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Cowley gives No. 4-ranked Hutch all it can handle in 76-75 road loss

Cowley gives No. 4-ranked Hutch all it can handle in 76-75 road loss

In a matchup of Cowley College's previous men's basketball coach, Tommy DeSalme, and its current head coach, Donnie Jackson, the Tigers took unbeaten and No. 4-ranked Hutchinson Community College down to the final seconds before losing 76-75 Wednesday in Hutchinson.

Jackson, who played college basketball for DeSalme and later served as his top assistant, had nothing but praise for his mentor.

"I respect coach DeSalme so much and love him as a mentor," Jackson said. "I am proud of what he is doing at Hutch, but that doesn't mean we don't want to win. We owe him one when he comes to Ark City."

Hutchinson improves to 11-0 overall and 5-0 in the Jayhawk Conference, while the loss drops Cowley's record to 6-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play.

The Tigers were not intimidated by the highly-ranked Dragons as they led by as many as 13 points (26-13) in the opening half before settling for a 46-37 halftime advantage.

However, Hutchinson opened the second half on a 13-1 run to grab a 50-47 lead. The Blue Dragons would go on to lead by as many as 11 points (68-57) following a three-pointer by Jayden Hall with 9:30 left to play before Cowley fought back to pull within one-point of Hutchinson on two occasions.

A pair of free throws by sophomore Clarence King cut the Tigers' deficit to 76-75 with 5.8 seconds remaining. Needing a steal or a quick foul, Cowley was unable to get either as Hutchinson got the ball inbounds and played keep away until the final buzzer sounded.

"I feel like the guys did a good job of sticking to the game plan, we just didn't have enough to finish it," Jackson said. "One thing we have done all year is proven we will fight all the way to the end."

Hutchinson out-scored Cowley 16-6 from the free-throw line as they went 16-of-17 from the foul line.

"Credit to them, they stepped up to the line and made them," Jackson said. "In a nip and tuck game you have got to be able to do that."

Cowley's Xavier Valley went 8-of-15 from the floor and led all scorers with 22 points to go along with nine rebounds. Kennedy Willis also played well as he added a double-double by finishing with 10 points and 10 boards.

"I am most proud of their rebounding totals," Jackson said. "If they do that on a more consistent basis we will be a tough team."

King joined Valley and Willis in double figures with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Hutchinson was held to 22 points below its season average and scored a season-low 76 points in the victory. The Blue Dragons were led Angelo Stuart's 21 points.

Cowley will play two if its next three games at home before heading into the Winter Break. The Tigers will next face Independence Community College Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Pirates are 4-7 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

"We need to find a way to take care of home court and steal a game on the road," Jackson said. "We are looking forward to the practice time and being able to make some adjustments."

Box score:

Cowley (75): Raishaun Brown 1-11 0-1 3, Mekhi Cameron 3-8 0-0 7, Clarence King 6-14 4-4 16, Xavier Valley 8-15 2-4 22, Kennedy Willis 5-10 0-0 10, Xavier Washington 3-6 0-0 8, Emmanuel Austin 2-2 0-0 5, KJ Spiller 2-5 0-1 4. Totals: 30-71 6-10 75.

Hutchinson (76): Jacquez Yow 3-5 2-2 8, Nate Goodlow 1-8 2-2 4, Angelo Stuart 6-14 7-7 21, Kaimen Lennox 4-13 2-2 12, Josiah Harris 0-2 2-3 2, Jayden Hall 2-5 0-0 6, Cameron Robbins 0-0 0-0 0, Kobe Campbell 5-9 0-0 10, Tarese Morse 3-3 0-0 6, Cecil Lee 3-9 1-1 7. Totals: 27-68 16-17 76.

Three-pointers: Cowley 9-23 (Xavier Valley 4-8, Washington 2-4, Cameron 1-4, Brown 1-3, Austin 1-1, King 0-3), Hutchinson 6-26 (Lennox 2-7, Stuart 2-6, Hall 2-3, Goodlow 0-5, Lee 0-2, Yow 0-2, Campbell 0-1). Rebounds: Cowley 43 (Willis 10), Hutchinson 41 (Stuart, Lee 7). Assists: Cowley 15 (King 6), Hutchinson 11 (Stuart, Lennox 3). Turnovers: Cowley 19, Hutchinson 15. Total fouls: Cowley 15, Hutchinson 16. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none.