By Aubreigh Heck
On Feb. 21, the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team was defeated by the Pratt Beavers 112-100 in Pratt.
The Blue Dragons returned the favor by defeating the Beavers 110-82 in the Region 6 Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday evening at the Sports Arena..
“The loss against (Pratt) fueled our victory tonight. We felt a little bit bitter after we lost at Pratt. We didn’t come out with the right mindset that game. We knew that if we played with intensity, we would run them,” Blue Dragon guard Kobe Campbell said.
Campbell had a team-high 25 minutes played, grabbing three rebounds, scoring 16 points and making 2 of 3 on his 3-point attempts.
The Blue Dragons tied their record for the most 3-pointers made in one game for the third time this season, with the team making 14 out of their 29 attempts. They previously accomplished this against Fort Scott on Nov. 3, and against Northwest Kansas Tech on Feb. 14.
HutchCC shot 55.3%, while only letting the Beavers shoot 44.3%.
Even though the game remained close in the first half, after the Blue Dragons took a 21-14 lead at the 12:36 mark, the score never came close again.
“I thought we settled down. We finally got a couple baskets to go in and it settled us down. This was the best we executed all year, offensively and defensively. It happened in the first half,” Blue Dragons coach Tommy DeSalme said. “I thought once the ball started going in, when you’re in a playoff game, it makes everything a little bit easier.”
Campbell said, “We just came out with the right attitude. We came in with the attitude of winning.”
The Butler Grizzlies defeated the Cowley Tigers 58-52 earlier Tuesday evening, setting the stage for the Blue Dragons’ next game in the tournament on Friday in Salina..
The Blue Dragons swept the Grizzlies in regular season play.
“Good thing is we just played (Butler) recently, a week and a half ago,” DeSalme said. “The guys know each other, so it’ll be another really good playoff game.”
Campbell said, “It’s all about intensity. We just have to come out with the right attitude and intensity against them.”