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Blue Dragons Fall to Grizzlies, Splitting Season Series


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHINSON, Kan. ( – Stung by a 10-0 first-half run, the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team fell into a hole the Blue Dragons couldn’t climb out of on Saturday at the Sports Arena.


The No. 15-ranked Blue Dragons had a season-high seven-game winning streak snapped after the No. 22 Grizzlies defeated Hutchinson 85-74, splitting the season series between the two teams. The Blue Dragons won 73-60 on January 3 in El Dorado.

The Blue Dragons fell to 21-4 overall and 16-3 in the Jayhawk Conference. Hutchinson fell to third place after a Cowley victory on Saturday. Hutchinson travels to Northwest Tech on Wednesday in Goodland for a 8:30 p.m. CT tipoff at Max Jones Fieldhouse.

Kamryn Thomas led Hutchinson with 21 points and seven rebounds. Thomas was 9 of 19 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers.

Ricks finished with 15 points and six assists. Valentino Simon had 14 points and eight rebounds. Kernan Bundy came off the bench to score 10 points.

Hutchinson scored a season-low 74 points on 42.4 percent shooting (27 of 64), hitting 4 of 21 from 3-point range and 16 of 21 from the free-throw line. The Dragons were out-rebounded 39-36. Hutchinson had 15 turnovers.

Jaquez Thornton had a team-high 23 points to lead Butler. He added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Charles McClennahan Jr. finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Kaleb Washington finished with 16 points.

The Grizzlies shot 46.5 percent (30 of 66), going 2 of 10 from distance and 23 of 31 from the foul line. Butler had 11 turnovers.

The game initially had four lead changes and six ties in the first 9 minutes, 44 seconds.

The Dragons led 21-19 after a Landon Wagler basket with 10:38 to play. Thornton scored 22 seconds later to tie the game and, then Butler took the lead for good on a McClennahan bucket following a Dragon turnover with 8:38 to play in the first half.

Butler went on a 10-0 run to build a 29-21 lead with 6:42 to play in the half and maintained that advantage to lead 38-29 at halftime.

The Blue Dragons fell behind by as many as 17 points (56-39) with 13:29 to play in the second half. Hutchinson started to whittle away at the deficit, pulling within 71-65 after two J.P. Ricks’ free throws with 3:27 remaining. Butler immediately pushed the lead back to nine. A Ricks 3-pointer with 1:46 left made it a two-possession game at 78-72, but Butler closed out the Dragons with a 7-2 run, all seven points coming at the free-throw line.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are 129-70 all-time against Butler, including 66-23 in games played in Hutchinson. … The Dragons are 13-3 at the Sports Arena this season. … The Dragons are 3-3 against ranked opponents.