Hutchinson CC Sports Information
GARDEN CITY – The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team earned a Jayhawk Conference road victory at one of the tougher venues in the league Saturday night.
Devonte Bandoo broke a tie game with 35 seconds left in regulation and the No. 1 Blue Dragons defeated the Garden City Broncbusters 68-64 at Conestoga Arena.
The No. 1-ranked Blue Dragons won their fifth game in a row despite scoring a season low offensive output. Hutchinson improves to 10-1 overall and remained in a first-place in the Jayhawk at 6-1. Garden City falls to 8-3 overall and 4-3 in the league.
The intense defensive battle featured seven ties and five lead changes, but the Dragons looked like they were taking charge with just more than 7 minutes to play when Hutchinson led 55-45. But the Broncbusters, who were 4-0 at Conestoga Arena entering play on Saturday, rallied to tie the game at 64 with 1:17 left when Pierre Johnson penetrated and scored. After trading missed shots, the Dragons quickly moved the ball up the floor and Bandoo pulled up from 17 feet on the right wing and buried a jumper with 35 seconds to play to give the Blue Dragons a 66-64 lead. The Busters missed a 3-pointer and a wild scramble for the rebound led to a jump ball. The Dragons had possession in their favor. J.J. Rhymes converted just before the final buzzer for the final margin.
Rhymes led the Blue Dragons with 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting. Bandoo hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 11 points. James Rojas was the only other Blue Dragon in double figures with 10 points. Kai Mitchell had nine points off the bench and Rheaquone had eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.
The Blue Dragons were limited to 34.9 percent shooting (22 of 63), going just 3 of 9 from 3-point range and 21 of 32 from the foul line. The Dragons owned a 50-35 advantage in rebounding.
Garden City was led by Jamir Thomas' game-high 23 points. Johnson had 14 points. The Busters finished with 25 of 64 shooting (39.4 percent). Garden City was 5 of 21 from 3-point range and 9 of 15 from the foul line.
The Blue Dragons trailed 11-6 just 5 minutes into the game, but battled back to take their first lead of the game when Taylor scored after a Rojas steal to lead 12-11 with 13:11 remaining in the first half. When Rojas scored at the 10:15 mark of the half, Hutch led by five at 21-16.
Mitchell scored inside with 4:18 left to give Hutch a 29-21 lead. The Busters pulled back within 32-28 with 1:51 to play. With some first-half foul trouble, Josh Creach came off the bench to score six points and pull down four rebounds in the first half. His tip-in with 1:26 to go gave the Dragons a 34-28 advantage. Neither team scored in the final minute and the Blue Dragons carried that 34-28 lead into halftime.
Garden City tied the game at 39 with 14:03 to play in the game and took a 42-41 lead after a Russ Cruickshank 3-pointer with 13:20 to play. The Dragons responded with a 6-0 run and led 47-42 after a Mitchell bucket with 11:29 to play.
The Dragons battled in the second half despite shooting only 35.7 percent. The Dragons were 13 of 20 from the free-throw line.
Leading 47-45, the Dragons went on an 8-0 run to lead 55-45 lead after a Curtis Hollis free throw with 7:13 remaining. The Blue Dragons had just one field goal after the next 6 1/2 minutes and Garden City came back to tie the game at 54 with 1:17 left in regulation.
Bandoo broke that streak with his go-ahead jumper with 35 seconds to play in the game.
Hutchinson travels to Butler on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. matchup at the Power Plant in El Dorado.