STEVE CARPENTER - Hutchinson CC Sports Information
Despite a 4-3 trip to the rugged Jayhawk East this season, the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team is still in good shape to make a run at a Jayhawk West title as the 14-game season against division opponents starts Monday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
The Blue Dragons will take on Northwest Tech at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, the third game of a stretch of five games in 11 days for Hutchinson.
The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 7:20 p.m. with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Dan Naccarato (analyst) calling the action. The game will be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 7:20 p.m.
Blue Dragon head coach Steve Eck makes his second attempt at Hutchinson win No. 300. Already the program's leader in coaching victories, Eck is one win shy of 300 wins on the Blue Dragon bench. Eck would become just the sixth Jayhawk Conference men's coach to win 300 games with one program. He would join Jay Herkelman (Coffeyville, Craig Fletchall (Barton, Mike Jeffers (Johnson County, Randy Smithson (Butler County) and Neil Crane (Allen) in that exclusive club.
Entering play on Monday, the Blue Dragons are in third place in the Jayhawk West, two games behind Barton and one behind second-place Colby. The Dragons will play each of the seven teams in the division twice.
Hutchinson must rebound from an 84-83 setback at No. 20 Cowley on Saturday night. With the Cowley loss, Hutchinson tumbled to No. 25 in this weeks National Rankings.
The Blue Dragons did a lot of good things against the Tigers. The Blue Dragons shot 52.4 percent and out-rebounded the Tigers 44-33. The Blue Dragons also held the second-highest scoring team in the NJCAA 26 points under its 110-point scoring average and limited Cowley to 44.4 percent (32 of 72). Hutchinson hit only 3 of 13 3-pointers and 14 of 24 from the foul line. Hutchinson also committed 26 turnovers.
Majok Kuath had a third-straight huge game since joining the starting lineup with career bests of 34 points and 15 rebounds. Kuath was 13 of 15 from the field.
The Blue Dragons will face a Northwest Tech team that's on a seven-game losing streak and 2-12 overall. So far in January, the Mavericks lost 68-64 in overtime at Cloud County and 88-59 to Allen last Wednesday. The Mavs had their scheduled Saturday game with the Tabor College JV in Goodland called off because of travel conditions.
Northwest Tech has had defensive issues, allowing 88.6 points per game. Opposing teams are shooting 44.9 percent overall and 35.2 percent from 3-point range.
Monday is the last Hutchinson home game until Wednesday, January 22 against Dodge City. Hutch travels to Garden City on Wednesday and Pratt on Saturday.