The Barton Community College men's basketball team built a double-digit lead in the first fifteen minutes of Monday's regular season finale at the Barton Gym, going on for a ten point 82-72 victory over Neosho County Community College. Starting off fast out of the second half gates, the Cougars controlled the first half of the final period as well, ballooning the lead out to as much as twenty-points before thwarting a late Neosho County rally. The victory clinched Barton's outright second place standing in the Jayhawk Conference at 19-7, improving to 23-7 on the season while dropping Neosho County to 8-18 in conference and 11-19 overall.
The Cougars will take the No. 2 seed into the Region VI playoffs earning a Thursday first round home game taking on a No. 15 seed Seward County Community College squad riding high from Monday's victory over Garden City. Tip-off time set for 7:30 p.m. with free admission to fans and $1 hotdogs being offered while supplies last. The victor of Thursday's opening round will advance to Sunday's 7:00 p.m. Quarterfinal contest at Park City's Hartman Arena.
Ezekiel Charles was red hot from the perimeter leading all scorers with twenty-six points as the sophomore buried 7-of-13 behind the arc while pulling down eight boards and dishing out four assist. Four other Cougars reached double digits with Jahlil Rawley and Keeshawn Palmer scoring eleven each while Malik Toppin and Charles Norman dropped ten apiece. Anthony Smith scored just six points but collected ten rebounds marking the eight time the sophomore grabbed ten or more boards in a contest. Malik Rhodes dished out a team high five dimes in adding eight points while Toppin led a six block party for the Cougars swatting away three Panther shots.
Twenty-points and eight rebounds from Marc Moon led Neosho County in both scoring and rebounds. Austin Downing scored eighteen and dished out a team high three assist while Kyle Smith concluded the double-digit Panther scoring with eleven.