By Aubreigh Heck / Online Editor

The Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons men’s basketball team started the season 1-0 after beating the Fort Scott Greyhounds 122-95 during their home opener on Wednesday night at the Sports Arena.

The Greyhounds took the lead first off of a free throw. After a start best described as disorderly, a dunk from Josiah Harris gave the Blue Dragons the momentum they needed to gain the lead. 

When the Blue Dragons gained it right after, there was no change in lead for the rest of the game. 

Although HutchCC remained on top, Fort Scott matched the energy, making sure to keep the Dragons on their toes.

“It’s a 40-minute-plus game,” said Blue Dragons coach Tommy DeSalme, who was making his Blue Dragon debut. “There’s big ups and downs and things like that, and when you’re playing a team in that same style, they know that as well. They’re playing as fast as we are.”

Angelo Stuart, a sophomore from East Stroudsburg, was encouraged with the early lead, but wasn’t happy that the Blue Dragons didn’t build much on it at first

“When we have leads, we need to continue to extend them,” Stuart said. 

Stuart led the Blue Dragons with 24 points and successfully hit nine of his attempted 15 field goals. He went a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line. 

With no returning Blue Dragons from the previous season, and a new coach, the team needed to acclimate to a whole new environment.

“Once we settled into it, it was good. It’s going to be a very similar game on Friday night where it’s an up and down tempo,” DeSalme said.

Even though the Blue Dragons scored over 120 points for the first time in four seasons, Stuart knows work needs to be done.

“I think we played hard, and I think it’s a good stepping stone. We definitely have some stuff that needs to be worked on, but I think our biggest thing is that we want to come out and play hard. If we do that, things will come together,” Stuart said. 

The Blue Dragons will play Friday night against No. 12 Odessa at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in the BSN Sports Tipoff Classic. 

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