By Sam Ojeda / Sports Editor
The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball came back home, needing a bounce back win. After two tough losses the week prior, coach Tommy DeSalme and his team took on Cowley on Wednesday at the Sports Arena.
The Blue Dragons lost the last time they took on the Cowley Tigers , who beat the Blue Dragons 111-95. The Blue Dragons needed all the fire they could get out of the mouth of their high-powered scoring offense. It ended up being the defense that won HutchCC the game as they pulled out a 91-65 victory.
The second year HutchCC head coach was at Cowley for 12 years before taking over for the Blue Dragons. In 2021, DeSalme led the Tigers to the NJCAA national championship game.
Coming into this game, Hutch had the worst scoring defense in KJCCC. A new looking defense was on the court in the first half. Hutch held Cowley to only 28 points in the first half, which is a season low for a half. The Tigers only made 38% of their shots in the first half and missed all nine of their 3-point attempts. HutchCC had four steals in the first half and dominated the rebounding area 22-16.
The Blue Dragons’ offense sputtered in the first half. They only scored 45 points, which for the conference-leading offense is considered a low number. Redshirt freshman Aaron Franklin had 13 of those points, while sophomore Jayden Garrison had eight. Hutch led Cowley by 17 at half 45-28.
Rolling into the second half, there were no adjustments made by the Cowley offense as the Tigers ended the game with 65 points. HutchCC had eight steals and forced 14 turnovers.
The offense caught on fire for the Blue Dragons in the second half as key bench piece Aaron Potter had 15 points in the second half. The freshman had 22 points overall and shot 5-8 from 3-point range.
Star player Aaron Franklin continued to do what he has done all season. The Kansas City, Mo. native finished with 26 points on 50% shooting. Franklin also added eight rebounds and five assists. Franklin is averaging 23.2 points and 8.1 rebounds which are towards the top in the KJCCC.
The Blue Dragons earned that much needed bounce back win and look to keep the momentum moving as they finish out regular season play.
Blue Dragon women 91, Cowley 70 – The Blue Dragon women looked to get back to their winning ways Wednesday night as they took on Cowley.
It was the 55th meeting between these two teams with the Blue Dragons leading the series 30-24. In their first meeting this season, the Tigers pulled out a win 55-49 in Arkansas City.
The offense was electric for the Blue Dragons as they scored the most points they scored all season in their 91-70 victory. The Blue Dragons shot 52.7% from the field and 31.3% from three-point range. Coach John Ontjes, who is in his 16th season, saw a staunch defensive unit force 21 turnovers.
Sophomore Mya Williams climbs closer and closer to the all-time leading scorer in school history. She tallied 17 points on 6 of 8 shooting while adding four rebounds and seven assists. She is now only 120 points shy of Kalani Purcell’s record.
Sophomore guard Leata Te Nana-Williams was a nice spark off the bench for Ontjes and his staff. Williams had 12 points and two steals in 16 minutes of action.
Monae Duffy was the story in this one tonight. The 5 foot, 11 inch freshman had 24 points and seven rebounds on 12-19 shooting. Her 24 points were a career high. The Louisiana native is almost averaging a double-double. She puts up 11.5 points and 9 rebounds per game. Duffy is now third in the conference in rebounding and has six double-doubles this season.