Freshman Curtis Hollis was one reason behind the explosive Blue Dragon offense and James Rojas was another.
The two freshmen led the charge from the bench that combined to score 35 points in the one-sided showcase Wednesday night. Hollis connected on his first five shots, including a corner three followed by an easy two-handed flush in the open floor to bury Colby during an avalanche first half run.
Hollis scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and added two assists in the runaway 89-65 victory over the Trojans.
Rojas bullied his way to the basket, scoring a team-high 14 points and adding five rebounds as Hutchinson continued to extend its lead in the second half. During garbage time, Rojas also showed off his range with a 3-pointer from the wing.
“It’s there a little bit,” said a tongue-in-cheek, 6-foot-7, 220 pound Rojas. “I don’t show it off much, but it’s there.”
It was there for seemingly every Blue Dragon Wednesday night with six players scoring in double digits. Tiylar Cotton also added 10 points off the bench. The offense was kick-started by J.J. Rhymes and Devonte Bandoo, who scored 14 of the Blue Dragons' first 20 points.
But it was the defense that hounded a Colby team that averaged 86.8 points per game. Hutchinson held the Trojans to 25 first half points on 25.8 percent from the field.
“We played really good defense the first half,” said Hutchinson coach Steve Eck. “We guarded, but the second half we didn’t guard. We did what we were supposed to in the first half, but the second half we didn’t. It was a tale of two halves.”
The Blue Dragons took their feet off the gas in the second half, scoring nine fewer than their first half 49, and allowing Colby to score 40. Eck called a quick timeout to start the second half after Colby went on a quick run, but Hutchinson was in control for the duration of the game.
“We just have to come out with energy,” Hollis said. “That’s what coach Eck preaches to us every day. Just bring energy (off the bench) and contribute when we get it. That’s what we try to do.”
NEXT: Hutchinson (9-1) begins a two-game road trip with the Blue Dragons heading to Garden City Saturday then Butler on Wednesday.
HUTCHINSON 89 COLBY 65
Rojas 5-10 3-6 14, Rhymes 5-11 3-5 13, Bandoo 4-10 4-4 13, Hollis 5-6 0-0 11, Nuhu 2-5 6-6 10, Cotton 3-4 2-2 10, Taylor 4-5 1-2 9, Whitfield 4-7 0-0 9
Eagle 8-18 0-0 16, Dalton 5-12 0-0 11, Gyamfi 4-5 2-3 10, Beaudion 3-5 2-2 9, Hall 2-7 4-8 9, Young 1-4 1-3 4, three tied with 2
Halftime score: Hutchinson, 49-25, 3-point goals: Hutchinson 6-14 (Cotton 2), Colby 4-16 (Four tied with 1), Rebounds: Hutchinson 43 (Taylor 8), Colby 37 (Hall 7) Assists: Hutchinson 14 (Two tied with 3), Colby 14 (Two tied with 4). Turnovers: Hutchinson 17, Colby 20