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Cougars' second half rally falls short in season ending loss in Region VI semifinals

Cougars' second half rally falls short in season ending loss in Region VI semifinals

The Barton Community College men's basketball team found itself behind from the opening tip in digging a large hole before a second half rally fell short 91-87 to Coffeyville Community College in the semifinal round of the Region VI Tournament held at Park City's Hartman Arena.  The second seeded Cougars trailed by seventeen at halftime and as much as twenty early in second half play, mounting a fifty-seven point final twenty minutes in coming up short to end the season at 25-8.  Improving to 21-12 on the year, sixth seeded Coffeyville advances to the championship game against top seeded Hutchinson as the Blue Dragons outlasted fifth seeded Butler 105-103 in the late semifinal game.

Anthony Smith finished his Barton career draining his first three-pointer of the season and second of his two-year stint with a fade away shot late in the contest before fouling out recording his twelvth double-double scoring twenty-three points and grabbing twelve rebounds.  

Four other Cougars also reached double-figures as Malik Rhodes finished with sixteen while Jahlil Rawley and Charles Norman each finished with eleven with Keeshawn Palmer's ten points all coming in first half action.  

Five Coffeyville players filled the scorebook led by the nineteen point ten rebound performance from Tedrick Wolfe.  Jordan Taylor also scored nineteen coming off the bench while Travis Washington led the Ravens with eight assists in adding eighteen points.  Malik Keith and Mike Cubbage contributed twelve and ten respectively to round out the double digit scorers. 

Barton couldn't have started the game any worse as Coffeyville pounded the glass for their fifth offensive rebound and the Cougars turning it over four times in the first seven minutes to stare at a ten point deficit.  Behind the ten points from Palmer, Barton did cut into the Coffeyville lead with a 10-0 run to draw within 21-18 but it would be as close as the Cougars would come the rest of the game.  Add in Barton's 31% field goal shooting and 0-for-7 behind the arc in the first twenty minutes and Coffeyville's 51% shooting including 4-of-8 from long range resulting in a 47-30 mountain to climb headed into the halftime break.

As been the case all season and witnessed two nights earlier, the Cougars have been a second half team and Tuesday night was no exception as Barton outscored the Ravens 57-44 in coming up short.   After falling behind by twenty, Barton briefly made things interesting in the first eight minutes cutting the deficit to eleven with twelve to play but Coffeyville responded once again to Barton's surge rattling off the next six to expand the lead.

The Cougars had a few final surges in them but couldn't break the eight point margin until the final twenty seconds including a Rawley dunk near the buzzer to end the scoring sending Barton home for the second straight year by the Ravens and fifth since 2002.

Story contribution by the Great Bend Tribune.