The No. 11 ranked Barton Community College men's basketball team was in unfamiliar territory Saturday in Dodge City with an unusual halftime lead before fending off Dodge City Community College's seven second half three-pointers for a 97-92 win. Barton improves to a conference leading 18-3 record and 22-3 on the year in sending Dodge City to its second straight loss in slipping to 6-15 and 8-17 overall. Next up for Barton is a 7:30 p.m. "Pink Out" Wednesday showdown at the Barton Gym in hosting No. 16 Hutchinson Community College (17-4, 21-4).
In a back-n-forth first twenty minutes of action featuring sixteen lead changes and five ties, Akeem White's thirteen points off the bench and Elijah Ford's late jumper gave Barton just its eighth lead to the halftime break in its twenty-one conference games this season with the Cougars on top 41-38.
The Cougars built the lead out for its largest margin in opening six munities of the second half as Noah Webster's trey pushed the lead to 58-49. With the Conquistadors doing their damage with 7-of-15 shooting from beyond the arc, it was the Cougars' long ball from Kawanise Wilkins beating the shot clock with under a minute to play to keep the Dodge City at a nine point deficit.
Putting the game away with four perfect tosses from the charity stripe, the conference leading and No. 13 ranked free-throw shooting Cougars sunk 32-of-38 free throws in the game (84.2%) to go along with nearly 53% shooting from the field.
Wilkins and Keshon Montague each scored twenty with Montague a perfect 10-of-10 from the stripe in scoring nineteen of his points in second half action. Marvin Cannon was a near perfect 9-of-11 from the line scoring fifteen of his seven points in the final twenty minutes to go along with a career tying five blocks. White finished with fifteen while Ford contributed eleven points and joined Cannon and Roy Broomfield with a team high six rebounds.
The Conquistadors also had five players in double figures led Justice Dixon's twenty-one. Sixteen points each came from Tajae Anderson and Jyrus Freels while Dayton McGroarty and Jordan Seniguar each added twelve as Seniguar points were a career high.
Barton's one-game lead in the Jayhawk will be severely tested on Wednesday with the Blue Dragon riding a four-game win streak, the latest in an impressive eleven point win over Butler. Hutchinson took the earlier meeting from the Cougars by eight points back on December 10 at the Sports Arena, holding Barton to its fourth lowest output (73) while putting up a fifth best 81 points on a second best 51.7% shooting from the field. The Cougars also gave up its second most rebounds (43), had a season high ten of their launches rejected by the Blue Dragon defense, and put up a season second lowest fourteen free throw attempts.