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Hot shooting hurts Busters in loss to Blue Dragons

Hot shooting hurts Busters in loss to Blue Dragons

Two teams that average over 90 points faced off in the Hutchinson Sports Arena, as No. 25 Garden City faced off against No. 10 Hutchinson on Saturday night. The first 10 minutes of the game were nip and tuck, as the teams switched leads six times and had two ties. After the under-10 minute media timeout, it was all Blue Dragons. Hutchinson scored 66 second half points, on their way to a 116-75 win over the Busters.

In the first part of the first half, neither team had a lead bigger than four points. After Hutchinson led 13-9 with 14:53 remaining in the first half, Garden City scored seven straight to give them their biggest lead at 16-13 at the 12:48 mark of the opening half.

The Blue Dragons began one of their many scoring blitzes after that. They started with a 10-2 run in a five-minute span, and eventually led 30-22 with 7:34 remaining in the half. Hutchinson's hot shooting continued, as every time Garden City would score, the Blue Dragons responded with a basket. Hutch closed out the first half on a 10-4 run to take a 50-36 lead at the break.

Hutchinson (11-0, 7-0) continued the momentum in the second half. The Blue Dragons started out with a 14-2 run in the first three-plus minutes of the second half to open the game up at 64-38 lead with 16:06 left. They would also used one more big run in the second half. It would be a 19-3 run over a four-minute span in the second half to grow their lead to 96-55 with 7:11 remaining. The biggest run that Garden City (8-3, 4-3) could put together in the second half was four straight on two occasions. Hutchinson led by as many as 43 points.

Five Blue Dragons scored double figures, led by J.J. Rhymes with 20 points, while James Conley finished with 19, Devonte Bandoo added 17. After shooting 58.3% in the first half, Hutchinson shot 73% in the second half (27-37) and finished a blistering 65.8% for the game (48-73). The Blue Dragons also had 29 assists, and out-rebounded the Busters 48-23. Hutch finished with 51 bench points.

Garden City was led by Josh Fleming's 18 points, while Victor Dukes and Troy Stancil had 12 and Ben Howze finished with 10 points. Stancil was 4-4 from the field, which included a pair of three pointers. The Busters finished 40.6% (26-64) from the field, and surrendered 26 points off 18 turnovers. The 116 points was the first time they've allowed over 100 points in a game since January 2, 2016, when Neosho County scored 100 in a 100-96 double overtime win. The 116 points were the most given up in the Brady Trenkle era.

Garden City will host Cloud County Wednesday night. The Thunderbirds pulled away late in a 91-74 win over Colby Saturday night.