(BY STEVE CARPENTER)
(HUTCHINSON CC SPORTS INFORMATION)
The No. 9 Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team will have a pair of rematches from the 2018-19 season this weekend at the Atrium Classic.
Hutchinson plays host to No. 17 Western Nebraska on Friday and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on Saturday. Barton is the fourth team in the Atrium Classic.
Both Hutchinson games will be videostreamed on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 5:20 p.m. each day. Steve Carpenter will have the call on Friday and Daren Dunn will have the play-by-play on Saturday. Barton Sports Information will provide coverage of the Cougars’ 1:30 p.m. games each day. All video links will be found at BlueDragonSports.com
The Blue Dragons met Western Nebraska last season in the opening round of the 2019 NJCAA Tournament in Lubbock. Hutch held WNCC 30 points under its scoring average in an 81-60 victory over the Cougars. Then-freshman Makayla Vannett had a breakthrough game with 21 points, hitting six 3-pointers against WNCC. That victory ignited a run all the way to the national semifinals.
Hutchinson also defeated NEO in a neutral-court matchup in Great Bend in the second week of the 2018-19 season. The Blue Dragons defeated the Golden Norse 82-57.
Last Saturday in the 2019-20 season opener, sophomore Abby Ogle scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Blue Dragons to a 65-34 victory over the Washburn University Junior Varsity at the Sports Arena.
Ogle added five rebounds, five assists and five steals, reaching the 100 career steal mark against the Ichabods. Vannett hit her 94th career 3-pointer and finished with 14 points. Lauryn Mapusua had nine points on a pair of 3-pointers.
Defensively, the Blue Dragons held the Ichabods to just one point in the first quarter and without a field goal for 11 ½ minutes. The Dragons limited Washburn to 17.3 percent shooting and forced 27 turnovers.
Friday’s matchup with Western Nebraska is just the second all-time meeting between Hutch and WNCC. Western Nebraska is 2-0 with victories over the Nebraska All-Stars and Sheridan College. Saturday’s matchup with NEO will be the sixth, with Hutchinson leading the all-time series 4-1. The Golden Norse have already played four games and are 1-3 after losing to Coffeyville on a buzzer-beating putback on Wednesday in Coffeyville.
A pair of victories this weekend will move Blue Dragon head coach John Ontjes up another rung on the Jayhawk Conference coaches wins ladder. Entering play on Friday, Ontjes has 348 wins at Hutchinson. Former Seward County coach Toby Wynn is fourth all-time in the league with 349 victories.
BLUE DRAGON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
When: Friday/Saturday, November 8-9