The fall semester is winding down and the Barton Community College men's basketball team appeared ready for the holiday break Saturday night at the Barton Gym as the 9th ranked Cougars withered down the stretch to fall 86-78 to Independence Community College.
Suffering their second straight defeat, the Cougars sink to 1-2 in league play and 10-2 overall while Independence's second straight win improves the Pirates to 3-1 and 8-5 on the season. Barton will close out the semester with a Monday trip to Chanute in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off at Neosho County Community College (2-1, 8-3).
Leading by four at halftime, Barton lost its advantage in the opening five minutes of the second frame and never regained the lead. The Cougars tied it on a John Williams hoop-n-harm with 13:14 to play and again at the 6:40 mark on a pair of Mavrick Gildyard free throws capping a 5-0 run but it would be the last time Barton could get things evened up the rest of the way. The Pirates put Barton in the rear view mirror after Williams' And-1 sliced the margin to three by closing out the final 2:34 with five points to snap the three game losing streak to the Cougars.
Diovonte Caldwell's career high twenty points led four Cougars in double digits in knocking down three triples and coming up with half of Barton's six steals. Leondre Washington's 10-of-11 from the charity stripe led to seventeen points with Gildyard adding twelve to go along with a team high six rebounds as the Cougars were outrebounded by ten on the night. Converting two hoop-n-harm situations and sinking 4-of-5 from the free throw line, Williams gave Barton thirteen points off the bench.
Ricky Edwards' 4-of-7 beyond the arc including a critical scissor-kick three pointer with 2:58 to play late in the shot clock, led four Pirates in double digit scoring with twenty points. A pair of double-double performances were next on the scoresheet with fourteen points each from Sean Pollack and Jibril Harris while hauling down eleven and thirteen rebounds respectively. Tonje Durham rounded out the double digit scorers with thirteen and a team high three steals.