By Adam Kolb
Co-Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team earned a hard-fought victory Saturday at the Sports Arena with a 78-76 win over the Seward County Saints.

The Saints jumped out to a 21-9 lead with 3:41 left in the first quarter and finished the period with a 27-17 advantage. Seward kept up the strong play in the second quarter, only allowing nine points from the Blue Dragons and went into the break with a 37-26 lead.

Hutchinson played a much better third quarter. The Blue Dragons outscored the Saints 23-15, and brought the Seward lead within one point with a minute left in the third. Seward still led the game at the end of three quarters, 52-49.

The offense came alive in the fourth quarter for the Blue Dragons, outscoring the Saints 29-24 in the final quarter. A Kalyn Ervin 3-pointer gave the Blue Dragons a 3-point lead, 63-60. It was back and forth in the final minutes of the game. KK Adams stole the ball with less than two minutes left and scored to give the Blue Dragons a two-point advantage, but Seward quickly tied it back up.

Tor’e Alford hit a jump shot with 50.1 seconds left to give Hutch a 75-73 lead and forced Seward to call a timeout. Ishante Suttington was able to hit two free throws with five seconds left to make it a two-possession game, 77-73.

Seward County kept the pressure on the Blue Dragons by nailing a 3 with 2.7 seconds to cut the lead within one. Suttington was fouled and made one of two free throws to give the Blue Dragons a 78-76 comeback win.

Hutchinson finished with three players scoring in double digits. Kate Ogle scored a team-high 18 points, as well as grabbing six rebounds, and two assists, blocks and steals each. Lojong Gore was one rebound away from a double-double. She finished with 16 points and nine boards, six of which were offensive rebounds. Ishante Suttington was the last player in double figures for the Blue Dragons, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

The Blue Dragons shot 41.5 percent from the field and 76.0 percent from the free throw line.

Women’s track – Freshman Patrisha Doll’s collegiate outdoor debut was memorable on Saturday. The freshman qualified for the NJCAA Outdoor Championships in the javelin at the Pratt Beaver Invitational. Doll earned a national-qualifying berth with a throw of 129 feet, 3 inches, which won the Beaver Classic title. She was one of 11 Blue Dragons who scored in events on Saturday.

The Blue Dragons finished seventh in the team standings with 40.5 points.

Men’s track – Sophomore sprinter Jared Scott earned national qualification, and the men’s track and field team competed in its first outdoor meet since 2019 on Saturday at the Pratt Beaver Invitational.

Scott earned a spot in the 2021 NJCAA Outdoor Championships with a second-place finish in the 100 meters. He was one of 11 Blue Dragons that helped amass 50 points for a fifth-place finish.

Scott qualified for nationals in the 100 meters with a time of 10.53 seconds, and also ran a leg of the Blue Dragon 400-meter relay team that finished second in 42.02 seconds.

Baseball – Will Reetz dropped a single to shallow right field to score Mason Lowe for a walk-off victory on Saturday at Hobart-Detter Field, giving the baseball team a second-straight Jayhawk West series victory.

Reetz’s walk-off hit gave the Blue Dragons a 7-6 victory over the Seward County Saints in the series finale. Seward County won the first game 11-7. Hutchinson won the series 3-1 after winning a pair in Liberal on Friday.

Softball – With the wind blowing at about 40 mph, the Hutchinson Community College softball team and the Garden City Broncbusters combined for 66 total runs and 18 home runs on Saturday in a Jayhawk Conference doubleheader. Unfortunately for the Blue Dragons, Garden City had 40 of those runs and 14 of those home runs in a sweep of Hutchinson.

Garden City won the first game 16-3, then walked off for a 24-23[1]  victory in the second game.

Volleyball – The Blue Dragons couldn’t overcome 21 attack errors and 13 service errors in a four-set Jayhawk West loss to Butler on Monday afternoon at the Power Plant. Hutchinson struggled in a 19-25, 25-15, 19-25, 23-25 loss to the Grizzlies, Hutchinson’s second-straight loss at the Power Plant.

Sophomore Jenna Thorne had a team-high 12 kills, but only four kills in the final two sets. Freshman Kristina Head had eight kills and five total blocks. Freshman Shadee Briggs had seven kills.

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