By Sam Ojeda
Sports Editor

The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team is rounding out an attempt at an undefeated regular season. The Blue Dragons sit at 28-0 with two games left to play.

This team has all the makings of a championship contender. HutchCC currently ranks No. 1 in the NJCAA polls.

This is familiar territory for longtime coach John Ontjes. He has taken teams to the NJCAA tournament in 10 of his 16 years as Blue Dragons coach. One thing Ontjes has never been able to do is get over the hump of winning the national championship. His teams have made the finals three times but is 0-3 in those games.

Compared to some of the best teams in the Ontjes era, this year’s team has a chance to get over that hump.

What sticks out is how similar these teams are. They all score, rebound, and dish out assists around the same clip. This years team however, has been able to limit the turnovers more than any of Ontjes other teams. While previous teams have had three 10 points-per-game scorers, this year’s team has four: Kiki Smith (18.2), Hailey Jackson (12.4), Monae Duffy (11.2), and Journey Armstead (10.5). While there still is some season left to go, the cleaner basketball and the additional scorers on this team could be enough to lift the Blue Dragons to their first and somewhat elusive national championship.

Here’s how this year’s team compares to some of the best in the Ontjes era.

2011-2012 (36-1)

Points per game: 77.4

Defensive points per game: 50.7

Rebounds per game: 44.6

Turnovers per game: 14.3

Assists per game: 20

Three scorers above 10 ppg: Laura Patrick (13), Jackie Patterson (12.4), Chelsea Small (10.8)

Accolades: Jayhawk West champion; Region 6 champion; NJCAA runner-up

2012-2013 (36-2)

Points per game: 75.0

Defensive points per game: 48.7

Rebounds per game: 42.4

Turnovers per game: 16.0

Assists per game: 20.0

Three scorers above 10 ppg:

Accolades: Jayhawk West champion; Region 6 champion; third place in NJCAA tourney

2013-2014 (35-1)

Points per game: 78.8

Defensive points per game: 51.9

Rebounds per game: 45.3

Turnovers per game: 16.9

Assists per game: 18.4

Three scorers above 10 ppg

Accolades: Jayhawk West champion; Region 6 champion; NJCAA runner-up

2016-2017 (33-2)

Points per game: 80.3

Defensive points per game: 49.9

Rebounds per game: 40.3

Turnovers per game: 14.6

Assists per game: 19.7

Three scorers above 10 ppg: Taylor Stahly (12.7 ppg), Kirea Rogers (12.1 ppg), Bride Kennedy-Hopoate (11.9)

Accolades: Jayhawk Conference champion; Region 6 champion; round two exit NJCAA tourney

2018-2019 (33-4)

Points per game: 80.4

Defensive points per game: 52.8

Rebounds per game: 43.8

Turnovers per game: 16.5

Assists per game: 18.9

Three scorers above 10 ppg: Dejane Roebuck (14.8), Makayla Vincent (11.5), Jada Mickens (10.9 ppg)

Accolades: NJCAA semifinalist

2023-2024 (27-0)

Points per game: 81.4

Defensive points per game: 54.1

Rebounds per game: 44.0

Turnovers per game: 13.6

Assists per game: 18.5

Four scorers above 10 ppg: Kiki Smith (18.2), Hailey Jackson (12.4), Monae Duffy (11.2), Journey Armstead (10.5).

Accolades: Jayhawk Conference champion; top-seed in Region 6 Tournament; top-ranked team in NJCAA.

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