Full court pressure defense turned the tide Friday as the Barton Community College women's basketball team won handily 70-55 over the junior varsity squad from Central Methodist University in the opening game of Hutch Pawn and Jewelry Classic at the Hutchinson Sports Arena. Barton improves to 4-2 on the season heading into Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game against 4-3 Murray State College to wrap up the two-game classic.
Tied at eighteen after the first ten minutes Barton slapped on a full court defense forcing eleven second quarter turnovers outscoring the Eagles 23-8 building a fifteen point halftime lead. Despite forcing sixteen additional turnovers in the final twenty minutes, the Lady Cougars simply couldn't get shots to fall shooting a dismal 34% keeping the score respectable.
Leading the Cougars was the play of Megan Jirak recording her fourth double-double in six games scoring a career high twenty-three points and hauling down thirteen rebounds to go along with three blocks. Jalisa Jones was the only other Lady Cougars to reach double-digits with fifteen points while getting five of Barton's seventeen steals. Two days after setting a career high, Kilee Harris nearly grabbed her third double-double of the season finishing with nine points and nine rebounds. Dominique Baker and Alexus Bryson each contributed seven points while combining for eleven assists as Bryson setting a new career high accounting for seven of those.
Hope Wright and Mary Rose Gonzalez were the lone Lady Eagles to reach double-figures with fourteen each with Gonzalez hauling down eleven rebounds in recording a double-double performance.