State Colleges

Nelson helps Hutch move on

Remember that there was a lot that happened to William Nelson before he ultimately took the game over for Hutchinson Community College against Independence in Saturday's Region VI quarterfinals.

Remember that he got kicked in the head, hard. Remember that he watched his team blow a 22-point halftime lead. Remember that his team hit 1 of 13 free throws during a second-half stretch where it could have put the game away.

Remember all that, but none of it matters to Nelson now.

"It's ugly, yeah, but sometimes things are like that," Nelson said after scoring 14 points in the Blue Dragons' 88-84 overtime victory. "The important thing is we won... a month ago I don't think we could have won a game like this."

Yes, a month ago Hutchinson was mired in an epic slide, plummeting from No. 1 in the nation to six losses in nine games, including four straight.

But that was a month ago. Now, winners of six straight, Hutchinson will face the Garden City-Coffeyville winner in today's semifinals.

"They kept their composure tonight and they showed some... what do you call it... moxie?" Hutchinson coach Steve Eck said. "As coaches we can get them ready to play but they're the ones that have to go out and do it in the end."

Leading 47-25 at halftime, Hutchinson pushed its lead to 60-38 in the second half before the Pirates came roaring back, focusing their efforts on trapping All-Jayhawk West guard Joe Mitchell every time he caught the ball.

The Blue Dragons coughed the ball up 21 times in the second half — 31 for the game — and went through a horrid stretch of free-throw shooting before Independence tied the score 73-73 following a three-point play from Titus Rubles.

"We were just playing like we had nothing to lose," Independence coach Patrick Nee said. "And once we got a little nibble and knew we were back in it we started to make some things happen."

Nelson hit a pair of free throws to give Hutchinson a 77-75 lead with 15 seconds left, but Rubles tipped in a miss with five seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Nelson scored back-to-back baskets in the extra period, including a three-pointer that broke an 81-81 tie with just under two minutes to play. A layup from Mitchell made the score 86-81 with 40 seconds left, a lead that finally proved insurmountable for Independence.

Mitchell led the Blue Dragons with 20 points. Anthony Downing led the Pirates with 34.

"It really doesn't matter how we won, doesn't matter for any team this time of year as long as you win," Mitchell said. "Our goal all along has been to win this region and go back to Hutchinson and try for a national championship. That has never changed."

INDEPENDENCE (23-9): Tate 0-0 0-0 0, Downing 11-24 10-14 34, Rubles 4-18 6-11 15, Gulley 3-8 0-0 7, Staton 2-7 2-2 7, Hinton 2-3 0-0 4, Adams 3-8 6-8 12, Hall 0-1 0-0 0, Thurman 0-0 0-0 0, Schneider 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 27-72 24-35 84.

HUTCHINSON (26-6): Braden 6-8 6-10 19, Schultz 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 4-7 5-11 14, Frantz 5-10 1-2 13, Mitchell 7-12 3-5 20, Reed 2-7 0-2 5, Goff 3-6 0-2 6, Sullivan 1-4 2-2 4, Denson 2-2 3-4 7. Totals 30-56 20-38 88.

Halftime-Hutchinson 47, Independence 25. 3-point shooting-Independence 6-26 (Downing 2-11, Rubles 1-4, Gulley 1-4, Staton 1-4, Schneider 1-1, Hinton 0-1, Adams 0-1); Hutchinson 8-16 (Mitchell 3-5, Frantz 2-2, Braden 1-1, Nelson 1-2, Reed 1-3, Sullivan 0-3). Rebounds-Independence 41 (Downing 9); Hutchinson 45 (Frantz 7, Goff 7). Assists-Independence 6 (Rubles 3); Hutchinson 19 (Frantz 6). Fouls-Independence 31, Hutchinson 24.

Seward County 83, Kansas City 67 — The Saints rolled into the semifinals behind 26 points and four assists from Jeremy Jones.

KANSAS CITY (25-6): Tinnon 6-16 5-7 17, Morris 2-10 2-3 6, Smith 5-14 1-2 15, Balque 0-1 0-0 0, Schaake 0-0 0-0 0, Sipple 0-0 0-0 0, Lysaught 2-4 2-2 8, Ezeamii 1-1 1-2 3, Sloan 3-10 2-3 9, Bush 3-3 3-9 9, Torres 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-59 16-28 67.

SEWARD (26-6): Patterson 7-10 0-0 15, Nolen 3-9 0-0 6, Boardingham 4-7 9-12 17, Mazyck 2-2 0-1 4, Jones 9-21 5-6 26, Guthrie 5-10 2-3 13, Hollinger 0-3 2-2 2, Hawkins 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 30-66 18-24 83.

Halftime—Seward 39, KC 36. 3-point shooting-KC 7-26 (Smith 4-11, Lysaught 2-4, Sloan 1-6, Tinnon 0-2, Morris 0-2), Seward 5-11 (Jones 3-7, Patterson 1-2, Guthrie 1-1, Nolen 0-1). Rebounds—KC 51 (Tinnon 13); Seward 35 (Nolen 10). Assists—KC 14 (Morris 5); Seward 13 (Guthrie 6). Fouls—Seward 21, KC 19.

Cowley 93, Allen 79 — Dominick Cornelius led the Tigers into a semifinal matchup with Seward by scoring a team-high 23 points. Jason Smith had 33 points for Allen in a losing effort.

COWLEY (25-7): Patton 1-2 0-0 2, Cornelius 8-13 2-3 23, Nelson 2-4 0-1 4, Watson 6-13 2-2 14, Hobbs 1-2 2-4 4, Jones 3-4 1-2 7, Wakefield 0-1 4-4 4, McGee 4-6 1-3 12, White 1-2 0-0 2, Belin 4-9 2-2 10, Marshall 1-4 0-0 2, Kemp 4-6 1-2 9, Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-66 15-23 93.

ALLEN (8-23): Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Hollis 4-10 0-1 9, Smith 11-23 11-11 33, Tukes 6-13 0-0 17, Kelly 1-4 2-5 4, McDowell 0-1 0-0 0, Myrick 0-0 0-0 0, Shears 3-8 5-6 11, Daniel 2-5 1-2 5. Totals 27-64 19-25 79.

Halftime-Cowley 38, Allen 33. 3-point shooting-Cowley 8-16 (Cornelius 5-9, McGee 3-5, Patton 0-1, Nelson 0-1), Allen 6-20 (Tukes 5-10, Hollis 1-4, Shears 0-3, Smith 0-2, McDowell 0-1). Rebounds-Cowley 44 (Watson 8); Allen 31 (Shears 10). Assists-Cowley 27 (Patton 10); Allen 12 (Tukes 4). Fouls-Cowley 22, Allen 18.

Coffeyville 71, Garden City 67 — Coffeyville, the Jayhawk East champion, survived a second-half rally by the Broncbusters to advance. Neil Watson led the Red Ravens with 13 points and Chauncy Williams led Garden City with 23.

COFFEYVILLE (28-4): Wilson 3-9 3-5 10, Broussard 3-11 2-6 10, Cuyler 3-6 1-2 7, Watson 2-4 7-9 13, Crockett 2-3 0-2 5, Cummings 2-4 0-0 5, Cordray 1-3 1-1 4, Harris 1-3 7-10 9, Henshall 4-5 0-0 8, Henshall 4-5 0-0 8, Bowlin 0-0 0-0 0, Davenport 0-1 0-0 0, Stevens 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 21-49 21-37 71.

GARDEN CITY (21-11): Rheubottom 2-11 6-7 10, Phillips 1-8 1-2 3, Morales 3-5 0-0 6, Cummings 0-3 4-4 4, Schippers 0-1 0-1 0, Jirmnson 2-7 4-6 8, Thomas 3-5 0-0 8, Williams 7-17 4-5 23, Mills 1-2 3-4 5. Totals 19-59 22-29 67.

Halftime-Coffeyville 29, Garden City 23. 3-point shooting-Coffeyville 8-22 (Broussard 2-6, Watson 2-4, Wilson 1-4, Crockett 1-2, Cummings 1-3, Cordray 1-3), Garden City 7-22 (Williams 5-10, Thomas 2-4, Jirmnson 0-3, Cummings 0-2, Rheubottom 0-1, Phillips 0-1, Mills 0-1). Rebounds-Coffeyville 41 (Cuyler 8); Garden City 41 (Cummings 8). Assists-Coffeyville 13 (Watson 4); Garden City 7 (Jirmnson 2, Thomas 2). Fouls-Garden City 30, Coffeyville 23.

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