC's women have had 11 starts to seasons of at least 10-0.
HCC working on other impressive streaks
+ Regular-season streak - The Lady Dragons won 61 consecutive regular-season games entering play vs. Cloud County.
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.
+ Jayhawk West regular-season streak - Hutchinson has won 34-consecutive games in the Jayhawk West regular season. That streak dates back to Jan. 15, 2011 when Butler defeated HCC 55-51.
+ Road regular-season streak - The Lady Dragons have reeled off 18-consecutive victories on opposing courts. This streak does not count neutral-court games. This streak dates back to a 55-51 setback on Jan. 15, 2011 at Butler. HCC's record road-game winning streak is 23 games, set from 1976-78.
+ 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 84 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 117 straight games without allowing a team to shoot 50 percent or better.
Lady Dragons in the NJCAA National Poll
The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team remained No. 1 for the third-straight week after climbing to No. 1 in the NJCAA Women's Division I basketball poll for the first time in the program's 39-year history.
The Lady Dragons (20-0) made the move to the top rung on the NJCAA ladder on Jan. 9 after former No. 1 North Idaho lost to Salt Lake.
The Lady Dragons become the first Jayhawk Conference Division I team to be ranked No. 1 since Seward County opened the 2007-08 poll as the nation's top team. HCC is the first Jayhawk Conference team to be ranked No. 1 during a regular-season poll since Cloud County held the top spot for three weeks in the 2006-07 season.
The No. 1 ranking is the highest mark ever achieved by the Lady Dragons, surpassing the No. 2 ranking reached this season and matched by an eight-week run at No. 2 during last seasons' 36-1 national runner-up season.
HCC has been a part of the NJCAA poll for 44-straight and 54 of the last 56 polls.
Ontjes now third on HCC coaching wins list
Five of HCC's six women's basketball coaches have been at the post for at least 146 games. That means it's tough to quickly move up the program's coaching charts.
Sixth-year head coach John Ontjes is doing just that, now ranking third on the coaching wins' list with 140 victories.
Ontjes trails Tom Worthing (1982-93) who had 225 victories and Rob Edmisson (1993-2002), who has 192 wins.
Ontjes' 88.5 winning percentage ranks first among HCC's six head coaches.
He has coached in 192 games, third most in team history. Tom Worthing holds the record with 341 games coached.
About the 2012-13 Lady Dragons
+ The Lady Dragons rank No. 1 currently in the Jayhawk West in scoring offense, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. HCC is currently averages 77.5 points per game, while shooting 46.2 percent overall and 38.6 percent from 3-point range. HCC shoots 63.5 percent from the foul line.
+ Hutchinson leads the Jayhawk West and is third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 45.8 points per game. The Lady Dragons lead the league in field-goal defense at 29.6 percent. Opponents are shooting 22.1 from 3-point range, which ranks second in the league.
+ In conference play, HCC is averaging 77.2 points per game, shooting 45.6 percent from 3-point range, 38.0 percent from 3-point range and 65.4 percent from the line. Defensively, HCC is allowing 44.8 points, 29.4 percent field-goal shooting and 20.8 percent from 3-point range.
+ Sophomore point guard Chrisstasia Walter re-claimed the team scoring lead after a career-high-tying 26 points vs. Pratt on Wednesday. Walter is averaging 13.9 points per game, which ranks fifth in the Jayhawk West. She leads the Jayhawk West in steals (3.90/game) and assists (5.95/game). Walter is tied for sixth in single-season steals and is 20 assists away from joining the HCC single-season Top 10 assists list. She averages 5.6 rebounds per game.
+ Freshman guard Jamie Patrick had a streak of 18 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer snapped on Wednesday, but she is leads the lead in field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. Sixth in the league in scoring at 12.9 points per game, Patrick is shooting 56.8 percent overall and 48.1 percent from 3-point range. She has a team-high 38 3-pointers. Patrick is averaging 5.1 rebounds per game.
+ Sophomore Jasmine Patterson averages 11.8 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds. She also has a team-high 24 blocked shots and has 41 assists and 26 steals. Patterson is ninth in the league in scoring, fifth in blocked shots and sixth in rebounding. Patterson has two double-doubles this season.
+ Sophomore forward Aja Sorrells is coming off back-to-back games of 20 and 17 points to reach double figures with a scoring average of 10.2 points on 51.0 percent shooting. In the Jayhawk West, Sorrells is shooting 59 percent, averaging 12.0 points per game. Sorrells ranks No. 1 in the league in free-throw shooting at 81.4 percent, sixth in steals at 2.45 per game and ninth in field-goal percentage.
+ The Lady Dragons average a league-best 21.5 assists per game. Walter has a team-high 119 and freshman Jen'Von'Ta Hill has 81. Hill is fourth in the league with 4.05 assists per game. Both Walter and Hill have 10-assist games this season.
+ The Lady Dragons are out-rebounding opponents with a plus-11.9 rebounding margin. HCC is pulling down 44.7 rebounds, while giving up 32.8 boards. HCC is averaging 15.5 offensive rebounds per game. HCC has broken the 60-rebound mark twice this season.
+ HCC turns the ball over 16.3 times per game, while forcing 24.2 turnovers. Seventeen of 20 opponents have had 20 or more turnovers this season.
+ The Lady Dragons are scoring 23.3 points per game off the bench. Freshman Bri Starks is averaging 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds.
+ Starks ranks fifth in the Jayhawk West in field-goal percentage at 53.3 percent.
+ Hutchinson is 3-0 vs. nationally ranked opponents, defeating No. 25 NEO, No. 4 Iowa Western and No. 11 Garden City.
Scouting Cloud County
+ Cloud County coach Brett Erkenbrack is the dean of Jayhawk Conference coaches, now in his 24th season with the Thunderbirds. Winning the 2001 national championship, Erkenbrack has a coaching record of 551-214.
+ The Thunderbirds played a very strong schedule this season and started 2012-13 at 6-4. Cloud County then reeled off nine-straight victories before suffering its first Jayhawk West loss on Wednesday, losing 64-53 at Butler.
+ Before shooting a season-low 34.6 percent against Butler, Wednesday, Cloud County has been very consistent offensively this season. The Thunderbirds rank fourth in the Jayhawk West in scoring offense at 71.9 points per game. The T-Birds shoot 40.0 percent from the floor and 35.2 percent from 3-point range, which is second in the league. Cloud County is averaging 5.37 made treys per game.
+ Defensively, the T-Birds are allowing 55.7 points per game. Wednesday vs. Butler was only the third time this season Cloud County had given up at least 70 points in a game. Cloud County ranks third in both field-goal defense (32.1 percent) and 3-point defense (22.9 percent).
+ Jordyn Alexander is Cloud County's leading scorer. She is 10th in the Jayhawk West in scoring at 11.9 points per game. Alexander is also the second-leading free-throw shooter in the league at 80.0 percent (84 of 105). Alexander averages 6.1 rebounds per game.
+ Sophomore sniper Aleesha Coulter leads the KJCCC West in made 3-pointers at 2.45 per game (49 of 136) and is sixth in the league at 36.8 percent from long range. Coulter averages 10.5 points per game. She ranks fifth in steals at 2.58 per game.
+ Raneisha Duncan ranks seventh in the league in 3-point percentage (35.7 percent) and is eighth in made 3s with 1.55 per game. Duncan also ranks eighth in steals at 2.16 per game and eighth in assists at 3.21 per game. Duncan is averaging 9.5 points per game.
+ Pearlrae Thomas averages 9.9 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game, which is tied for sixth in the conference. Thomas is second in the league in blocked shots at 1.63 per game and is fourth in offensive rebounding at 3.05 per game.
+ The Thunderbirds are a plus-6.3 in rebounding margin, averaging 46.7 rebounds per game, which is third most. Cloud County is second in offensive rebounding at 17.11 per game.
+ The Thunderbirds average 17.8 turnovers, while forcing 20.7 per game.
+ Cloud County leads the Jayhawk West in team blocked shots at 5.6 per game. The T-Birds are third in steals (11.9/game).
+ Cloud County is 6-2 at the Thunderdome this season, 5-1 on the road and 4-2 on neutral floors.
Series History vs. Cloud County
This will be the 61st meeting and the seven in the last three seasons between Hutchinson and Cloud County in a series that began in 1974. The teams have met as Jayhawk Conference rivals since 1997.
Hutchinson owns a 34-23 series advantage. The Lady Dragons are 14-10 vs. Cloud County at the Sports Arena, 16-11 in games played at Concordia, 4-2 on neutral floors and 3-2 in Region VI competition. Hutchinson is 13-13 against Cloud County in games since the T-Birds joined the Jayhawk West before the 1996-97 season.
The visiting team has won 15 of the last 25 regular-season meetings.