By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team squared off against Allen Community College in the Region 6 opener on Wednesday night at the Sports Arena, and picked up a 92-64 victory over the Red Devils.
The final score may have been lopsided, but it didn’t start out that way. The teams were trading basket after basket in the first minutes, before the Blue Dragons got on a run, and finished the first half with an eight-point lead.
The second half was the key, as Hutch outscored Allen 49-29, and finished with a 28-point win.
“We played better defense in the second half,” head coach Steve Eck said. “We started better second half, got rebounds and went on the fastbreak.”
The Blue Dragons improved in that second half, and the stats are there to prove it. Not only did Hutch outscore its opponent by 20 points, but the team also lowered Allen’s field goal percentage from 37.5% in the first half to 34.4% in the second half. The Blue Dragons also had nine steals, had eight blocks, and created 14 turnovers.
Tyler Brown led the scoring for the Blue Dragons with 21 points, while Josh Baker added 18 more. Clarence King also had a solid game all around. He finished with 16 points, four assists, a couple steals, and a block.
“I was just seeing the gaps they were giving me, and I was attacking them early,” King said. “I was just trying to be productive on attacking the rim.”
The Lawrence native averages 6.6 points per game, so this was a big scoring outburst in a big win for the team.
The Blue Dragons will advance to the Region 6 quarterfinals, where they will play at the United Wireless Center in Dodge City on March 1 against Jayhawk East champion Cowley.