Lauryn Mapasuia takes a shot for the Blue Dragon women. Photo by Bre Rogers
By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
Another bout of massive early foul trouble had the Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team in trouble on Saturday in the Blue Dragons’ first Jayhawk Conference road trip of the season.
Despite losing a pair of sophomores to fouls with about 5 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the Blue Dragons rallied from a first-quarter deficit to defeat the Independence Pirates 61-51 at the ICC Fieldhouse.
Sasha Francis and Makayla Vannett had nine points each, while Tor’e Alford and Nafatoumata Haidara scored 13 points each. Brooklyn Betham had six points and five rebounds.
The Blue Dragons improved to 9-1 overall and 2-0 in the Jayhawk West before playing host to Neosho County at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.
In the latest rankings, the Blue Dragons moved up one spot to No. 8. The Blue Dragons have been ranked in 25 consecutive rankings and for the 126th poll in the last 131 ranking periods.
Men’s basketball – Trailing at halftime for only the second time this season, the No. 2- ranked Blue Dragons had to rally from their largest deficit of the season to remain unbeaten.
Freshman Josh Baker had career bests of 29 points and seven 3-pointers to keep the Blue Dragons in the first half, and led the second-half charge as Hutchinson earned an 85-83 Jayhawk Conference road victory on Saturday night at the ICC Fieldhouse.
The Blue Dragons were 9 of 15 from 3-point range and shot 16 of 24 overall in the second half. Hutchinson outscored Independence 53-40 to overcome its halftime deficit. DJ Mitchell scored all 16 of his points in the second half, hitting 2 of 4 from long range and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.
Saquan Singleton had 16 points with six rebounds and three assists. Majok Kuath and Tyler Brown had nine points each.
The Blue Dragons are now 49-23 all time against Independence, and improved to 10-0 to start the season for the 13th time in program history.
Hutch remained at No. 2 in the NJCAA Division 1 rankings.
Football program gets two to HOF – Two members of the Hutchinson Community College football program will receive the highest NJCAA honor, as members of the 2019 NJCAA Coaches Association Hall of Fame Class.
Two-time Blue Dragon All-American Cordarrelle Patterson and long-time supporter and Hutchinson resident, Jack Mull, are among five members of the 2019 induction class. Patterson and Mull join Blinn College’s Cam Newton, Navarro administration Roark Montgomery and New Mexico Military’s Steve Zabel in the Class of 2019.
Patterson is the most-decorated Blue Dragon football player in program history. He is the first ever first round NFL Draft pick in program history after being taken 29th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 2013. In his rookie year, he set the NFL record for the longest kickoff return in league history of 109 yards against the Green Bay Packers. This season, Patterson plays for the Chicago Bears.
Jack Mull goes way back with Blue Dragon coach Rion Rhoades, back to his playing days. Mull’s support has been a catalyst in the Blue Dragons becoming a national power under Rhoades. His most notable contribution is to what is know known as the Jack Mull Family Football Complex, which houses the Blue Dragon coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, locker room, and a state of the art weight room.