Behind a pair of late defensive plays, the Barton Community College men's basketball team escaped Concordia Wednesday night with an 80-75 victory at Cloud County Community College.
The third straight win and fourth straight in Concordia improves the Cougar's conference mark to 4-2 and 13-2 overall while dropping Cloud County to 4-3 and 10-6 overall in snapping the T-birds' four game win streak. Next on the schedule is a pair of 7:30 p.m. home games beginning with Saturday's hosting of Allen Community College followed by Monday's matchup with Pratt Community College.
The Cougars scored the game's first seven points before Cloud County cracked the scoreboard four minutes into the contest with the first of its eight three-pointers of the night. Barton's two point lead into the midpoint of the half evaporated on the flip side of the media timeout as Cloud County strung five straight together, capped by their third trey of the first twelve minutes for a 21-18 lead with 7:53 to play.
A pair of steals and block on the defensive end sparked a Cougars' 9-0 answer with recently activated Demarcus Morris completing an old fashioned three-point play putting Barton back on top with a six point lead. Four T-bird free throws flipped the lead again before Dallas Bryson kept Cloud County from surging ahead in following Diovonte Caldwell's jumper with a defensive stop and ensuing bucket. Breontae Hunt and Martin Vogts closed out the half with consecutive three-pointers in outscoring Cloud County 6-2 in the final ninety seconds for a 38-34 halftime lead.
Washington and White again combined for four straight in giving Barton its largest lead of eight points with 7:34 on the clock and hovered around the margin until the game changed at the 3:46 mark.
Barton's lead evaporated in the next ninety seconds as a three pointer spurred a T-bird 7-0 run for a 73-72 home club advantage with 2:29 to play.
Washington's three-point play put the Cougars back out front by two with Cloud County knotting it again for the game's final tie coming at 75 with 1:41 left.
Following an exchange of missed three point attempts, White gave the Cougars the lead for good with thirty-two seconds remaining with a power move in the paint for the tough inside bucket.
Having just fed White for the go-ahead score, Vogts turned defensive stopper with two steals down the stretch, the first coming with fourteen seconds left setting up his own 1-for-2 trip to the line. Halting the T-birds' next possession with another steal five seconds later, Washington then stepped to the line sealing the victory with two tosses for the five point margin with nine ticks on the clock.
Eleven Cougars contributed to the scoring column being led by White's nineteen points while just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Having put the Cougars on his back in a late pivotal stretch, Washington's key buckets and 8-of-9 shooting from the charity stripe finished with eighteen points. Reigning conference player of the week Elijah Ford delivered some clutch needed buckets throughout the game in keeping Cloud County at arms reach in posting his second straight double-double performance in scoring twelve points and ten rebounds to help Barton win the battle of the boards by five.
Alvin Thompson was the lone T-bird to reach double digits by scoring nineteen second half points to finish with twenty-four.
Barton, who leads the region in shooting at 50% from the field, came up shy of their season average but still connected on 46% of their shots from the field despite only 5-of-24 shooting from beyond the arc while holding Cloud County to eight below their average at 35.6%.