Hot Shooting From Hutchinson Downs Pirates
By Jay Henry
December 1, 2018
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - After starting hot in conference play, the Independence Pirates took to the road against the #9 Hutchinson Blue Dragons looking to continue their dominance on the season. Unfortunately, the hot shooting and dynamic play of the Blue Dragons proved too much for the Pirates as they fell by a score of 83-51.
"Hutch is just a good team that came out with a chip on their shoulder after losing the other night,' coach Tony Turner said. "They hit us early and we just weren't able to recover."
"Coming up, we have Northwest Tech at home on Wednesday and they'll test us as they're long and athletic." "We just have to start playing tougher and continue the success we had prior to tonight."
In the first half, many missed shots had the game scoreless for a while, but a three-pointer by DJ Mitchell put the Blue Dragons on the board. Jibril Harris' layup was answered by another deep shot by Mitchell, but Tyreece Berry brought the Pirates back within one with a long shot of his own at 6-5.
Free throws by Saquon Singleton pushed the lead back to three, but another jumper by Harris kept it close. A bucket by Chris Giles was answered by a quick inside shot by Sean Pollack to make it 11-9 and a bank shot from Harris tied the game at the 14:00 mark.
A quick shot by Singleton was answered by Ricky Edwards with a three-pointer to give Independence the lead at 14-13, but a 5-0 run led by Malique Jacobs gave Hutchison a four-point lead. After a 4-2 run by Independence, Fred Odihambo made a deep shot to put the Blue Dragons up by five at the 10:35 mark.
A 5-0 run for the Blue Dragons had the score at 28-18, but a hook layup by Kevin Charles brought it back to eight with 7:10 left in the half. Mitchell found the basket again to make the score 30-20 and a score by James Rojas pushed the lead out to 12 points with 5:30 left in the half.
A quick layup by Giles pushed the lead to fourteen, but after a pair of free throws, a layup by Tonje Durham broke the scoreless run for the Pirates. A 5-0 Hutchinson run was broken by another layup from Durham and the Pirates trailed 41-26 at the break.
The second half began with a quick three-pointer by Edwards to cut the lead down to twelve and an inside jumper from Harris making the score 42-31. A quick bucket by Giles was counteracted with a goaltending call to bring the Pirates within eleven, but Jacobs made a floater pushing the score to 46-33 with 17:00 remaining.
Free throws were followed up by a three-point play from Mitchell to put the lead at 18 points and then quickly became a 20-point lead as Mitchell broke away for a slam dunk with 14:37 remaining. A bucket by Rheaquone Taylor pushed the score to 55-33 and three free throws pushed the lead to 25 points with 13:45 remaining.
Hutchinson was on a run of 5-3 with only free throws for the Pirates, but a floater by Charles gained Independence their first bucket within minutes. Odihambo found the basket making the score 65-38 and a layup by Josh Perkins extended the lead with 8:30 left to play.
A bucket by Kori Guest was answered with a three-pointer, but Kofi Maze found the long-range shot making the score 70-44. Independence was outscored 13-7 in the remainder of play and dropped the contest by a 22-point deficit.
Independence (6-5, 1-1) returns home Wednesday December 5 against Northwest Tech with tip-off set for 8pm.