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Dragons’ Rally Against Mavericks Falls Short

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

 

GREAT BEND, Kan. – The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team trailed by as many as 21 points just 90 seconds into the second half of Saturday’s Barton Classic battle with NOC-Tonkawa at the Barton Gym.

The Blue Dragons’ furious second half rally fell just short as Hutchinson lost 89-86.

Hutchinson falls to 4-1 overall and will have a week off before opening Jayhawk Conference play at Dodge City next Saturday. NOC-Tonkawa improved to 4-2 and earned its first victory in 11 tries against the Blue Dragons.

Freshman Dallas Whitney and sophomore Kamryn Thomas led the Blue Dragons with 21 points each.

Whitney hit a season-high three 3-point goals and was 8 of 13 overall from the floor. Thomas was 8 of 14 shooting with two free throws to pace the Blue Dragons.

Valentino Simon had 14 points and eight rebounds. JP Ricks finished with 10 points and seven assists. Kernan Bundy had nine points off the bench.

The Blue Dragons were 37 of 78 shooting (43.6) percent for the game. Hutchinson hit 6 of 28 from the 3-point line and 12 of 19 from the free-throw line. The Blue Dragons were out-rebounded 42-36 and gave up 17 offensive rebounds. Hutchinson had 17 turnovers.

The Mavericks shot 53.2 percent for the game (33 of 62). Tonkawa was 2 of 11 from 3-point range and 21 of 29 from the foul line. NOC had 21 turnovers.

Javontae Campbell, the nation’s leading scorer, had a game-high 26 points on 10 of 20 shooting. Campbell had five rebounds and four steals. Jordan Gorecki had 16 points.

The Blue Dragons had their worst offensive first half of the season, scoring just 25 points. Hutchinson shot 29.3 percent in the first half and hit just 1 of 17 from distance, while Tonkawa shot 56.3 percent in the opening 20 minutes to lead 43-25.

The second half was a different story for the Dragons’ offense. Hutchinson scored a season-high 61 points while shooting 56.1 percent from the field with 5 of 11 3-point goals.

The Blue Dragons trailed 46-25 with 18:36 to play in the second half and still trailed by 14 points with less than 13 minutes to play.

A Thomas 3-point goal cut the deficit to single figures at 55-47 with 12:21 remaining in the second half. Two Thomas free throws with 10:22 remaining made it a one-possession game at 57-54. The Mavericks pushed its lead back to nine after an Anthony Ignowski steal and layup with 9:21 to play made it 63-54 Mavericks.

The Blue Dragons went on a 16-7 run over the next 3 minutes, 32 seconds and tied the game at 70-70 on a Whitney 3-pointer with 5:49 to play. Tonkawa immediately responded with an 10-2 run to lead 80-72 with 3:48 remaining.

A Ricks’ jumper got the Dragons back within 80-77 with 1:54 remaining. Then Whitney buried a 3-pointer pulled Hutchinson within 85-83 with 40 seconds remaining. The Mavericks hit four free throws and got a key offensive rebound with 22 seconds to play to hold off the Hutchinson rally.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 10-1 all-time against NOC-Tonkawa.

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