D.J. Mitchell scored 23 points in the Blue Dragons' 102-87 loss at Barton on Wednesday night in Great Bend. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
D.J. Mitchell scored 23 points in the Blue Dragons' 102-87 loss at Barton on Wednesday night in Great Bend. (Bre Rogers/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

GREAT BEND – The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team shot nearly 58 percent on Wednesday night and still suffered its worst loss of the season.

The Barton Cougars rallied from a 17-point deficit in the first half with a huge run that covered the end of the first half and rolled into the second. The No. 13 Blue Dragon never recovered and dropped a 102-87 Jayhawk West matchup at the Barton Gym.

Hutchinson falls to 18-4 overall and 9-4 in the Jayhawk West. The good news for Hutch was that first-place Seward County was upset at Northwest Tech, so Hutchinson trails the Saints by one game heading into Saturday's nationally ranked matchup. Barton remains right in the thick of the Jayhawk West title chase with a 17-4 overall record and 8-4 league mark.

Powered by 14 first-half points from D.J. Mitchell, the Blue Dragons overcame an early 16-4 Barton run to with a 30-9 run of their own and led 44-27 with 5:56 remaining.

Then the Cougars took over and defeated Hutch for the first time on its home floor since 2015.

Barton closed the first half on a 20-3 run to take a 48-47 lead at halftime. The Cougars made it a 30-3 run by scoring the first 10 points of the second half to lead 58-57 with 17:29 to play.

The Blue Dragons chipped away several times in the second half, pulling within 61-55 after a James Rojas drive to the bucket with 15:44 to play and within five at 81-76 after a Boubacar Kamissoko layup with 7:48 left in the second half. Barton answered that challenge with a 10-2 run and Hutch never got the deficit back to single digits again.

Hutchinson shot 62.1 percent in the first half and finished the game at 57.9 percent (33 of 57), but couldn't overcome 18 turnovers – Barton scored 24 points off turnovers – and 15 Cougar offensive rebounds that produced 15 second-chance points. The Blue Dragons were out-rebounded for the fifth time in six games, this time 37-30.

Mitchell finished with a team-high 23 points on 5 of 8 shooting from 3-point range. He was 7 of 11 shooting overall.

Rojas finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Rheaquone Taylor was the third Blue Dragon in double figures with 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting. Saquan Singleton finished with nine points, seven rebounds and four assists. Kamissoko had eight points.

The Blue Dragons hit 6 of 16 from 3-point range and 15 of 23 from the free-throw line.

Akeem White became the first opponent to score 30 or more points against Hutch in a full calendar year. He had 31 points on 14 of 20 shooting with six rebounds to lead the Cougars. Diovante Caldwell had 16 points, Elijah Ford had 14 points.

Barton is only the second team to shoot 50 percent or better against Hutchinson this year, shooting 50.6 percent (41 of 81). Barton hit 10 of 21 3-pointers and 10 of 14 from the foul line.

GAME NOTES – Hutch is now 86-27 vs. Barton, 34-16 in Great Bend. … This is the fifth time ever that Barton scored 100 or more points against the Dragons. … Barton's Akeem White is the first opponent to score 30 or more points since Cowley's Jeremiah Starks on Feb. 20, 2018. … This was Mitchell's team-high seventh 20-point game this season. … The Dragons are now 7-1 when shoot 50 percent or better. … Hutch allowed 10 or more 3-pointers in a game for the eighth time this season. … The 17-point lead is the largest ever blown in a game in the Steve Eck era.