PARK CITY — It’s taken the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team 16 years, but after a 77-54 win over Barton in Saturday’s Region VI championship game, the wait is over.
Hutchinson (31-3) will play in the NJCAA Division I Tournament for the first time since 1997. It’s the 17th time in school history the Blue Dragons will play in the national tournament, which is held on their home court at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
It was also the first Region VI championship in four attempts for Hutchinson coach Steve Eck, who lost in the title game in 1997 while coaching Butler and 2008 and 2009 while the coach at Cowley.
The Hutchinson women won the first game of the night. The two Region VI titles mark a first for a junior college since Cloud County qualified both teams in 1980.
Kadeem Allen led the way for Hutchinson with 15 points. Hutchinson forward Alex Davis, who scored 11 points, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.