The Barton Community College men's basketball team took care of a pesky Northwest Kansas Technical College team 82-77 Sunday afternoon at Park City's Hartman Arena as the Cougars advance to the semifinal round of the Region VI Tournament for the third straight season.
Improving to 25-7 on the year, the Cougars will next take on top seeded and 13th ranked Seward County Community College on Monday evening in the 7:00 p.m. semifinal round. The 26-5 Saints routed Independence Community College 83-60 in the earlier quarterfinal contest.
Barton trailed by as many as ten points in the opening frame before fighting back to lead at the haltime break at 38-35.
The Cougars expanded the lead to ten mid-way through the second half then had to fight off a Maverick rally as the gap shrank and Barton began to get careless with it's advantage.
With the margin just two points with under a minute to play, Barton worked down the shot clock with Elijah Ford delivering his 8th assist of the night in finding Diovonte Caldwell deep in the corner for a huge three-pointer pushing it back to a two possession with 27.8 seconds on the clock.
Eleven seconds later Northwest Tech's ten foot jumper sliced the margin to three but Leondre Washington sealed the Cougars' victory with a pair of free throws with 12.9 seconds left.
Washington's twenty-seven points led all players with four other Cougars reaching double-digits. Caldwell connected on 2-of-3 from behind the arc incuding the big corner pocket trey to finish with sixteen points while Ford flirted with a triple-double stat stuffing night scoring fifteen points, grabbing seven rebounds, and dished out eight assists of the night to go along with two steals and blocked shot. Akeem White rounded out the double-digits scorers with eleven points off the bench in twelve minutes of court time. Anthony Atkinson-Enneking also had a crucial night grabbing half of his ten rebounds on the offensive glass.
Chris Freeman paced the Mavericks with twenty-one points with Daekon Gross dropping eighteen off the bench and Henry Hampton contributing fourteen with a team high five assists and three steals.