Rally, survive, advance. Sunday evening's Region VI quarterfinal at Park City's Hartman Arena went through three stages for the No. 19 ranked Barton Community College men's basketball team as the Cougars advanced to the next round with a 79-72 overtime victory over Colby Community College. The win sends Barton to the semifinals for the second straight year as the third seeded Cougars improve to 27-5 on the year while ending the sixth seeded Trojans' season at 20-12. Barton's next opponent will be second seeded and No. 14 ranked Hutchinson Community College at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday as the Blue Dragons took care of Independence Community College 74-59 in their quarterfinal matchup.
Typical of the 2017-18 Cougars, Barton got off to another slow start with Noah Webster's 1-of-2 trip to the line halting an 11-0 Trojan run but a three-pointer on the next possession pushed the lead out to fifteen at 22-7 with 9:41 left in the half.
Beginning with a Webster three-pointer to end a seven minute field goal drought, Elijah Ford followed with a bucket as a Colby three-pointer did little to slow down the Cougars as a 10-0 run got Barton back to within five with 5:34 remaining. The deficit grew by two over the next minute until Kian Dalyrimple's pair of free throw tosses led a six point stretch as the teams would eventually get to the half tied at 33 behind Dalyrimple's trey with thirty-one seconds on the clock.
Kawanise Wilkins gave Barton its first lead of the game sixteen seconds into the second frame to kick start an 11-0 run out of the locker room. Webster added a trey and a thunderous follow-up dunk by Marvin Cannon staked the Cougars out to their largest lead of eleven coming at 44-33 with 16:27 to play.
The Trojans hung around in chipping away at the lead with a six point stretch and a pair of five point runs to take a 61-59 lead with 2:06 to play. A pair of 1-of-2 trips to the line got Barton back to a 61-all tie with 1:05 remaining but it would be the last time Barton would have possession as Colby collected four offensive rebounds but missed its mark on three shots before final desperation sixteen footer missed its mark sending the game to overtime.
Barton took early control of the extra frame jumping out to a five point lead with Colby cutting the margin to three with 1:46 left. A Cannon drive to the cup, a pair of Wilkins charity tosses, and consecutive transition dunks by Ford including an And-1 exploded the gap to ten points in an eighty-two seconds of play.
Colby drilled its ninth three-pointer of the game to halt the 7-0 run but Cannon sank two free throws to ice the game with twelve seconds remaining sending Barton to semis and winning Head Coach Craig Fletchall's 400th collegiate career victory and No. 299 at the Cougar helm.
Wilkins' 12th double-double performance of the Chicago freshman's season led all players with nineteen points and twelve rebounds to go along with a career high six assists with the final two feeding Ford's game sealing dunks. Cannon also put up nineteen points sinking 7-of-10 from the stripe and swatting away three Colby shots. Webster closed out the double-digit scoring with fourteen points while Ford finished with nine to go along with eight rebounds and four steals.
Xaiver Smith scored seventeen with four steals to lead the Trojans. Ty Dalton joined Wilkins in the double-double club with fourteen points and eleven rebounds while like Wilkins, also led his squad in the distribution category finishing with five dimes.
The Cougars' run in the playoffs can be heard on local radio 104.3FM or streaming online at www.GreatBendPost.com. Fan information for the playoffs including brackets and ticket prices can visit the Region VI Tournament page for additional details.