It's been two months since the Barton Community College men's basketball team gave away as many possessions as they did Saturday in Dodge City, leading to a ten point 66-56 loss to Dodge City Community College. Turning the ball over twenty times, the first time since November 7 of eclipsing the twenty mark, the Cougars gave away possessions and failed to convert opportunities in the last five minutes of the game snapping a seven game win streak versus the Conquistadors including three straight on Dodge City's home court. The loss drops the front running Cougars into a tie for the top spot in the Jayhawk at 6-2 and 14-5 while Dodge City wins its fourth straight to move a game within the Cougars and Neosho County at 5-3 and 14-5. Next up for Barton will be a two-game home stand beginning with a 7:30 p.m. tip Wednesday versus Colby Community College before Saturday's 3:30 p.m. matinee against Seward county Community College.
After a hectic and sloppy first ten minutes leaving the teams knotted up at nine, a Conquistador three-pointer out of the media timeout temporary ignited Dodge City to grab a four-point lead. An Ezekiel Charles triple capped off a Cougar run to take the lead at 20-19 but an 8-1 spurt by Dodge City built a six point lead to an eventual 29-26 halftime mark.
Two straight Dodge City buckets opened second half play then later outscored the Cougars 10-5 in a two minute stretch building the lead out to 45-33 as only 5:23 had ticked off the second half clock.
The lead grew back out to twelve shortly after the second half media timeout until Charles drained his third trey to pump some life in the Cougars. Dodge City answered with field goal but the Cougars' Derek Dorn and Eddie Hunt dropped buckets then Hunt's low block feed to Dequandre Dentmond for an under the rim one-hand jam closed the Barton deficit to four 56-52 with five minutes to play.
The dunk did little to phase the red hot Conquistadors as an ensuing three-ball keyed a 9-0 run as the Cougars turned the ball over and settled for quick shots resulting in a thirteen point margin with 2:14 to play.
Barton would outscore Dodge City 4-1 in the closing minutes but it was too little too late as the Cougars suffered their lowest output of the season and second worst loss having lost three of their five by three points or less.
Ezekiel Charles was the lone Cougar to reach double-figures as ten different players scored in the contest. Going 5-of-10 from the field including 3-of-6 from behind the arc, Charles scored thirteen points and team leading two steals with six rebounds to go along with tying Dorn for team high assist honors with three. Dentmond grabbed ten boards to lead a 40-34 Barton advantage on the glass.
James Newton led the Conquistadors with eighteen including 4-of-9 from long range and six of Dodge City's thirteen steals. Conference leading rebounder Josh Boutee's posted a double-double seventeen point ten rebound night to go along with three blocks. Jamil Hood added eleven while Lorenzo Dillard dished out eight assists.