BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
Hutchinson (21-6, 12-6) at Colby (16-10, 11-6)
When: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Riding a two-game winning streak entering the final three games of the regular season, the Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons look to keep building momentum with the postseason only two weeks away.
The Blue Dragons (21-6) travel to take on the Colby Trojans (16-10) in a battle of the Nos. 3 and 4 teams in the Jayhawk West.
Game time at Colby's Community Building is 5 p.m. 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 4:50 p.m. Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Daren Dunn (analysis) will have the call. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will stream the game live beginning at 4:50 p.m.
The Blue Dragons look for a season sweep of the Trojans, coached by former Blue Dragon player Rusty Grafel.
Hutchinson defeated Colby 95-76 on January 26 at the Sports Arena. D.J. Mitchell was 4 of 4 from 3-point range and 6 of 6 shooting overall to lead four Blue Dragons in double figures with 17 points. Hutchinson shot 51.5 percent overall. The Blue Dragons were 12 of 18 from 3-point range against the Trojans. Hutch used an 18-2 run in the first half to erase an early three-point deficit and lead 44-27 at halftime.
The first win over Colby was Blue Dragon head coach Steve Eck's 600th as a junior college coach.
After dropping 3 of 4 and falling out of the NJCAA Rankings, the Blue Dragons have strung together a pair of wins – a come-from-behind 74-70 win at Pratt and a dominating 94-53 win over Dodge City on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.
That win and the fact that Colby's game with Barton on Monday was postponed, the Blue Dragons moved past Colby into third place by 0.5 game. Hutchinson is 12-6 in league play and Colby is 11-6. The Blue Dragons still trail first place Seward County by three games with three games to play.
Hutchinson shot 53.3 percent on Wednesday night against Dodge City. Sophomore James Rojas led the way with 24 points and D.J. Mitchell added 18 points. Center Fred Odhiambo blocked nine shots, which is the third most in single-season individual Blue Dragon history. The Dragons had 15 total blocks, which tied for the second most in team single-game history.
After missing five games because of injury, Rojas has been tough to stop for the Blue Dragons. Third in the Jayhawk Conference in scoring at 17.7 points per game; since his return, Rojas has averaged 19.7 points per game, shooting 52.7 percent from the field and hitting 7 of 12 3-pointers over the last seven games.
Rojas is 27 points away from becoming the 31st Blue Dragon to reach the 800 career point mark.
Colby, which has clinched a home game for the opening round of the Region VI Tournament, had a four-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday after dropping a 101-86 decision to Seward County. The Trojans were led by Eddie Davis, who had 27 points as Colby shot 54.1 percent from the floor with eight 3-pointers. Colby's defense allowed 57.4 percent shooting and three Saints players to score at least 21 points.
The Blue Dragons have quite a gauntlet to go through in the final week of the regular season. After Colby, the Blue Dragons will play their final home game of the regular season on Wednesday against Barton at the Sports Arena before closing out with Seward County next Saturday in Liberal.