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Dragons Turn in Defensive Gem to Defeat Saints

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By Hutchinson CC Sports Information

 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The No. 17-ranked Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team made some history in its 116-game series with the Seward County Saints on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.

The Blue Dragons held the Saints to the fewest points scored in series history in Hutchinson’s 76-42 Jayhawk Conference victory.

BOX SCORE

Hutchinson improved to 13-2 overall and 8-1 in the Jayhawk Conference. The Blue Dragons travel to Coffeyville at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Seward County dropped to 3-12 overall and 1-8 in the KJCCC). The Dragons won their ninth game in a row against the Saints.

The Blue Dragons held Seward County to an opponent season-low 28.8 percent (15 of 52). The Saints’ 20 points in the first half were also an opponent season low this season. The Saints didn’t reach the 30-point mark until the 10:51 mark of the second half.

The previous low offensive output by Seward County against the Blue Dragons was 47 points set in 1982 and matched in 2020. This was the first time the Blue Dragons held an opponent to less than 50 points since February 20, 2020 when Hutchinson held Seward County to 47 points.

Valentino Simon led all scorers with 20 points on 6 of 8 shooting and 8 of 12 from the free-throw line. Simon had six rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Kernan Bundy came off the bench to score 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting with a 3-pointer. Dallas Whitney had 12 points, a career-high-tying six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Bundy and Whitney led a 40-15 advantage in points off the bench for the Blue Dragons.

J.P. Ricks had eight points, a career-high-tying six rebounds and two assists. Kobe Smith scored six points.

The Blue Dragons shot season-high 57.4 percent (31 of 54) for the game, hitting 3 of 15 from 3-point range and 11 of 18 from the free-throw line. The Blue Dragons out-rebounded Seward County 44-21 – the 21 rebounds by the Saints were an opponent season low.

Amir Whitlock scored 13 points to lead the Saints, who were 2 of 16 from 3-point range and 10 of 14 from the foul line. Seward County had 19 turnovers.

The Blue Dragons scored only two points in the first 4:35 of the game and trailed the Saints 5-2. The Dragons started to pick up steam with a 13-0 run. Bundy’s transition layup after a Seward turnover capped the run for a 15-5 lead with 12:08 remaining in the first half.

The Dragons held Seward County scoreless for 6 minutes, 15 seconds and without a field goal for 11 minutes, 2 seconds. The Dragons had an 18-7 lead with 9:09 to play in the half. The Saints pulled within 18-13 with 7:41 to play.

The Blue Dragons held Seward County to just 5 of 17 shooting in the opening 20 minutes and led 30-20 at halftime.

Hutchinson started its dominant second half with a 10-2 run over the first 4 minutes of the half. Simon’s fastbreak layup capped the run for a 40-22 lead with 16:02 to play in the game.

Ricks converted a three-point play to put Hutchinson’s lead to 20 points for the first time for a 47-26 lead with 12:31 to play. Hutchinson then put on a 13-2 run to build a 62-32 lead after a Simon layup with 4:52 remaining.

Hutchinson hit 19 of 28 shots (67.9 percent) in the final 20 minutes, holding Seward County to 10 of 35 shooting (28.6 percent) in the second half. The Blue Dragons outscored Seward County 46-22 in the second half.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 85-31 all-time against Seward County, including 50-6 in games played in the Sports Arena. … This was win No. 1,906 in program history. … Freshman JoJo Adeoye scored his first field goal of the season. … This was Valentino Simon‘s second 20-point game this season and 17th of his career. … Kobe Smith had a season-high-tying four rebounds. … Hutchinson held its seventh opponent to less than 40 percent shooting and its sixth opponent to 60 points or less.