BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
No. 13 Hutchinson (18-3, 9-3) at Barton (16-4, 7-4)
When: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team has climbed right back in the thick of the Jayhawk West title chase.
The next two games will have a significant impact on Hutchinson's title hopes as the Blue Dragons play the team immediately below and immediate above then in the Jayhawk Conference standings.
The No. 13-ranked Blue Dragons (18-3, 9-3 Jayhawk West) travels to play at Barton (16-4, 7-4) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Barton Gym in Great Bend. The Blue Dragons then turn around and play Jayhawk West leader Seward County for Pink-Out Night on Saturday at the Sports Arena.
Wednesday's game at Barton will tip off at 7:30 p.m. at the Barton Gym. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sisters stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 7:20 p.m. with Glen Grunwald (play by play) and Rusty Hilst (analysis) calling the action. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will provide a live video stream also beginning at 7:20 p.m.
The top three teams in the Jayhawk West – Seward County at 10-2, Hutchinson at 9-3 and Barton at 7-4 – are basically in a round-robin with each other this week. On Saturday in Liberal, Seward County started off this head-to-head-to-head battle – the first of two this season – with an 87-70 victory over the Cougars.
Now the Blue Dragons travel to meet a Cougar team which has lost 2 of its last 3 games.
Hutchinson played its most complete game since Butler on December 8 with a 95-76 victory over Colby on Saturday at the Sports Arena. The Blue Dragons were blistering from 3-point range, hitting 10 of their first 14 shots from distance before finishing 12 of 18 from the 3-point range. D.J. Mitchell and Chris Giles had four 3-pointers each and Tyler Brown added three more from long range.
The Dragons opened up a 17-point lead at halftime and led by 26 points with 14 minutes to go in the second half.
The one thing the Blue Dragons need to shore up is rebounding.
Despite a plus 7.5 rebounding margin for the season and leading the Jayhawk Conference in rebounding at 45.5 boards per game, Hutchinson has been out-rebounded in 4 of its last 5 games. Barton is one of the top rebounding teams in the league, ranking fourth with 43.0 boards per contest. Barton's Elijah Ford is the fourth-leading rebounder in the Jayhawk at 7.7 rebounds per game.
Wednesday's meeting will be the 113th in series history. The Blue Dragons have an 86-26 lead in the series. The Dragons are 34-15 in Great Bend.
Hutchinson head coach Steve Eck and Barton head coach Craig Fletchall are neck-and-neck in both the Jayhawk Conference and Region VI all-time coaching wins list. Eck has 418 wins as a Jayhawk Conference head coach at Butler, Cowley and Hutchinson. Fletchall has 418 Jayhawk wins at Neosho County and Barton. Eck and Fletchall are tied for third on the Jayhawk Conference coaching list and sixth on the all-time Region VI list.