By Rebecca Carney
The Hutchinson Communtiy College men’s basketball team made NJCAA history Monday night by becoming the first men’s basketball program to reach 1,800 wins.
To reach that milestone win, the No. 22-ranked Blue Dragon’s had to rally from deficits as large as nine points to defeat the Pratt Beavers 74-70 at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena.
The Blue Dragons also reached 20 wins for the 53rd time in program history. Hutchinson improves to 20-6 overall and 11-6 in Jayhawk West play.
Sophomore James Rojas scored a game-high of 24 points with nine rebounds and eight of nine shooting from the free-throw line to lead the Blue Dragons. Rheaquone Taylor had 15 points and seven rebounds with Malique Jacobs adding 10 points.
The Blue Dragons travel to Colby on Saturday to take on the Colby Trojans, with tip-off being at 5 p.m.
Men’s Track – The men’s track and field team ran its season total of NJCAA Indoor qualifiers to 16 on Saturday with more four more tickets punched.
The Blue Dragons were split on Saturday competing at the Gorilla Classic at the Plaster Center in Pittsburg and the Scottie Classic at Walter’s Wellness Center in Highland. Brett Hillabrand, a cross country All American, qualified for the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 22.94 seconds.
Freshman Sylvestre Kibarar also qualified when he posted a national-qualifying time in the 5,000 meters. His time of 15 minutes, 12.77 seconds is the second-fastest time in team indoor history.
Already qualified for nationals, the Blue Dragon men’s 4×400 relay team posted the ninth-fastest time in the nation on Saturday. The relay of Dusty Torres, Denilson Whitmore, Donovan Whitmore and Elijah Smith ran of time of 13 minutes, 17.72 seconds.
The Blue Dragons will compete at the Region 6 Indoor championships on Friday and Saturday at the Plaster Center in Pittsburg.
Women’s Track – The women’s track and field team did not pick up any new national qualifiers on Saturday, but several athletes did move up on the historical Blue Dragon performance charts. The women’s team was also split between the Gorilla Classic in Pittsburg and the Scottie Classic in Highland.
In Pittsburg, sophomore Jewel Bolden, who ran 8.99 seconds in qualifying for the 60-meter hurdles, lowered that time on Saturday posting 8.97 seconds in the preliminaries.
Freshman Gabby Collins ran a time of 2 minutes 27.31 seconds in the Gorilla Classic 800 meters. The Blue Dragon cross country All-American posted the sixth-fastest time in Blue Dragon Indoor history.
The Blue Dragon women will also return to Pittsburg on Friday and Saturday to compete in the Region VI Indoor Championships. Heading into Regionals, the Blue Dragon women have four national qualifiers.
Women’s Basketball – The women’s basketball team reached the 25-victory mark for the 13th time in team history Monday night. The Blue Dragons survived a tough offensive first half and 19 turnovers for the game as the No. 10 ranked HutchCC women completed the season sweep of the Pratt Beavers winning 75-62.
The Blue Dragons improve to 25-1 overall and maintained their tie with Seward County atop the Jayhawk West at 16-1
Sophomore Dejane Roebuck posted her seventh double-double of the season and 21st of her career 19 points and 10 points to lead the Blue Dragons. Freshman Makayla Vannett finished with 14 points and three assists. Sophomore Jada Mickens added 11 points and six assists.
Abby Ogle closed with eight points, six rebounds, seven assists and tied a career high with six steals.
The Blue Dragons travel to Colby Saturday afternoon, with a 3 p.m. tip-off.