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Fast Start Powers No. 22 Blue Dragons to Milestone Victory


By Hutchinson CC Sports Information


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team blitzed the Labette Cardinals over the first 7:22 of Tuesday’s matchup at the Sports Arena and became the first NJCAA men’s basketball team to reach 1,900 victories.

The No. 22-ranked Blue Dragons closed the non-conference portion of the 2023-24 schedule Tuesday night at the Sports Arena with a 103-54 victory over the Labette Cardinals.

Hutchinson is now 6-1 and will play host to Colby at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the resumption of Jayhawk Conference play at the Sports Arena.

The all-time winner in victories in NJCAA men’s basketball, Hutchinson is now 1,900-637 in a program history that started in the 1928-29 season.

The Blue Dragons dominated from the opening tip, leading the contest for a grand total of 39 minutes, 22 seconds.

The Dragons raced out to a 31-4 lead over the first 7:22 of the game. Hutchinson hit 10 of its first 15 shots, including 6 of its first 8 3-point shot attempts. Edwin Daniel‘s fastbreak dunk with 13:38 to play capped the run.

The Blue Dragons shot 54.3 percent in the first half (19 of 35), hitting 8 of 20 from 3-point range to build a 54-21 halftime lead. Hutchinson continued its domination in the second half, outscoring Labette 49-33, shooting a blistering 61.3 percent (19 of 31) in the final 20 minutes.

Hutchinson shot a season-high 57.6 percent from the floor (36 of 66). The Dragons tied a season high with 12 pointers on 32 attempts. Hutchinson was 15 of 18 from the foul line. The Dragons also tied a season high with 25 assists.

Six different Blue Dragon players scored in double figures and eight different Hutchinson players hit 3-pointers in the game.

Sophomores Landon Wagler and Dre Weathers led the Blue Dragons offensively.

Wagler scored a career-high 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting with a pair of 3-point goals. Weathers had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Sophomore Kamryn Thomas hit 3 of 4 3-point goals and finished with 13 points. Thomas is 8 of his last 11 from 3-point range in his last two games.

Valentino Simon, Daniel and Dallas Whitney had 10 points each. Kernan Bundy had eight points, while Zoe HolmanRussell Branch and Kobe Smith had seven points each.

The Blue Dragons outrebounded Labette 38-27. Weathers had a team-high seven rebounds.

Labette shot 38.2 percent (21 of 58), hitting 5 of 14 from 3-point range and 7 of 8 from the foul line. The Cardinals committed 24 turnovers.

Nickhai Howard had 14 points to lead the Cardinals.

The Blue Dragons’ largest lead of the game came with 1:51 to play in the second half when Wagler’s jumper gave Hutchinson a 101-48 lead.

GAME NOTES – This was Hutchinson’s third 100-point game of the season. … The Dragons are now 35-14 all-time against Labette and have won their fifth in a row over Labette. … The Dragons outscored Labette 41-8 in points off turnovers, 48-28 in points in the paint, 13-8 in second-chance points and 29-8 in fastbreak points. … The Blue Dragon bench scored a season-high 56 points.