[ By STEVE CARPENTER ]
[ BLUE DRAGON SPORTS INFORMATION ]
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team got the news it had been waiting for since last Tuesday when the Blue Dragons received an at-large bid for the 2018 NJCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament on Monday.
The team found out together watching the NJCAA Selection Show in the George Killian Room at the Sports Arena on Monday.
The Blue Dragons (27-6) earned the No. 18 seed in the tournament and will play No. 15-seed San Jacinto-North in an opening-round game at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 19 at the Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.
The Blue Dragons will be making their eighth NJCAA Tournament appearance, the seventh under head coach John Ontjes and first as an at-large team.
The Blue Dragons finished tied for second in the Jayhawk Conference this season with Independence. The Dragons advanced to the Region VI semifinals for the 10th consecutive season before being eliminated in the semifinal round by the Pirates.
The Blue Dragons had two long winning streaks that put them in position to earn an at-large bid.
Hutch drops its first two games of league play to eventual conference and region VI champion Seward County and Cloud County, but reeled off 13-consecutive wins. After a two-game losing streak in mid-February put Hutch’s tournament hopes on thin ice, the Blue Dragons went on another seven-game win streak and finished No. 19 in the final NJCAA Division I rankings of the season.