Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team's defense was overpowering all night on Saturday at the Sports Arena. It took a while, but the offense joined in.
The Blue Dragons held NEO to 22.4 percent shooting and forced 25 turnovers as No. 1-ranked Hutchinson blitzed the Golden Norse 87-42 in a battle of 2-0 teams at the Sports Arena.
Hutchinson improves to 3-0 overall as it heads to the Tabor College JV on Tuesday in Hillsboro. NEO falls to 2-1. In Saturday's earlier game, North Lake College defeated the Tabor College JV 90-61.
The Blue Dragons posted their largest margin of victory in the all-time series against NEO. Saturday's 45-point victory topped the previous high of 38 set in 2014 (105-67). The 42 points allowed on Wednesday were the fewest allowed to the Golden Norse in the 23-game series. The previous NEO low output against Hutchinson was 54 points in 2012.
The last time the Blue Dragons held an NJCAA Division I opponent to 42 or few points was Fort Scott, which scored 39 in a Region VI Tournament opening-round victory in 2011.
Hutchinson's defense limited NEO to 11 of 49 shooting (22.4 percent). The Norse had only six 2-point goals in the contest. Hutch forced 25 NEO turnovers, 14 by Blue Dragons steals. The Dragons outscored NEO 26-10 in points off turnovers.
The Blue Dragons held NEO scoreless for stretches of 6:36 and 3:26 of the opening half, but led only 17-10 with 5:57 remaining in the half. Over the final 25 minutes, 3 seconds of the game, Hutchinson outscored NEO 70-32.
Sophomore J.J. Rhymes led another balanced scoring attack for Hutchinson with 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting.
The Blue Dragons shot only 40.7 percent (33 of 81), hitting a season-high seven 3-pointers in 19 attempts and 14 of 21 from the foul line.
Hutchinson out-rebounded NEO 60-33 with 24 offensive rebounds. The 60 boards tie for the third-most boards in team history matching games against Pratt (2008), Coffeyville (2015) and Garden City (2017).
Dylan Ven Eyck had nine points on three 3-pointers to lead the Norse.
Neither team could get its offenses going in the first half. Bandoo scored the first points of the game at the 18:02 mark and the Blue Dragons proceeded to go scoreless for the next 5:01. Rhymes' tip-in with 13:01 left gave the Dragons a 4-3 lead.
The Dragons led 11-9 at the first-half media timeout and their offense started to show signs of life. A Whitfield transition layup after an NEO turnover gave the Dragons a 17-9 lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Whitfield and Curtis Hollis pushed the lead to 14 at 26-12 with 4:27 to play. A Hollis layup with 1:53 left pushed the Dragon lead to 35-15. The Dragosn led 36-21 at halftime.
Hutch scored the first 11 points of the second half and held NEO scoreless for the first 3:57 of the period to lead 47-21 on a Rhymes jumper. The lead went to 30 (57-27) on a Taylor free throw with 13:06 remaining. It reached 40 on a Taylor jumper with 6:45 left for a 70-30 advantage. Hutch's largest lead was 47 points.