Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Dragon Women Clinch Outright Jayhawk Conference Title

SHARE NOW

By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

LIBERAL, Kan (BlueDragonSports.com) – Kiki Smith and Hailey Jackson combined for 44 points to lead the No. 1-ranked Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team to a conference-clinching victory on Saturday at Seward County.

BOX SCORE

Trailing by five points after the first quarter, the Blue Dragons used a 13-2 run to close the second quarter and pull away for a 78-54 victory over the Saints and the Greenhouse.

The Blue Dragons win the Jayhawk Conference championship outright for the first time since 2019 and win’s the program’s 13th league title in the program’s 50-year history, the 10th under head coach John Ontjes.

Hutchinson extended the third-best start in team history to 27-0 (21-0 in the KJCCC) and the fourth-longest winning streak in program history to 27 consecutive games. The Blue Dragons play host to Coffeyville at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Sports Arena for sophomore recognition night.

Hutchinson trailed by as many as six points in the opening quarter and was down 18-13 after 10 minutes. Sparked by Jackson’s 11 points and Smith’s six points in the second quarter the Blue Dragons outscored Seward County 23-8 in the second stanza, closing the half on a 13-2 run to lead 36-26 at halftime.

The Blue Dragons continued to surge into the third quarter with a 29-16 advantage to lead 65-42 after three quarters.

Smith had her ninth 20-point game of the season, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9 of 12 overall shooting. Smith hit 5 of 7 from 3-point range. She added five rebounds.

Jackson had her second 20-point game of the season with 20 points on 9 of 12 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers. Jackson added eight rebounds and two steals.

Akaysha Muggeridge finished with eight points. Monae Duffy, Peyton Mosley and Madi Denison had seven points each.

The Blue Dragons shot a season-high 56.1 percent (32 of 57), hitting 11 of 27 from 3-point range and 3 of 7 from the foul line. The Dragons owned a 35-23 rebounding advantage and had 22 assists to 16 turnovers.

Journey Armstead dished out a career-high 11 assists for the Blue Dragons, which ties for the fifth-most assists in single-game Blue Dragon history. She also moved past Jenny Whetstone (1988-90) into eighth place on the career assist list with 294.

Jamia Carter had a team-high 16 to lead the Saints. Xoe Rosalez had 11 points.

The Saints were held to 37.6 percent shooting (19 of 51), going 5 of 18 from 3-point range and 11 of 17 from the foul line. The Saints had 15 turnovers.

The Blue Dragons were just 4 of 14 shooting in the opening quarter and fell behind 10-3 with 6:30 remaining in the opening period. Trailing 14-9, Mosley hit a 3-pointer with 2:35 to play to pull within two points. Neither team made a field goal in the final 2:35. The Saints outscored the Dragons 4-1 to close the quarter and take an 18-13 lead after 10 minutes.

Jackson started her big second quarter with a 2-pointer and 3-pointer to tie the game at 18-all with 8:40 to play in the quarter. The teams traded leads five times in the next 4 minutes. Trailing 24-23, Jackson scored with 4:09 to play to give the Dragons the lead for good and start the half-closing 13-2 run. The Dragons, who hit 10 of 16 shots with three 3-pointers in the second quarter, took a 36-24 lead after a Muggeridge pull-up jumper with 28 seconds to play. The Dragons led 36-26 at halftime.

The Dragons scored the first seven points of the third quarter to build a 43-26 lead after a Smith transition 3-pointer with 7:53 to play in the third quarter. The lead grew to 19 points for the first time on a Muggeridge bucket gave the Dragons a 49-30 lead with 5:38 remaining. Leading 55-39, the Dragons used a 7-0 run to build a 65-39 lead with 41 seconds to play in the third quarter. The Dragons led 65-42 after three quarters.

The Blue Dragons made 23 of 31 shot in the second and third quarters.

Hutchinson’s largest lead of the game came in the fourth quarter of 29 points at 73-44 on a Duffy fastbreak layup.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons have defeated Seward County in five-straight games and is now 53-50 all-time, 20-30 in games played in Liberal. … The Blue Dragons are 10-0 in true road games this season, the first 10-win road season since 2019 and sixth in program history. … The Blue Dragons are 6-0 when trailing after the first quarter.