By Bailey Terry
Taking a step closer to a possible national title, the Lady Dragons defeated Northwest Florida State in Salina on March 19, and moved on to the NJCAA semifinals.
HCC won 68-54 and will now play in the semifinals. Kalani Purcell, Hamilton, New Zealand, led the Dragon with 17 points and 19 rebounds, while Clemence LeFebvre, St. Martin, France, wasn’t far behind with 14 points.
As halftime hit, the Dragons led the game 32-18.
Late in the second half, Northwest Florida State came back and tied the game at 43, but the Dragons weren’t going down without a fight. Hutch scored 15 consecutive points taking the lead, 58-43.
The Dragons kept their lead the rest of the game and won 68-54.
The Dragons had advanced to the quarterfinals at on March 18, by beating South Georgia Tech on March 17; the score was 80-61.
Purcell broke two more HCC records for women’s basketball, the single season scoring record, which is now 635 points and has the most single-season field goals with 255.
Purcell also had her 25th double-double of the season and 43rd on her career.
She had 25 points, 17 rebounds, a career-high of nine steals and five assists.
LeFebvre made a career-high of five three-pointers and scored 22 points plus she added three steals and two assists.
Cynthia Petke, Yaounde, Cameroon, made eight of 10 field goals and ended the game with 19 points.
Shakira Harding, Houma, Fla., scored eight points and a career-high of eight assists, while ALYX Bloom put in six points and seven assists.
As the game began, South Georgia Tech scored after the first few seconds, but the Dragons answered by scoring the next 16 points taking a lead of 16-2.
The Dragons held their lead and the score was 30-14.
As the second half started, the Dragons held the lead of 36-25, but Georgia scored the opening points of the half, the score now 36-27.
The Dragons followed the path of the first half taking a run of 17 unanswered points, making a big lead for themselves, 50-27.
The Dragons ending the game advancing in the tournament winning 80-61.
At press time, the Dragons were scheduled to play Friday again, March 20, at 6 p.m.