By Cassidy Crites
For the first month of basketball season, the Hutchinson Community College teams have had anything but a home-court advantage. Out of the Blue Dragons’ first eight conference games, six have been away.
In November, the Sports Arena hosted two different volleyball tournaments. First was the KCAC volleyball tournament. The arena also had the opportunity to host the NJCAA National Volleyball tournament. These events took place over two different weekends, resulting in road games for the basketball squads.
However, there are positives to having so many road games at the beginning of the season. The Blue Dragon teams play four straight home games in the middle of January.
Women’s coach John Ontjes wasn’t fond of playing so many road games but has found the positives in the situation.
“There has been a disadvantage with how many new kids we have on our team not playing at home, but picking up a few road wins now will help when we return the home games in January,” Ontjes said.
Despite all the traveling, both men and women’s Blue Dragon teams are off to a good start. The women post a 6-2 overall record and 4-2 in the conference after Wednesday’s win against Colby. Their two losses have come from Seward County Community College and Cloud County Community College, both on their opponent’s court.
The men are 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference. Their one loss came from Cloud County, also at the Thunderdome.
While some athletes feel the effect of not playing on their court, Ontjes does not feel as though it has altered the way the girls play.
“It would’ve been nice to start the conference with two home games, but I don’t think it’s made that big of an impact on the way we played. The kids we have didn’t know the difference,” Ontjes said.
Up next the Blue Dragons hit the road again to face Garden City on Saturday. Hutch rounds out the eight-game start Dec. 6 at Butler.