BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
No. 14 Hutchinson (26-5) vs. Independence (18-12)
When: Sunday, March 4, 2018
Where: Hartman Arena, Park City, KS
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
For the second time in eight days, the Hutchinson Community College Men's Basketball Team and the Independence Pirates will square off.
This time it will be for a berth in the Region VI Tournament semifinals.
Hutchinson and Independence will play in the fourth quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. on Sunday at Hartman Arena in Park City. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 6:50 p.m. with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Rusty Hilst (analysis) calling the action. The game will also be streamed on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 6:50 p.m.
The Blue Dragons swept the season series with Independence, winning 76-74 on Kai Mitchell's game-winning shot in the final seconds on January 10 at Independence. Last Saturday (February 24) at the Sports Arena, the Blue Dragons won 77-51, but the game was contentious as eight technical fouls were issued in the second half.
Sunday's matchup will be the 25th postseason meeting between Hutchinson and Independence, the 20th in the Region VI Tournament. The Dragons and Pirates met five times in the postseason before the regional tournament format was implemented in 1954.
Overall, the Dragons own a 16-8 postseason advantage on Independence, including 13-7 in the Region VI Tournament. This will be the second-straight season the Blue Dragons and Pirates meet in the tournament. Last year, the Blue Dragons won 78-54 in a quarterfinal showdown.
The second-seeded Blue Dragon advanced to the quarterfinals with a 93-83 victory over a determined Cloud County team that stayed in the game with eight 3-point goals. The Blue Dragon one-two punch of J.J. Rhymes and Devonte Bandoo combined for 22 points each and the Blue Dragons owned a 34-13 advantage at the free-throw line.
Seventh-seeded Independence advanced with an 89-70 victory over Northwest Tech on Thursday night in Independence. DeAnthony McCallum poured in a career-high 41 points, hitting 5 of 8 from 3-point range and going 16 of 16 from the free-throw line to subdue the Mavericks.
Sunday's matchup will be the third meeting of the season between the top two scorers in the Jayhawk Conference, Hutchinson's Rhymes and Indy's McCallum.
Rhymes has had games of nine and 16 points, while McCallum has scored 10 and 19 points in the first two meetings. Bandoo has done the big damage for the Blue Dragons against Independence with games of 26 and 23 points against the Pirates.
The Blue Dragons are bidding for their sixth-consecutive Region VI Tournament semifinal appearance. Independence looks to go to the semifinals for the first time since 2006.
The Hutchinson/Independence winner will take on the Barton/Colby winner at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the first men's semifinal at Hartman Arena.