By STEVE CARPENTER ]
[ BLUE DRAGON SPORTS INFORMATION ]
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — In a season of milestone wins, the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team added another on Wednesday night at the Sports Arena.
Hutchinson earned its 200th all-time postseason victory after defeating the Allen Red Devils 98-88 in the opening round of the 2019 Region VI Tournament at the Sports Arena.
The Blue Dragons captured their 12th consecutive Region VI opening-round victory and advance to Sunday’s 5 p.m. quarterfinal against the Pratt Beavers at Hartman Arena in Park City. The third-seeded Blue Dragons are 24-7. Allen closes its season at 16-15.
The victory gives Hutchinson a 200-79 all-time postseason record and improved to 135-47 all-time in the Region VI Tournament.
Hutchinson led 52-38 at halftime after a D.J. Mitchell 3-point buzzer-beater to end the half. That lead grew to 21 points at 76-55 after a Malique Jacobs field goal with 9:58 left in the second half. From that point, things got close. Led by the 30-point effort of Darius Love, the Red Devils pulled within five points three times, the final coming with 14 seconds left after a Perry Carroll free throw just the Hutch lead to 93-88.
The Dragons clinched the victory with a Tyler Brown three-point play with 10 seconds left to give Hutch a 96-88 lead.
Jacobs had another huge game against Allen. He finished with a game-high 24 points, hitting a career-high 12 of 17 free throws. Jacobs tied James Rojas for the season individual single-game lead for free throws.
Rojas had his sixth 20-point game in the last seven with 21 points on 6 of 11 shooting and 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. Rojas also had six rebounds.
Saquan Singleton had 12 points, Boubacar Kamissoko had 11 points and Mitchel had 10 points for Hutchinson.
The Blue Dragons shot just 42.1 percent for the game (32 of 73), hitting 4 of 14 from 3-point range and 30 of 42 from the free-throw line. The Dragons were out-rebounded 47-44, but Hutch had just nine turnovers to Allen’s 17.
Love was 12 of 17 shooting overall, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range to become the second opposing player to score 30 against Hutchinson this season. Love also had seven rebounds and six assists. Carroll and Jamaal Clifton had 12 points each and Malik Hardmon had 10.
The Red Devils shot 32 of 69 (46.4 percent), hitting 13 of 30 from 3-point range and 11 of 21 from the free-throw line.
Trailing 11-10 not even 3 minutes into the game, the Blue Dragons went on a 17-6 run to lead 27-17 after a Jacobs bucket with 9:43 to play in the first half. Brandon Gray hit a 3-pointer with 5:47 left to cut the Hutch lead to 35-29, but the Blue Dragons answered with a Singleton dunk and Josh Perkins putback to lead 39-29 with 4:56 to go in the first half.
Hutch hit the final shot of the half after moving the ball up the court fast after a missed free throw and Mitchell buried a 3-pointer from the right corner at the buzzer for a 52-38 halftime lead.
A Rojas tip-in gave Hutch a 61-49 lead with 15:22 to play. That started a 14-4 run and the Blue Dragons built a 73-53 lead after a Kamissoko 3-pointer. The lead was stretched to 21 at 76-55 with 9:58 left after a Jacobs score.
Allen used five 3-pointers in the final 10 minutes of the game to start the comeback. A 7-0 Red Devil run, a Wesley Anderson 3-pointer and back-to-back Love layups cut the lead to 86-79 with 2:48 left. Love then hit a 3 with 1:02 to play to cut the Dragon lead to 90-85.
The Dragons held off the Devils after Brown’s three-point play with 10 seconds left. Rheaquone Taylor hit a pair of free throws for the final margin.
GAME NOTES – The Blue Dragons are now 43-9 all-time against Allen, including 6-1 in Region VI meetings. The Dragons are 40-8 in opening round/second-round games. This was all-time win No. 1,804. Malique Jacobs scored a combined 50 points in two games against Allen. The Blue Dragons were 13-2 in games played at the Sports Arena this year.