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Hutch short-circuits Cougars after break

Jayhawk West

POSTED February 19, 2012 12:36 a.m.

A shot clock malfunction delayed the start of the second half between the Hutchinson Community College and Barton men’s basketball game on Saturday night at the Sports Arena.

The 20-minute delay didn’t seem to do any favors for the NJCAA 19th-ranked Cougars, whose offensive flow malfunctioned after the unexpected long break. It came on the heels of a 20-minute intermission with the game was knotted at 29.

Hutch (21-5, 8-4) won its seventh straight game after increasing its second-half pace and pulling way for a 71-60 Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division victory. The Dragons moved one-half of a game ahead of Barton (22-5, 8-5) for sole possession of second place in the conference standings.

“The delay was the same for both teams,” said Barton head coach Craig Fletchall, a Hutchinson native. “We just stopped being aggressive and we got behind.”

At halftime, the Cougars, who outrebounded Hutch 25-15 in the opening half, appeared to have the tempo where they liked it, although they missed 26 of their first 38 shots.

Hutch, meanwhile, made half of their 20 shots by intermission, including 4 for 7 from beyond the arc. The Dragons finished at 49 percent (24 for 49) while outscoring the Cougars 42-31 in the second half.

“All of a sudden, we found our pride and we didn’t want to get blown out," Fletchall said of his team carving into Hutch's lead, which peaked at 19 points with 12 minutes left, "but those first few minutes of the second half, we had no focus.”

One would figure that the Cougars would be zoomed in on the focus point since the game was for second place in the West — all by themselves, only one game back of league-leader Seward — providing they won.

After the lull, Fletchall said his team had no focus when the second half finally did begin.

Why?

“That’s the million-dollar question,” Fletchall said. “They’re junior-college kids.”

Hutch, in the meantime, has crested to seven straight conference wins, signaling to the rest of the Jayhawk Conference that it is a team on the upstart.

“(The Dragons) had won six in a row and whenever you’re winning, it gets a little contagious and I think right now our guys are struggling scoring,” Fletchall said. “We’re really good in the open floor and you saw Hutch in the first half, they only got two offensive rebounds and they’re sending everyone back and not sending people to the glass.

“It really bottled up Al (Algie Key) and Carl (Carl Wallace) in transition. People are game-planning different for the second time around.”

Alex Davis scored 18 points to lead four Hutch players in double figures. Anthony Thomas added 14 points, Rozell Nunn had 12 points and Michael Spease finished with 11.

Dwayne Brunson, a sophomore forward, led the Cougars with 27 points and 17 rebounds off the bench. Key, a standout freshman guard, scored 13 points, although he missed 12 of 17 shots, a microcosm of Barton’s field-goal fortunes.

The Cougars shot a chilly 32.4 percent for the game (24 for 74). They also made only 12 of 20 free throws, and misfired on all seven of their shots from beyond the arc.

“We were 0-for-7 from 3 and we just missed open looks,” Fletchall said. “We’re going to struggle winning some games if we don’t find some shooters.”

The Cougars, sitting alone in third place, are idle on Wednesday before playing host to Colby on Saturday night at around 8, following the women’s game at 6.

 

JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Kansas Jayhawk Community
College Conference
Western Division
 
At Hutchinson
Sports Arena
 
MEN
 
Saturday
 
Hutchinson 71, Barton 60
BARTON (22-5, 8-5)

     Jonathan Pittman 2-6 0-0 4, Turon Parker 2-4 5-6 9, Algie Key 5-17 3-5 13, Carl Wallace 4-12 0-0 8, Darius Hill 0-3 0-0 0, Kurt Walker 0-1 0-0 0, Andell Cumberbatch 0-1 0-1 0, Julian Rose 0-3 3-4 3, DaVonte Grant 0-1 0-0 0, Dwayne Brunson 11-26 1-4 23. Totals 24-74 12-20 60.
HUTCHINSON (21-5, 8-4)

     Mark Braden 0-2 7-12 7, Michael Spease 3-10 4-4 11, Anthony Thomas 6-9 1-3 14, Ryan Schultz 3-8 1-1 8, Rozell Nunn 5-5 2-2 12, Alex Davis 7-13 3-5 18, Jack Pyle 0-0 1-2 1, AJ Spencer 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-49 19-29 71.
     Halftime — Barton 29, Hutchinson 29. Three-point goals — Hutchinson 4-14 (Spease 1-4, Thomas 1-4, Davis 1-2, Schultz 1-1, Braden 00-2, Spencer 0-1); Barton 0-7 (Parker 0-2, Brunson 0-2, Grant 0-1, Cumberbatch 0-1, Key 0-1). Rebounds — Barton 52 (Brunson 17, Pittman 8, Parker 7); Hutchinson 35 (Davis 9). Assists — Hutchinson 16 (Thomas 6, Braden 4, Spease 4); Barton 10 (Parker 2, Key 2, Wallace 2). Turnovers — Barton 13; Hutchinson 13.

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