HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — NJCAA men’s basketball teams moved even closer to a national championship with second-round games on Tuesday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena in the national tournament.
The Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons had a tough task taking on the No. 1 seed, Mineral Area.
Trailing by 10 with 3:18 to play, the Blue Dragons tried to rally against top-seeded Mineral Area. The Blue Dragons got the game to one possession but couldn’t complete the rally as the Cardinals eliminated the Blue Dragons 80-77, ending their season.
The end of the 2021 Hutchinson C.C. men’s basketball season on Tuesday also meant the end of an incredible 12-year run by Blue Dragon head coach Steve Eck.
“We just couldn’t, we got it back to one and would turn the ball over. Turnovers killed us on that,” said Eck in a postgame news conference. “We got to be strong, in the national tournament, they don’t call very many fouls, so you have to be strong with the ball. Sometimes we weren’t and gave the ball back to them.”
Sophomore Stephan Gabriel carried the Blue Dragons on Tuesday with a career-high 27 points. Gabriel was a career-best 12 of 15 shooting with a career-high three 3-pointers. Gabriel also tied for a team-high eight rebounds.
The Cowley College Tigers’ historic season rolls on. The Tigers advance to the quarterfinals with a 134-107 win over Trinity Valley.
Cowley now has 20 games this season of scoring 100 points or more in a game.
“That is the first time Trinity Valley has been in that kind of pace, and we are in that pace every day,” said Tigers head coach Tommy DeSalme. “They looked a little sluggish, and we just put the hammer on the nail.”
The Tigers will play the No. 1 seed, Mineral Area on Thursday at noon in Hutchinson.
Also from the Jayhawk Conference, Coffeyville advances to the quarterfinals after a 95-56 win over Odessa.