For three minutes Saturday night in Independence the Barton Community College men's basketball team looked like a squad still reeling from suffering their first loss of the season. Trailing 11-1 the Cougars caught fire the ensuing three minutes going on to shoot its second best effort of the season building a twenty-six point lead in coasting to an 80-63 victory at Independence Community College. The third straight win on the conference road improves the Cougars to 6-1 in the Jayhawk and 10-1 on the season while dropping Independence to 3-4 and 6-4 on the year. Barton has two remaining games left on the fall portion of the schedule, the first coming Wednesday in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off at the Barton Gym hosting Dodge City Community College (3-4, 5-5).
Independence jumped on the Cougars early, scoring the first eight points with its second three-pointer in the opening three minutes digging Barton an 11-1 hole. Consecutive treys from Keshon Montague kick-started the Barton offense as the Cougars surged ahead with an 11-0 run. Trailing 17-15 into the 9:25 media timeout, Barton took the lead for good behind a nine point spurt before tacking on another nine following a Pirate trey to build a thirteen point advantage in a matter of six minutes.
Leading 44-26 at the break, the Cougars quickly pushed the margin out to twenty four getting consecutive three-balls from Kawanise Wilkins and Noah Webster. Four minutes later the lead ballooned to twenty-six points as Elijah Ford scored the Cougars' next eight on the way to the freshman's career high night.
As the Cougars got sloppy in the final ten minutes, the Pirates chipped away at the deficit, getting as close as thirteen with 2:20 to play with Barton scoring the final four in the seventeen point victory.
With a shuffled lineup, Ford came off the bench to lead five Cougars in double figures scoring a career high twenty-three points on 10-of-16 shooting including knocking down both shots from long range. Coming off a career high sixteen rebound night three days prior, Wilkins chalked up his second straight double-double effort and fourth of the season in grabbing thirteen boards and scoring sixteen points. Webster made the most of his first start of the season scoring fourteen behind two treys and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe with fellow long range bomb mate Sam Lorenzen also knocking down a pair in scoring twelve points. Montague's three triples, the first two getting the offense rolling and the third coming at a big second half juncture stopping a Pirate 7-0 run, contributed to twelve points as the conference leading assist man also distributed six dimes.
As sixteen players entered the game for the Pirates, two hit double figures as Isiah Durham and Tyreece Berry each knocked down a trio of three pointers to score twelve and eleven respectively off the bench.
Barton's next opponent will be a Dodge City squad looking to snap a three-game losing streak as the Conquistadors' second half rally fell short down the stretch losing at home 84-78 to Butler Community College.
Other Game Notes:
- Barton leads the overall series 17-13 and 3-2 at Independence
- Barton's win was the second straight in Independence in as many years. Prior to last season, the teams hadn't met on the Pirates home court since 1998
- Coming off a season low shooting percentage, Barton's 57.1% shooting was their second best effort since opening the season with a 58.6% shooting night
- Coming off a season low three-point shooting night, Barton struck for a season high 55.6% behind the arc (10-of-18)
- Defensively, the Cougars also recorded a season best, holding Independence to just 32.3% from the field