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October 28, 2013LADY DRAGON BASKETBALL STARTS SEASON NO. 3 IN NJCAA PRESEASON POLL
The Hutchinson Community College women's basketball team earned its highest preseason in team history on Monday as the Lady Dragons were picked No. 3 in the 2013-14 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Preseason Poll, which was released on Monday.
Hutchinson enters the new season, which starts on Friday at the Sports Arena with the Quarterback Classic, coming off the best two-year run in the first 39 years. HCC has gone 72-3 over the past two years, 31-1 in Jayhawk West Play. HCC has won three-straight Jayhawk West titles, two-consecutive Region VI crowns and was the 2012 NJCAA National Tournament runner-up and finished third at nationals last season.
Seventh-year head coach John Ontjes returns one starter and four sophomores from last year's 36-2 team and went 15-1 in the Jayhawk West.
This is the fifth-straight season that the HCC women have appeared in the NJCAA preseason poll. The No. 3 preseason pick is the highest in team history, topping last season's starting point of No. 6. Two years ago, the Lady Dragon started the season No. 7. Three years ago, the Lady Dragons started the season ranked 17th in the preseason poll and four years ago, Hutchinson opened the season at No. 10.
Sophomore guard Jamie Patrick (5-foot-10, Hutchinson Central Christian) was the third-leading scorer last season and top-returning scorer for this season. She averaged 12.4 points per game. She shot 51.2 percent from the field overall last season, including 67 of 162 from 3-point range (41.4 percent). Patrick also ranked among the Jayhawk West leaders from the foul line at 78.8 percent. Patrick averaged 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.
Patrick scored in double figures in 29 games last season with a with a season high of 25 against Northwest Florida State in the NJCAA Tournament quarterfinals. Patrick posted two double-doubles as she was named second-team All-Jayhawk West, second-team all-Region VI and earned all-NJCAA Tournament Team honors.
Sophomore point guard Jen'Von'Ta Hill (5-7, St. Paul, Minn.) was a back-up point-guard to record-setting Chrisstasia Walter last season and still managed to produce the 10th-most assists in a season and third-most by a freshman with 143 assists. Hill averaged 6.2 points per game last season, but picked up her scoring in the season's second half. She shot 38.4 percent from the field, hitting 14 of 48 field goals.
Hill was a strong on-ball defender with 72 steals. That tied for 11th all-time in a season and was second-most by a freshman.
Routinely one of the first players off the bench last season, Briana Starks (5-11, Hutchinson High) provided a strong rebounding presence and added some big baskets throughout the season. Playing in all 38 games, Starks averaged 5.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. She shot 51.1 percent from the floor and was second among all inside players with 40 assists. Starks was a key to Hutchinson being a plus-10.4 rebounding margin in 2012-13.
Playing in 36 games, starting in one, sophomore guard Kiara Jones (5-10, Overland Park) was another key contributor off the bench for the 2012-13 Lady Dragons. She averaged 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman. Jones shot 40.8 percent from the field, but some of her biggest contributions weren't found on the stat sheet as her interior defense was a key factor in HCC allowing just 48.7 points per game last season.
The Lady Dragons bring in eight freshmen to mesh with the four returning sophomores.
Hutchinson opens the season at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the Kansas Wesleyan University Junior Varsity to open the 2013 HCC Quarterback Club Classic. The Lady Dragons play Jayhawk East rival Labette at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
2013-14 NJCAA PRESEASON WOMEN'S DIVISION I BASKETBALL POLL
Team 2012-13 Record
1. Trinity Valley CC 36-1
2. Central Arizona College 32-2
3. Hutchinson CC 36-2
4. Chipola College 28-8
5. College of Southern Idaho 21-12
6. Blinn College 32-4
7. Northwest Florida State College 27-5
8. Weatherford College 25-6
9. Shelton State CC 33-1
10. Darton State College 33-4
11. Walters State CC 29-2
12. Three Rivers CC 23-7
13. Northern Oklahoma College-Enid 24-8
14. North Idaho College 28-5
15. Western Nebraska CC 20-15
16. Wallace State CC 23-10
17. Arizona Western College 22-9
18. Midland College 27-8
19. Seward County CC 20-11
20. Copiah-Lincoln CC 24-4
21. ASA College 25-4
22. Florida State College at Jacksonville 23-8
23. Southwestern Illinois College 25-6
24. State Fair CC 21-10
25. Malcolm X College 21-6