BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
Hutchinson (23-6, 14-6) at No. 13 Seward County (24-5, 17-3)
When: Sunday, February 24, 2019
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team closes out the 2018-19 regular season on Sunday when the Blue Dragons travel to meet the 13th-ranked Seward County Saints.
Originally scheduled for Saturday, the latest winter storm to strike the state moved the Jayhawk West showdown is at 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Green House in Liberal. 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) at 5:50 p.m. with Daren Dunn (play-by-play) and Glen Grunwald (analysis) calling the action. The game will also be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 5:50 p.m.
The Blue Dragons are tied with Barton for second place in the Jayhawk West. A victory on Sunday over Seward County would give the Blue Dragons the second seed out of the Jayhawk West for the upcoming Region VI Tournament, which starts on Wednesday at home sites across the state. A victory would give Hutch the tie-breaker over Barton if the Cougars defeat Garden City in their season finale.
The Blue Dragons will face a Seward County team that clinched its first Jayhawk West championship since 2014. The Saints clinched on Wednesday after a 79-53 victory over Northwest Tech in Liberal.
James Rojas' double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds powered the Blue Dragons to their fourth win in a row with an 82-65 victory over Barton at the Sports Arena. Rojas has posted five-straight 20-point games and in the eight games since his return, the sophomore forward is averaging 20.6 points per game shooting 55.9 percent and 84.0 percent from the foul line. Rojas is also averaging 7.8 rebounds per game.
Over their four-game winning streak, the Blue Dragons are scoring 85.8 points per game while shooting 49.6 percent. The Dragons have held the last four opponents to an average of 68.5 points and 40.4 percent shooting. In the four games previous to the win streak – Hutchinson lost 3 of those 4 games – the Dragons averaged 76.5 points and allowed 87.5 points. Opponents averaged 49.4 percent shooting in that dismal stretch.
Hutchinson looks to avenge a February 2 loss to Seward County at the Sports Arena, an 87-79 setback to the Saints. Falling behind by as many as 19 points to Seward County in the last meeting, the Blue Dragons pulled within two points with 3:05 remaining in the game. But the Saints took advantage of two missed free throws and a turnover on back-to-back Hutch possessions and defeated the Blue Dragon.
The Dragons suffered through a miserable start, not getting their first field goal until 4 1/2 minutes into the game. By that time, Seward County had built a 14-2 lead. Hitting four 3-pointers in the first 9 1/2 minutes, Seward County built a staggering 19-point lead at 30-11.
Rheaquone Taylor finished with 17 points and James Rojas had 16 points and seven rebounds before fouling out. D.J. Mitchell had 15 points, hitting 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Saquan Singleton had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Devin Bethely finished with 23 points to lead Seward County.
Regardless of Saturday's outcome, the Blue Dragons will play a Region VI Tournament home game on Wednesday at the Sports Arena. An opponent and game time will be determined when all games are completed.