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Hutchinson men beat Barton in first game at No. 1

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at 11:40 p.m.

— As much as Hutchinson Community College coach Steve Eck wants to bemoan the loss of starting point guard D’Von Campbell for up to six weeks with a broken finger, his absence may have revealed something about the top-ranked Blue Dragons that will give future opponents pause.

The Blue Dragons are as deep as they are talented, and even when one of their best players is on the sideline, they still find a way to win.

Behind 22 points and four assists from freshman guard Kadeem Allen and 17 points and five blocks from 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Alex Davis, Hutchinson defeated No. 13 Barton on Wednesday night in front of 4,000 fans at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in their first game since moving up to No. 1 in the NJCAA Division I rankings on Tuesday — and in the process surviving a furious rally by the Cougars late in the second half.

“I think the crowd played in our favor, maybe they made (Barton) a little nervous,” said Davis, who has committed to Fresno State. “We don’t worry about the rankings at all ... it’s nice to be No. 1 but you can’t get that in your head. You control what you can control.”

Neither team controlled the game in a back-and-forth first half, and even though Hutchinson (18-0, 4-0 Jayhawk) led from the 11:08 mark on, Barton cut the Blue Dragons’ lead to 38-33 at halftime thanks to a buzzer-beater from Dominique Wilson.

Allen led Hutchinson with 12 points in the first half, including a pair of three-pointers and a highlight-reel behind-the-back pass to A.J. Spencer in transition.

“They play as good in transition as any team I’ve seen,” Barton coach Craig Fletchall said. “I think that’s one thing we weren’t ready for.”

Hutchinson’s transition game was even sharper to start the second half as the Blue Dragons went on an 8-0 run — capped by back-to-back buckets from Allen — to take a 46-33 lead less than two minutes in.

“We really shot ourselves in the foot in those first few minutes ... I don’t know what that was,” Fletchall said. “The game definitely wasn’t lost in the end.”

Davis, who had seven points but no field goals in the first half, buoyed the Blue Dragons’ in the post game in the second half. His follow dunk off an Allen miss put Hutchinson up 56-47 with 11 minutes to play, and his two-handed slam after contact put his team up 65-53 with just more than eight minutes left.

“I told Kadeem to keep attacking and it would open it up for the big guys,” Davis said. “I told my teammates I wasn’t going to try to force anything tonight, that I was going to get buckets by playing hard and getting rebounds and putbacks. If we would’ve taken one play off this could’ve been a different ballgame, we could’ve lost.”

Barton began to chip away at Hutchinson’s lead with under four minutes left, getting to within 78-73 with 21.1 seconds to play and then 78-77 with 12.7 seconds left. After Barton’s Algie Key hit one of two free throws, the Cougars grabbed the offensive rebound and Kevin Kuteyi hit a three-pointer.

Allen missed 3 of 4 free throws over the final 20 seconds.

“When you miss free throws and they hit threes, that’s a deadly combination,” Eck said. “I didn’t think Kadeem played one of his best games, that’s pretty uncharacteristic of him to miss free throws like that. He’s a really good ballplayer.”

Allen’s free throw with 5.2 seconds left put Hutchinson up 79-77 and Kuteyi’s desperation three at the buzzer missed. Turon Parker led Barton with 19 points, Kuteyi added 16. Key, an All-Jayhawk West guard last season, finished with six points. The Cougars hit 9 of 16 three-pointers.

“(Barton) hit some good shots, but we were still getting into our offense,” Allen said. “We’re learning how to play a new system without (Campbell) and some guys are having to play in some new spots, but I’m comfortable at the point.”

BARTON: Unrau 1-1 0-0 3, Kuteyi 4-11 5-6 16, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Parker 8-16 0-0 19, Cumberbatch 3-12 3-4 10, Key 2-9 1-5 6, Johnson 4-6 0-2 8, Goodson 0-0 0-0 0, Stephens 1-4 1-3 3, Wilson 5-7 2-4 12. Totals 28-66 12-24 77.

HUTCHINSON: Davis 4-9 9-16 17, Pyle 1-2 0-0, Allen 7-19 6-10 22, Spencer 4-9 2-4 10, Whittingham 5-12 3-5 13, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Henley 3-4 0-0 6, Nunn 3-6 2-2 8. Totals 27-61 22-37 79.

Halftime—Hutchinson 38, Barton 33. Three-point shooting—Barton 9-16 (Unrau 1-1, Kuteyi 2-4, Parker 3-5, Cumberbatch 1-4, Key 1-2); Hutchinson 3-10 (Allen 2-6, Pyle 1-1, Spencer 0-1, Nunn 0-2). Rebounds—Barton 52 (Stephens 13); Hutchinson 38 (Nunn 7). Assists—Barton 16 (Key 8); Hutchinson 14 (Allen 4).

No. 1 Hutchinson women 65, Barton 56 — The Blue Dragons led 55-53 with just over three minutes left, then went on a 10-3 run to end the game to improve to 18-0 overall and 4-0 in Jayhawk Conference play. Jasmine Patterson led Hutchinson with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Aja Sorrells added 20 points and two steals. Taschell Phillips led Barton with 16 points.

BARTON: Keith 0-3 0-0 0, Brantner 2-6 3-4 8, Bueno 0-1 0-0 0, Bruner 2-5 0-1 4, Bloomfield 2-9 2-2 8, Phillips 6-12 3-4 16, Mayes 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 3-9 1-4 7, Copeland 5-11 2-3 13. Totals 20-57 11-18 56.

HUTCHINSON: Sorrells 9-16 2-2 20, Walter 2-7 1-3 5, Patrick 3-9 0-0 9, Starks 3-6 0-0 6, Hill 0-4 0-0 0, Crawford 0-2 0-0 0, Herl 1-4 2-2 5, Patterson 7-11 2-5 16, Jones 1-2 2-6 4. Totals 26-61 9-18 65.

Halftime—Hutchinson 31, Barton 25. Three-point shooting—Barton 5-17 (Bloomfield 2-8, Copeland 1-3, Phillips 1-1, Brantner 1-2, Keith 0-3); Hutchinson 4-16 (Patrick 3-9, Herl 1-4, Crawford 0-1, Walter 0-2). Rebounds—Barton 41 (Bruner 11); Hutchinson 44 (Patterson 10). Assists—Barton 9 (Copeland 4); Hutchinson 21 (Patterson 4, Herl 4, Walter 4).

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