Lady Dragons win 4th straight Region VI tournament title

By Bailey Terry

Richard Steckly/Collegian - Kalani Purcell, Hamilton, New Zealand, concentrates on defense during the Feb. 18 game with the Pratt Beavers at the Sports Arena. The No. 1 Lady Dragons on March 7 won the Region VI Championship and are headed for the nationals.
Richard Steckly/Collegian - Kalani Purcell, Hamilton, New Zealand, concentrates on defense during the Feb. 18 game with the Pratt Beavers at the Sports Arena. The No. 1 Lady Dragons on March 7 won the Region VI Championship and are headed for the nationals.

The Lady Dragon basketball team traveled to Wichita on March 7, to the Koch Arena to face the Jayhawk East champions, the Coffeyville Ravens, in the championship game of the Region VI tournament. The Dragons won 66-58.

This was the sixth Region VI tournament win in HCC women’s basketball history and also the fourth consecutive win for the Dragons. The Dragons are entering the NJCAA tournament with a record of 33-0.

Kalani Purcell, Hamilton, New Zealand, is now the leading scoring in HCC history for women’s basketball with 1,102 points. Purcell also is the leader for the most rebounds in a single season with 380.

She was named the Region VI tournament’s most valuable player.

Cynthia Petke, Yaounde, Cameroon, Shakira Harding, Houma, Fla., Clemence LeFebvre, St. Martin, France, and Alyx Bloom, Clay Center, all made it on the All-Tournament team.

Purcell was able to get her 42nd career double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Petke also scored a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

This win was the Dragons 15th consecutive Region VI tournament win for the Dragons.

The Dragons went 26 for 55 overall shooting, 4 for 16 from beyond the arc, and 10 for 14 from the free throw line.

Bloom made 10 points, pulled down seven rebounds, and two steals, while Harding had eight points.

LeFebvre hit seven points, had five rebounds, and five assists.

The Dragons didn’t start the game off well, they were down 11-1 about four minutes into the game. Purcell scored a few times to help the Dragons get back in the game.

Hutch pulled out a 15-6 run to stay with their opponents, 17-16.

The Dragons tied the game at 21, but the Ravens answered with a three to pull ahead. Hutch was able to take the lead, 25-24, but the Ravens scored a three to close the half, 27-24.

The Dragons were able to jump out to an early lead, 34-29, but Coffeyville took back the lead41-38 with 10 minutes to go.

Hutch pulled a lead of 56-50, but yet again Coffeyville answered to be within two points, 56-54 with just under two minutes to go.

Then Bloom stole the ball and passed to Petke who then scored to keep the Dragons ahead with under one minute to go, 58-54.

The Dragons were able to keep the lead and win the game, 66-58.

The Dragons traveled to Wichita for the Region VI tournament semifinals on March 6, to face the Independence Pirates. The Dragons won 81-47 to advance on to the championship game.

Harding scored a career-high of 18 points, made six of nine shots and three for five from the three-point line. She had six assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

LeFebvre hit 15 points while shooting six for nine. She added four rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

Petke scored 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, while Bloom scored eight points and had six assists.

The Dragons shot 29-54 overall, went eight for 17 from beyond the arc, and made 15 of 23 free throws.

Hutch started the game off well with a 17-4 run and led 19-8 with 12 minutes for the day. The Dragons had yet another run, 13-2. At the end of the half the Dragons led 42-26.

The Dragons kept their big lead, 59-33 with 10 minutes remaining. Hutch outscored Independence 39-21 in the second half.

The Dragons won the game 81-47.

Information about the NJCAA Women’s tournament will be released on March 16. The tournament will be held in Salina.

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