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Hutchinson secures first national tournament berth since 1996-97 campaign
spt mm 31 Johnson dunk
Barton's Raheem Johnson goes up for a dunk during first-half action against Hutchinson during the NJCAA 2013 Region VI Championship final on Saturday night. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

PARK CITY — Barton Community College's bubble finally burst in the National Junior College Athletic Association 2013 Region VI Championship title game.

Playing the likes of ninth-ranked and bitter rival Hutchinson at Hartman Arena on Saturday night, the one thing No. 24-ranked Barton absolutely, positively could not have happen was find itself falling behind by double digits in the first half.

But that's exactly what transpired.

Hutchinson, behind 48.3 percent first-half shooting (14 for 29), seized a 36-24 halftime lead and pulled away for a 74-57 victory.

"They dominated this tournament," Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said of the 31-3 Blue Dragons. "They dominated the semis and dominated the finals.

"I'm not sure we were in it. We like to think that we were, but they hit us in the face and they had a lot of confidence from Friday night (beating No. 2-ranked Coffeyville 85-62)."

The regional crown gave the Blue Dragons their first berth in the national tournament since the 1996-97 season. It will be held March 18-23 at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

Coffeyville figures to land an at-large berth. The announcement will come on Monday.

Guard Kadeem Allen led five Hutch players in double figures with 15 points, including 11 in the first half.

"We try to take away their outside game and they go in to Alex Davis, who was the MVP of the tournament," Fletchall said of the Fresno State University signee, who had 11 points and five rebounds. "You take away the inside, and they hit outside shots.

"They were clicking on all cylinders. I think they'll represent our region well."

By virtue of their 19th region crown, the Blue Dragons will be making their 17th appearance all-time in the national tourney. The regional system was instituted by the NJCAA in 1954, and Hutch is now 120-43 in region play.

Barton, bidding for its first national tourney berth since the 2000-01 campaign, closes its memorable season at 28-6.

"It was a great season," Fletchall said.

The Cougars were led by all-star guard Algie Key, who scored a team-high 15 points in his final Barton game. Andell Cumberbatch added 13 points and nine rebounds for Barton. Those two sophomores, along with point guard Turon Parker, were named to the all-region team.

Key finished No. 4 on the Barton career scoring list with 1,214 points.

"The special thing about him is that he was the first player in the locker room thanking his teammates," Fletchall said of Key. "It was just amazing.

"He had a great career."

If you're looking for a title game turning point, glance no further than six minutes into the game.

Barton trailed 11-6 after Key hit a step-back perimeter jumper just inside the 3-point line with 14:35 remaining before halftime.

But Hutch would go on a momentum-seizing 11-0 run, triggered by back-to-back 3-pointers by Rozell Nunn and Allen, for a 22-6 advantage at the 12:34 mark. Allen also got a transition layup off a Barton turnover, Nunn made two free throws and Tafari Whittingham sank 1 of 2.

Barton had a run of its own, scoring eight straight points to close the gap to 22-14 at the 7:48 mark. Kevin Kuteyi made 1 of 2 free throws to start the surge,  Andell Cumberbatch hit a baseline 10-footer, Key hit a jumper, Kuteyi made a layup and Rapheal Stephens made 1 of 2 free throws.

Hutch led 29-14 at the six-minute mark, but Barton scored seven straight, including a Parker baseline jumper, a Cumberbatch breakaway dunk and a Kuteyi 3, trimming the lead to 29-21 with 2:40 remaining before halftime.

The Dragons outscored Barton 7-3 the rest of the half, highlighted by Allen's dunk off a lob from D'Von Campbell, a 3 by Nunn and a bucket inside by Davis.

As decisive for Hutch as its early first-half run, the Dragons went on an 11-4 surge the opening five minutes, six seconds of the second half for a commanding 47-28 lead.

"The one to start the second half was equally tough," Fletchall said. "What little confidence we thought we were trying to get, they pretty much sapped it out of us."

Barton shot a chilly 10 for 32 (31.3 percent) in the first half and wasn't much better after the break, finishing at 37.1 percent on the night (23 for 62). The Cougars missed 14 of 17 3-point attempts.

In the women's final, No. 2-ranked Hutchinson routed Cowley 70-46.

NJCAA 2013 Region VI Championship



At Hartman Arena

Park City

Region Final

No. 9 Hutchinson Community College 74, No. 24 Barton 57


     Kadeem Allen 7-17 0-0 15, A.J. Spencer 7-12 0-0 14, D'Von Campbell 4-8 2-2 12, Rozell Nunn 4-6 2-2 12, Alex Davis 4-7 3-6 11, Tafari Whittingham 3-6 1-3 7, Jack Pyle 1-2 0-1 2, B.J. Watson 0-1 1-2 1, Damion Hunt 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Izaiah Grice 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-60 9-16 74.

BARTON (28-6)

     Algie Key 6-13 3-4 15, Andell Cumberbatch 6-12 1-2 13, Kevin Kuteyi 4-15 1-2 10, Rapheal Stephens 2-3 2-4 6, Turon Parker 2-10 0-0 5, Trey Unrau 1-4 1-2 4, Raheem Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Andy Wiechman 1-1 0-0 2, John Goodson 0-0 0-1 0, Travell Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Shaka Thomas 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-62 8-15 57.

     Halftime — Hutchinson 36, Barton 24. Three-point goals — Hutchinson 5-14 (Nunn 2-2, Campbell 2-5, Allen 1-4, Watson 0-1, Spencer 0-2), Barton 3-17 (Parker 1-5, Unrau 1-3, Kuteyi 1-5, Thomas 0-1, Cumberbatch 0-1, Key 0-2). Rebounds — Hutchinson CC 41 (Whittingham 9; Nunn 9), Barton 35 (Cumberbatch 9). Assists — Hutchinson 16 (Campbell 4, Spencer 4); Barton 7 (Cumberbatch 2; Goodson 2). Turnovers — Hutchinson 13, Barton 9. Total fouls — Barton 18, Hutchinson 14. Fouled out — None.

Barton Community College
Men’s Basketball
Career Scoring List

1,470: Mark Bell 21.6 ppg (1989-91)
1,390: Brandun Hughes 24.4 (1994-96)
1,384: Mark Hutton 20.0 (1990-92)
1,214: Algie Key 18.2 (2011-13)
1,189: Jackie Jones 18.0 (1987-89)

NJCAA 2013 Region VI Championship



No. 2 Hutchinson 70, Cowley 46


No. 9 Hutchinson 74, Barton 57