By Rebecca Carney
The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking loss Monday afternoon at Hartman Arena in the Region 6 Tournament semifinals.
HutchCC, now 30-3 after the 61-60 loss to Butler on Monday at Hartman Arena in Park City, will begin the long-anticipated wait to see if they are one of the eight at-large bids for the NJCAA National Tournament.
The Blue Dragons will have to wait until Monday for the NJCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Selection Show.
Butler’s Jalise Smallwood hit the second of two free throws with 0.6 seconds to play and the Blue Dragons weren’t able to get a miracle shot off, as the Jayhawk East champion Grizzlies stunned eighth-ranked Hutchinson.
The Blue Dragons came out hot from 3-point range, hitting 5 of 6 from deep to lead 26-13 after the first quarter. The shots stopped falling after that as the Blue Dragons were only 2 of 13 from the field in the second quarter as the teams were tied 32-all at halftime. The Dragons went scoreless for 5:58 and trailed 32-28. Lauryn Mapusua hit a 3-pointer and Milan Schimmel added a free throw to tie the game at 32.
Hutch led 43-42 after three quarters, but Butler opened the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run to lead 51-45 after two Criste’On Waters free throws with 5:23 remaining. Back came the Blue Dragons with consecutive Makayla Vannett 3-point shots to knot the score at 51 with 4:19 to play
Dejanae Roebuck finished with 10 points. Ogle had six points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The Blue Dragons shot 35.8 percent for the game (19 of 53). The Dragons were 10 of 31 from 3-point range. After starting 5 of 6, the Dragons missed 17 of the next 18 before hitting 4 of the final 8 3-point attempts. HutchCC was 12 of 17 from the foul line.