Men clinch first Jayhawk Conference title since 2004

By Bailey Terry

Loribeth Reynolds/Collegian - Akbar Hoffman, Newark, New Jersey, shielding the ball from his opponent during the game on Feb. 20 at home in the Sports Arena against Barton. Hoffman aided the Dragons in their win by scoring 20 points and stealing the ball three times.
Loribeth Reynolds/Collegian - Akbar Hoffman, Newark, New Jersey, shielding the ball from his opponent during the game on Feb. 20 at home in the Sports Arena against Barton. Hoffman aided the Dragons in their win by scoring 20 points and stealing the ball three times.

Closing the regular season, the No. 7-ranked Blue Dragon men’s basketball team played the Garden City Broncbusters at their place on Feb. 22.

Hutch won their 11th game in a row.

The score was 93-84.

That brings the Dragons’ record to 27-3 overall and 16-3 in the Jayhawk West Conference.

This win gives the Dragons possession of their first conference title since 2004.

Since the Dragons hold the title of the Jayhawk West Conference, they qualified for the NJCAA tournament come March.

The leading scorer for the Dragons was Bashir Ahmed, Bronx, New York, with 26 points.

Ahmed also added 12 rebounds, 2 steals.

This double-double for Ahmed makes 28 career double-doubles.

Behind Ahmed was Akbar Hoffman, Newark, New Jersey, with 18 points; shot 100% from the free throw line.

Overall, the Dragons shot 78% from the foul line and barely out-rebounded their opponents, 43-42.

The Dragon held a double-digit lead, 17-7, until Garden City came back hard with a 17-4 run.

Garden City took the lead, 24-21, with nine minutes left in the half.

Minutes later, the Dragons went on a 9-0 run to take the lead as the buzzer sounds for halftime.

The score was 42-37.

As the final half began, the Dragons a 13-2 run to push away from the Broncbusters.

The score was 56-39.

With eight minutes remaining, the Dragons scored their last field goal of the game.

The Dragons led 71-60.

From the eight-minute mark in the game, the Dragons scored 20 of their final 22 points from behind the foul line.

Hutch hit 31 of 40 free throws in the second half, a new team record.

The Dragons also took on Barton at home on Feb. 20. Hutch won the game, 94-77.

The next step for Hutch is the post season Region VI tournament.

Since the Dragons are ranked No. 1 in the tournament, they get a bye for the first round.

They are scheduled to play either Garden City or Seward County on Sunday, Feb. 28, in Park City at the Hartman Arena.

The game kicks off at 1 p.m.

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