Archive for March 22nd, 2018

End of the road for Blue Dragons

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

The dream is finally over for the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team.

The daunting challenge of winning back-to- back national championships proved too difficult for

the Blue Dragons as they exited the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in the second round Wednesday night at the Sports Arena, falling to Florida SouthWestern State 80-65.

“They’re a good team,” Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck said. “We got their best shot tonight, and it showed.”

Many would say this is one of the more “rollercoaster-esque” seasons in recent years, as Hutchinson

experienced many highs and lows throughout the past six months. They also graduate one of

the most dynamic duos in sophomores J.J. Rhymes and Devonte Bandoo. However, the Blue

Dragons have nothing to be disappointed in, as they finish another great season with a, overall

29-7 record and fourth straight appearance at the national tournament.

The Sports Arena was the place to be Wednesday night, as the 11th-seeded Blue Dragons took on the sixth-seeded Buccaneers from Florida SouthWestern State in a highly-anticipated second-round game. Right from the beginning, it was apparent that the Buccaneers were hungry to knock off the defending national champions on their home court. The game was tight for a majority of the first half, with the Blue Dragons staying within 10 points, but after a

media timeout late in the half, things started to get ugly for Hutchinson.

Up 37-29 at the half, the Buccaneers did not slow their scoring in the second half, as they repeatedly knocked down

shots. Florida SouthWestern used its quick transition game and lethal scoring ability to put the

game to rest early.

After the first media timeout of the half, the Buccaneers were up almost by 20, and the Blue Dragons didn’t have enough firepower to get back in it. Hutchinson’s season was over 14 minutes later.

The Buccaneers shot an impressive 52.5 percent, while the Blue Dragons were held to 38.9 percent.
“Florida SouthWestern is well rounded, they run good offense, they play tough defense and it was tough to score out there,” Eck said.

Eck also stated that the height mismatch was difference maker and that the Buccaneers were no doubt the best team they’ve played all year.

The Blue Dragons graduate six sophomores this year- each of them playing vital parts on this year’s squad. However, Bandoo and Rhymes will go down as two of the best players in Hutchinson history. Rhymes finishes seventh in Blue Dragon leading scorers (1,295 points), while Bandoo finishes 15th (1,072 points). “I wouldn’t want to go out with any other group of guys,” Rhymes said in an emotional post-game interview. “We had our ups and downs, but their family that I wouldn’t want to trade for anything else, and I thank them for

that.

“I also want to thank God for giving me this opportunity, and I can’t wait to see what he

has for me in the future.”

All of the sophomores leave will leave HutchCC with 64 total wins, a conference championship and of course, the 2017 national championship.

HutchCC cheerleaders compete in Region 6 Championships

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Hutchinson Community College’s cheerleaders had a chance to compete Region 6 Cheer and Dance Championship, two weekends ago in Salina.

It was a big event for the teams, as cheer competitions like this are rare.

“We only compete at the one competition. Some of the other teams compete at more competition each year,” said cheer coach Holli Rowe.

Every year, three judges are hired for cheer and three judges are hired for dance. The teams then do their routines, and the judges give their scores. Only Region 6 cheer and dance teams compete at this competition.

HutchCC cheer squad end up placing second, right behind Garden City, who took first.

Sophomore Laurelle Augustine, who is a cheer captain along with sophomore Tristin Padgett, said she thought the cheer team did well enough to win the competition. Yet, Augustine said she was proud of the squad.

“We had so many people quit on us this year, and we had to change the routine so many times,” Augustine said.

The dance team finished fifth in the team routine and second in hip-hop. The team also had two individual competitors, as Aubrey Myers came in fourth and Jasmine Merrell was second.

Roundup: Baseball, softball bats wake up, winter weather wipes out golf

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

The Hutchinson Community College baseball team had its best weekend of the young Jayhawk Conference season, as the Blue Dragons took three out of four games from Butler Community College.

The Blue Dragons swept a doubleheader last Thursday at Hobart-Detter Field, winning 14-10 and 15-10. Two days later, the Blue Dragons and Grizzlies split a pair of 5-4 games.

The Blue Dragons got the weekend off to a bright start, as Logan Santori, Bobby Morgensen and Garret Stephens belted home runs. Santori added two doubles and drove in seven runs.

The next game, HutchCC belted 16 hits, as Santori, Zach Baxley and Riley Metzger had three apiece. Stephens, Metzger and Scott Wolverton hit home runs.

The Blue Dragons nearly came back from a 5-1 hole in the second game, but came up short. Dylan Nedved had three of the eight HutchCC hits.

Santori again led the Blue Dragons in the finale, hitting two more home runs and driving in three runs. Mike Brown was the winning pitcher, and Dayden Lane picked up his second save.

The Blue Dragons (14-10 overall, 7-5 Jayhawk West) also had a Tuesday game moved to Cowley College due to poor field conditions in Hutchinson. Cowley won 9-3.

Softball – The Blue Dragons continued their strong season by winning three of four conference games over the weekend.

HutchCC swept Coffeyville easily, 11-2 and 13-5, and then split with Labette, losing 9-8 and winning 2-1.

Kiara DeCrame picked apart Coffeyville pitching, going 7 for 7 in the two games. She score four runs and drove in seven more. DeCrame also smacked a pair of homers in the second game.

Hutchinson blew an 8-7 lead in the first game with Labette, but came back in the next game behind a four-hitter from Destiniy Schulze.

The Blue Dragons have a four-game, two-day road trip starting today, playing at Johnson County. Saturday, they’re at Fort Scott.

Golf ­– A snowstorm wiped out this week’s tournament in Nebraska. The Blue Dragons were to play in a 54-hole tournament in Kearney, but it was cancelled.

This is the second straight spring tournament the Blue Dragons have had called off due to bad weather.

The Blue Dragons are next scheduled top play Monday at Colbert Hills Country Club in Manhattan.

Blue Dragon women bounced in first round

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team made their eighth

appearance to the NJCAA Division 1 Women’s National Championship on Monday.

However, the trip in Lubbock, Texas was cut short after the Blue Dragons faced a first-round exit, losing to the San Jacinto-North Gators 62-51.

HutchCC, the No. 18 seed, had high hopes coming into the tournament, as the Blue Dragons finished the season with an impressive 27-6 record. But to start the tournament they had to face a similarly-matched San Jacinto team. The Blue Dragons struggled scoring immensely, making only one of their first 12 shots.

At one point in the first quarter, Hutchinson didn’t score for nearly five minutes, leaving San Jacinto to increase its lead.

The second quarter was better for the Blue Dragons, but they found themselves down 13 to end the half. The second half was an uphill climb, as they tried to grind out points.

After a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter, the Blue Dragons found themselves within four points, 47-43. However, the Gators answered with their own 8-0 run, and from there, the Blue Dragons simply couldn’t get back into the game.

The Gators shot an even 50 percent from the field, while the Blue Dragons shot 34.8 percent. For Hutchinson, Dejanae Roebuck was the leading scorer with 24 points.

She also had 12 rebounds, which led to her 14th double-double this season. Tia Bradshaw finished with 12 points and Kelsey Brett had five.

The Blue Dragons finished with a 27-7 record and are now 17-10 all-time in national tournament games.

The Unfortunate Events of Brenna: My Spring Semester Experience Update

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

My first fully unfortunate week of this semester began Monday, March 12. It was already a stressful day having had a bad weekend.

My Basic Photography class goes from 6-10 p.m. I was leaving my dorm room when I discovered that I locked my keys and camera inside. It took me a few minutes and some choice words to calm down, but once I did, I just went to my class. On my way over to Lockman Hall, some guys thought I was someone else, and I just ignored them, which isn’t really how I should’ve handled it, but I was having a rough time. When I got to my class, Charles Wheeler, my photography teacher, told me he remembered to bring a cleaner for my camera’s sensor. Of course it was the same day I locked my camera in my dorm room.

On Tuesday, I decided to go to my friends’ house because I needed some assistance finding Command hooks. I know, lame excuse, but I needed a little normal in my crazy life. My best friend, Rachel, went with me to Walmart, where we both had an awkward encounter. We were walking through the parking lot when a man in a white SUV pulled up next to us and said, “Hey, ladies”, as if he was about to ask something, so I stopped and my friend who wasn’t paying attention said, ‘What?’

He asked us if we knew what a pall bearer was. We just stared at him like he was asking us a trick question. He just continued, unfazed by our confusion. “You know, the ones who carry the caskets? What do they call them in Oklahoma?” the man asked. I was just too weirded out that he was bringing up such a random subject so I answered, “Um, I don’t know, what?” He chuckled and said, “A Karae-Okie”.

Rachel and I looked at each other and then back to him and just pretended we heard the funniest joke ever, which, to be honest, was a clever one. He told us another joke, but we were already walking away.

Thursday night, I made a horrible decision to drink a Monster Energy drink at 6 p.m. Once 3 a.m. came around I was so exhausted, but also couldn’t go to sleep. My brain was just running non-stop. I thought about nothing and everything for hours. I tried getting up and walking around, nothing happened. I also tried listening to some music that had no lyrics, and reading, to calm me down.

There was a train that I could hear every two hours, and right when I would get relaxed, I there would either be a loud whistle or the wind blowing against the window.

At 5 a.m., I figured it was pointless to keep trying.  I knew my roommate had to get up at 6 a.m., so I figured I would just sleep when she left. By that time, I remembered an algebra assignment I had completely forgot about and finished it. Then I started to get ready for the day.

I tried everything to make myself not look like a zombie, I even dressed up and put makeup on. I have to say, for someone who pulled an accident all-nighter, I didn’t look as awful as I felt.

Every Friday, I deliver The Collegian at 8 a.m., so I was walking over to the building, another Monster in my hand, trying to hide my symptoms of fatigue. When I was done delivering, I headed to my class and told my friends about my horrible accident of staying up all night.

The rest of the day was super hard. I had a ponytail holder on my wrist that I kept snapping on my skin to keep myself awake. I didn’t even eat until I got home, which was scary because I was so tired, but I managed to drive home fine. Once I was finally in Little River I relaxed and passed out on the couch.

On the bright side, Saturday was a good day for me. It was St. Patrick’s Day and I actually felt more rested than ever. I was with my mom and my sister. We ended up going to Wichita to shop and two unfortunate things happened. But not to me.

I’m pretty sure it had to do with me being the only one in green. Long story short, my sister lost her phone in the Warren Theater bathroom and I had to go in and help her after she was done hyperventilating. Then my mom lost her credit card and thought she threw it away in a gas station trash can while she was getting gas. So we were digging through the nasty trash when my sister goes, “Here it is!” And pulled it out of the door handle cubby. Good thing I always have hand sanitizer with me.

Tom Reilly, NJCAA host, helps Tournament run smoothly

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

With the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship having begun Monday, the Sports Arena has been jam-packed with junior college teams and fans from all over the country.

With that in mind, how does everything not get out of control?

There are behind-the-scene people who help run the NJCAA Tournament and manage possible chaos. One of these groups is the team hosts. Tom Reilly, a Topeka native and Hutchinson resident is Hutchinson Community College’s host for this year.

“Every team has a host, and there are 24 teams in the Tournament,” Reilly said. “The hosts don’t know who they have until the seeds are finalized. Once they are informed who they have, they reach out to the school and introduce themselves.”

Their job is mostly to help the team with time management, scheduling practices and supervise the locker rooms and on benches with the team they are hosting. They cater to the coaches’ needs.

Sometimes, hosts know their designated junior college team close enough to have friends or acquaintances within the community. For instance, Reilly knows some people in the Hutchinson community who can help him out and he knows Blue Dragons coach Steve Eck well.

Because of his connections with Trinity Catholic, Reilly got to schedule a Blue Dragon practice for Tuesday night in advance, if the Blue Dragons were to win that afternoon against Cape Fear. Since they did win, they got to go over plays in preparation for Wednesday night’s game against Florida SouthWestern.

Reilly mentioned that he hasn’t gotten to host HutchCC until this year, and he is excited he is on the Blue Dragons’ bench this season.

“I’ve worked as a host for about 13 years,” Reilly said.

He has been through this several times and said that he always looks forward to basketball season. That is how he got his job in the first place. He said that he was asked in 2006 if he would be willing to become a host since he was a well-known basketball fan.

Since then, he has enjoyed the experiences he has had with the teams he hosted so far.