The Barton Community College men's basketball team owned the final seven minutes of Saturday's conference tilt at the Barton Gym to hold off Garden City Community College 84-77.
The second straight victory coupled with Hutchinson's home loss, moved the Cougars in sole possession of second place in the Jayhawk at 9-4 improving to 18-4 overall. Garden City slips into a three-way tie for fifth on the second straight defeat to 4-10 and 9-14 on the year. The Cougars conclude its three-game home stand on Monday in a make-up game against Allen County Community College tipping off at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Eight straight opened an early home court ten point lead with the margin staying at double digits on Diovonte Caldwell's transition layup with 11:39 to play. Garden City would then string a four minute 13-2 stretch on the Cougars for their first lead coming at 24-23 with 8:29 on the clock. Martin Vogts rang the bell from deep to trigger a tight rest of the half with Jakobi Pearson's triple providing the difference in a 41-38 Garden City lead to the break.
Going toe-to-toe through the first twelve minutes of the second half, Jamir Thomas' trey with 7:39 left for a seven point Broncbuster lead seemed to awaken the Cougars. Four charity tosses by Leondre Washington in the following sixty-seconds cut into the gap but Pearson's And-1 with 5:45 remaining pushed the visitor lead back out to six.
The Cougars responded with a 9-0 run, getting a Washington trey to kick start the run with free throws from Breontae Hunt, an Anthony Atkinson-Enneking follow-up dunk, and an Elijah Ford strong move through the paint putting Barton out from with 3:17 to play at 78-75.
Following Jaleel Simmons layup to halt the Cougars' run, Barton held Garden City scoreless the final 2:58 closing out the game with another six points to secure the nine point victory.
Washington's near double-double led the Cougars with nineteen points and nine rebounds to go along with five assists. Elijah Ford followed with his fourth double-double of the year by scoring eighteen points with ten rebounds while Caldwell and Akeem White contributed thirteen and eleven points respectively.
Thomas was the big producer for Garden City in putting up a game high twenty-four points with 4-of-8 shooting behind the arc, a near double-double with a team high nine rebounds, and blocking five Barton shots. Pearson tallied seventeen on the night while RJ Pair came off the bench for thirteen points.