Recovering from a bad start Saturday night at the Barton Gym, the Barton Community College men's basketball team couldn't overcome an even worse start to second half play as the No. 16 Cougars were knocked from the top of the Jayhawk standings by now lone conference leader No. 12 ranked Coffeyville Community College 88-70. The loss diminished the title hopes of the Cougars with one game to play, dropping to a second place tie at 20-5 and 24-5 while Coffeyville's thirteenth straight win takes over sole possession of the top spot at 21-4 and 25-4 overall.
Barton and the rest of the conference will wrap up the regular season on Monday with a 7:30 p.m. tip at Neosho County Community College (7-18, 9-20) with at least the third seed locked up for Thursday's first round home playoff game. The Cougars still have a shot at the second seed should Barton win Monday and No. 11 Hutchinson drop its finale at Dodge City.
A traditional slow start put the Cougars in a 7-0 hole, turning into an 18-3 deficit as just 4:13 had clicked off the clock. Barton shave a point off the deficit in the next five minutes then got a Kawanise Wilkins three-pointer, a pair of Keshon Montague free throws, and a Kian Dalyrimple trey for a 10-0 run to climb within nine. The Cougars would put together another good run of eight straight in the final 2:20 of the half including the final six from Elijah Ford to close within five at 43-38 to the halftime break.
Any momentum Barton carried to was left in the locker room as Coffeyville squelched the spirit scoring the first ten point to push the lead out to fifteen. A pair of Noah Webster free throws stopped the three minute run but it would be the last Barton points for the next four minutes until Webster converted a hoop-n-harm stopped a 9-0 Red Raven run as the Cougars looked up to a nineteen point deficit.
The lead ballooned to twenty-five with 10:47 left and again a minute later as the closest the Cougars would come the rest of the way was at the 3:04 mark on Montague's sixth three pointer of the game as the Red Ravens rolled to their largest margin of victory over Barton in the series' 31st meeting.
Montague struck for the career high six long balls going 6-of-8 behind the arc to lead the Cougars with twenty points. Coming off the bench due to Barton going with a four sophomore starting lineup, Marvin Cannon scored fourteen points while Ford finished with thirteen and team high seven rebounds as the Cougars were beat on the glass by ten rebounds.
Casey Benton's near perfect night led four Red Ravens in double-digits dropping twenty-five points on 9-of-11 shooting including a perfect three from long range while sinking all four charity tosses. Marvin Johnson added sixteen, Travis Washington fifteen, and Anthony Jones contributed eleven coming off the bench.
Coffeyville was red hot from all over the floor on the night, shooting 53.7% from the field including 8-of-16 from behind the arc while sinking a perfect 22-of-22 from the free throw line.