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Blue Dragons Down Tech to Advance in Region VI


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Aaron Potter tied a career high with 22 points and the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team won its fifth game in a row and posted a team-record 13th 100-point game of the season on Saturday at the Sports Arena.

Most importantly, the Blue Dragons defeated Northwest Tech 102-79 in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament.

The sixth-seeded Blue Dragons (20-11) advance to the Region VI Quarterfinals and will travel to third-seeded Barton at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Great Bend. Hutchinson won its 16th consecutive opening regional tournament game and clinched its 55th all-time 20-win season.

The Blue Dragons set a record with their 13th game of the season, reaching 100 points. The 2022-23 Blue Dragons eclipsed the mark of 12 set last season.

Potter came off the bench to pace the Blue Dragons with a career-high-tying 22 points, matching a career high with 5 of 8 3-point shooting. Potter also had a career-high five free throws. Potter scored 15 points in the second half as the Dragons opened up leads as large at 31 points in the second half.

The Blue Dragons shot 52.0 percent for the game (30 of 75), hitting 8 of 29 from 3-point range and 16 of 18 from the foul line. The Dragons dished out 32 assists on 39 made baskets with 10 different Hutchinson players dishing out at least one assist.

Aaron Franklin scored 14 points with a pair of 3-pointers. Franklin added six rebounds and five assists. Franklin moved past Nolan Richardson IV into third place on the Blue Dragon single-season 3-point list with 80 3-pointers.

Dre Weathers scored 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting. Ra’Sean Frederick and Kieran Carr scored nine points each. Antonio Green had eight points, while Kernan Bundy and Jayden Garrison scored seven points each.

Three different Mavericks scored 15 points on Saturday. Northwest Tech shot 48.4 percent (31 of 64), hitting 2 of 15 from 3-point range and 15 of 22 from the foul line.

The Blue Dragons took charge of the game in the first half, outscoring Northwest Tech 48-29.

Franklin had two 3-pointers and a tip-in as Hutchinson raced out to an early 11-3 lead with 16:01 to play in the first half. Tech pulled within four points at 19-15 on a Quincy Snoddy Jr. jumper with 10:05 to go.

A Frederick layup with 9:44 left sparked a 10-2 Dragon run. Bundy converted a three-point play that gave the Dragons a 29-17 lead with 7:22 to play in the half.

The Blue Dragons held the Mavericks to 37.9 percent overall shooting and 0 of 7 from 3-point range in the first half as Hutchinson built a 48-29 halftime lead, scoring the final five points with a Potter 3-pointers with 19 seconds left and two Potter free throws with 11 points left.

The Blue Dragons maintained a double-figure lead throughout the second half. The lead reached 20 points for the first time on a Weathers dunk with 10:45 to play for a 70-49 lead.

Leading 72-53, the Blue Dragons outscored Northwest Tech 18-6 over the next 3 minutes, 32 seconds. Potter converted a four-point play after being fouled on a made 3-pointer to give Hutchinson 90-59 with 5:45 to play.

A short Antonio Green jumper got the Dragons to 100 points with 1:04 to play to break the team record for 100-point games in a season.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 143-51 all-time in the Region VI Tournament, going 42-8 in opening and second-round games. … The Dragons are now 13-1 all-time against Northwest Tech, winning seven games in a row in the series. The Dragons are 3-0 all-time against the Mavericks in Region VI Tournament play. … This was all-time Blue Dragon won No. 1,894. … With eight 3-pointers, the 2022-23 Blue Dragons upped their single-season 3-point record to 335. … Aaron Franklin moved past Teko Wynder, Tony Arrington and Angelo Stuart into 13th place on the Blue Dragon single-season scoring list with 691 points. … This was the seventh time this season the Blue Dragons have held an opponent to two 3-pointers or less. … The Dragons are 12-5 at the Sports Arena this season. … This was the sixth time this season for the Blue Dragons to shoot 50 percent a game. … The 32 assists tie for the fourth-most in Blue Dragon single-game history. … The bench scored 56 points in the game, the 10th time the bench has scored 50 points in a game this season.