By Rebecca Carney
The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball enters the Region 6 Tournament with a No. 3 seed and a 28-2 record.
The Blue Dragons routed Allen County 89-40 on Wednesday[Office1] night at the Sports Arena in the first round of the Region 6 Tournament. The Blue Dragons finished a game out of first place in the Jayhawk West, which would have given them a first-round bye.
But with an advantage of a home game Wednesday, Blue Dragons coach John Ontjes hopes to gain momentum.
“It’s nice to have a home game to open up, and we are hoping to gain some momentum and get to Wichita,” Ontjes said.
Ontjes hopes with the loss from Sunday this will help prepare the Blue Dragons for the Region 6 Tournament.
“Hopefully, we learned from our experience (Sunday) being in a close game, great environment and hopefully that will help with us the Region tournament,” Ontjes said.
The Region 6 winner gets an automatic bid to the NJCAA national tournament, although both Hutchinson and Seward County would get strong consideration for at-large bids if they don’t win the tournament.
With an almost-conference title, the Blue Dragons are ready for redemption. The Blue Dragons plan on meeting Seward again but this time leaving with a win.
“We are expecting to see Seward again. They say it is hard to beat a team three times.” Forward Jada Mickens adds.
The road won’t be easy, with a Saturday quarterfinal with Independence at Park City, and a potential semifinal Monday against Jayhawk East champ Butler.
Both of the Blue Dragons losses this year came from Seward County, and they are ready to face the Saints again, but this time with a different outcome.
“The losses Sunday was very tough. It was hard to keep my emotions out of the picture, but we fought really hard,” said Mickens, a Liberal native. “We all wanted it, but it didn’t play in our favor. We always knew that we belonged with Seward. I can’t even tell you what it is. We are there we just haven’t found the thing that we are missing.”