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Dragon Men Continue Opening-Night Success with Win Over NIC


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team overcame an early nine-point deficit to earn their 16th consecutive opening-night victory on Friday night top open the BSN Sports Tip-off Classic.

Six players scored in double figures as Hutchinson rallied to defeat North Idaho College 91-82.

Hutchinson (1-0) meets No. 23 NEO (0-1) in the final game of the BSN Classic at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. North Idaho will play No. 18 Barton at 3 p.m.

The Blue Dragons trailed 28-19 with 8:31 to play in the opening half. Hutchinson’s offense got untracked by outscoring 23-8 over the final 8 minutes to lead 42-36 at halftime. Hutchinson then trailed 43-42 with 16:17 to play in the second half. The Dragons took the lead for good when Kamryn Thomas – a transfer from North Idaho – hit a 3-pointer to give the Blue Dragons the lead for good, ultimately building a double-figure lead in the game’s final minute.

The Blue Dragons shot 41.5 percent from the field (34 of 82). Hutchinson finished 12 of 37 from the 3-point line, hitting 7 of its final 13 attempts from long range. The Dragons were 11 of 25 from the free-throw line. Hutchinson had 18 turnovers.

J.P. Ricks and Thomas had 14 points each to lead six Blue Dragons in double figures. Both Ricks and Thomas had three 3-point goals each. Ricks had eight assists in his Blue Dragon debut.

Dre Weathers, Valentino SimonZoe Holman and Kernan Bundy all had 12 points each.

Weathers was 6 of 7 shooting with four rebounds. Simon added eight rebounds and four steals.

North Idaho shot 40.0 percent overall (26 of 65), hitting 7 of 26 from 3-point range and 23 of 32 from the free-throw line. The Cardinals committed 32 turnovers.

Austin Johnson and Vaughn Weems scored 16 points each to lead North Idaho.

The early stages of the first half had five lead changes. Trailing 17-14, a Simon 3-pointer with 11:39 to play tied the game at 17-all. The Cardinals then went on an 8-0 run over the next 2 minutes, 8 seconds to lead 25-17 after a Weems putback hoop with 9:31 remaining.

Tayshawn Colvin gave North Idaho its largest lead of nine points with a 3-pointer for a 28-19 lead with 8:31 to go in the half.

Trailing 30-24, the Blue Dragons grabbed the lead with a quick 9-0 run. Weathers’ transition dunk with 3:56 tie the game and Hutchinson took a 33-30 lead on a Thomas 3-pointer with 3:03 to go in the half. The Dragons built a 40-34 lead with 40 seconds to go on a Bundy fastbreak hoop.

Hutchinson led 42-36 at halftime.

North Idaho scored the first seven points of the second half over the first 1:43 of the period for a 43-42 lead. Thomas’ 3-point jumper on the next Hutchinson possession gave the Dragons a 45-43 lead. Another Thomas 3-pointer pushed the lead to 48-43 with 17:39 to play.

Dallas Whitney gave the Dragons an eight-point lead with a transition layup for a 56-48 lead with 15:07 remaining. North Idaho battled back to within two points at 59-57. The Dragons immediately answered with a Bundy 3-pointer and a Weathers inside hoop to rebuild a 64-57 lead with 12:16 to go.

North Idaho grabbed three one-point leads, the third coming at 73-72 with 4:44 to play in the game. Tied at 75-all with 3:54 to go, the Blue Dragons closed the game with a 16-7 run.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 74-19 all-time in season openers and 81-12 all-time in home openers. … This was all-time Blue Dragon win No. 1,895. … This was the first meeting ever between Hutchinson and North Idaho. … The Blue Dragons had 23 total steals. Dallas Whitney had a game-high six steals.