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Thomas OT Buzzer-Beater Sends Dragons to Semifinals

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Hutchinson CC Sports Information

(BlueDragonSports.com) – After shaking off the rust of a two-game absence, sophomore guard Kamryn Thomas hit two of the biggest shots for the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team this season on Tuesday night.

BOX SCORE

After banking in a game-tying 3-point goal with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation, Thomas topped that with a game-winning 2-pointer at the overtime buzzer to help the third-seeded Blue Dragons to an 88-87 Region VI Tournament quarterfinal victory over Garden City at the Sports Arena.

The 16th-ranked Blue Dragons (26-5) advance to the Region VI semifinals where they will play second-seed Cowley at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Sports Arena. Garden City’s season ends at 19-13.

After Hutchinson jumped out to a 14-1 lead just 5 minutes into the game, the next 21 1/2 minutes belonged to the Broncbusters. Garden City outscored Hutchinson 37-11 over a span of 12 minutes, 6 seconds to build a 38-25 lead with 2:54 to play in the first half. Garden City led 41-33 at halftime and 54-44 with 13:24 to play in the second half.

Hutchinson still trailed 74-69 with 44 seconds to play in regulation. Thomas hit a floater in the paint and then his 32-foot 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds left to tie the game at 74-all. Garden City missed a point-blank game-winning attempt at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

Garden City took an 87-84 lead on two Braxton Jones’ free throws with 24 seconds to play in regulation. Thomas scored in the paint to cut the Garden lead to 87-86. The Busters missed two free throws with 9 seconds remaining. J.P. Ricks moved the ball up the floor, drove into the lane and kicked out to Thomas, who just got the game-winning shot off before the buzzer for an 88-87 win.

After going scoreless in the first half, Thomas finished with a team-high 20 points on 7 of 18 shooting and three 3-pointers. Thomas added nine rebounds.

Ricks finished with 12 points and tied a career-high nine assists.

Three players scored 11 points for Hutchinson. Valentino Simon had his 11th double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Landon Wagler had 11 points and a career-high six rebounds. Kernan Bundy had 11 points on 5 of 9 shooting.

Dallas Whitney had eight points and Dre Weathers had seven points and seven rebounds.

The Blue Dragons shot 35.6 percent for the game (31 of 87), hitting 5 of 35 from 3-point range and 21 of 29 from the free-throw line. The Dragons’ out-rebounded Garden City 51-50 and had just 10 turnovers to Garden City’s 15.

The Blue Dragons outscored Garden City 32-9 in points off the bench.

Brody Robinson and Thomas Tut had 22 points each to lead Garden City. Jordan Frazier and Jones had 13 points each.

The Busters shot 39.7 percent for the game (31 of 87), hitting 6 of 18 from 3-point range and 27 of 39 from the free-throw line.

Kobe Smith‘s follow-up shot after an offensive rebounds capped a 14-1 Blue Dragon start to the game with 15:05 to play and prompted a Garden City timeout. Garden City switched to a zone defense and the Blue Dragons weren’t able to sustain the momentum of the fast start. After Garden pulled within two, Bundy hit a 3-pointer with 8:56 left in the half to give the Dragons a 22-17 lead.

Garden City took a 26-23 lead on a Robinson 3-pointer with 6:32 to play. That started a 15-2 Buster run to lead 38-25 on a Robinson transition 3-pointer with 2:54 to go in the half.

Two Russell Branch free throws stopped that run and started a half-closing 8-3 run. The Busters didn’t get a field goal for the remainder of the half. The Dragons trailed 41-33 at halftime.

Garden City kept the Blue Dragons at arm’s length through the first 6 minutes of the second half. A Tut field goal with 13:24 to play gave Garden City a 54-44 lead. A Bundy layup then sparked a 11-2 Hutchinson run. Whitney’s layup with 10:02 to play pulled the Dragons within 56-55.

Garden City had three different five-point leads over the final 6 minutes. Tut’s layup after a Dragon turnover gave the Busters a 74-69 lead with 44 seconds left set up the wild completion to the end of regulation time and overtime.

GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 144-42 all-time in Region VI Tournament play, including 46-11 in the quarterfinal round. … The Dragons are now 144-51 all-time against Garden City, going 13-3 in Region VI Tournament matchups. The Dragons are 5-1 in overtime against Garden City in series history. … The Blue Dragons are 8-4 in overtime games in the Region VI Tournament. … This was Hutchinson’s first overtime game of the season. … This was all-time win No. 1,920. … Valentino Simon had his 31st career double-double. … Kamryn Thomas had his eighth 20-point game this season. … The Blue Dragons are now 3-5 when trailing at halftime.