The Barton Community College men's basketball team shook up the conference and region standings Saturday night in the Hutchinson Sports Arena with an 87-82 victory over No. 16 ranked Hutchinson Community College. The victory vaulted the Cougars into a second place tie in the conference race and set up thrilling last night of regular season play as Region VI tournament seedings yet to be determined. Improving to 8-5 in conference play and 20-9 overall, Barton can secure at least first round Region VI home playoff game with a victory Wednesday at the Barton Gym against Garden City Community College. A loss by the Cougars could potentially spiral Barton down to a sixth seed. Hutchinson meanwhile falls to 22-7 on the season and into a second place tie with the Cougars and Pratt Community College at 8-5. Tip-off time for the Barton-Garden City matchup will be approximately 7:30 p.m. or twenty-minutes following sophomore recognition night held at the conclusion of the women's game.
The Cougars led at halftime for the sixteenth straight game but found itself in dogfight with the Dragons. As Hutchinson erased the six point deficit to take a one-point lead less than five minutes into the second frame, the Cougars responded with a 10-0 run to grab its biggest lead of nine with 11:46 to play.
Hutchinson kept coming back as the Dragons used a 5-0 stretch and a 9-0 run to assume a 64-63 lead with 8:25 to play. Led by eight points from Isaac Williams including two of his four three-pointers on the game, a right wing three from Trey Unrau, and four points from Tyler Corley the Cougars jumped back out to an eight point lead with 4:37 remaining.
The Cougars would hold a seven point lead until the Cougars would come up empty on four straight trips to allow Hutchinson to creep back to with two. Raheem Johnson pushed the lead back out to four with a pair of free throws with 34 seconds but just seven seconds later the Dragons' Darrick Wood drained a three in front of the Hutchinson's bench to cut the deficit to one.
Sending the Cougar's Corley to the free throw for two shots with 13.7 seconds, the game took an unexpected turn of events due to fan behavior. After receiving the ball for his foul shots, Corley took his stance at the charity stripe only to have an object thrown at him from the Hutchinson student section located behind the basketball goal. Stopping play and after a short discussion, the referees issued an administrative technical on Hutchinson thus awarding Barton with two additional free throws. Isaac Williams calmly stepped to the line draining both giving Barton a three point lead and setting the stage for Corley tacking on two more points for a five point lead. The Dragons' Kadeem Allen got a good look from the left baseline but Corley secured the long rebound to seal Barton's first victory in Hutchinson since 2011.
Barton was led by the three-headed monster of guards Tyler Corley, Darius Gibson, and Isaac Williams as the trio combined for seventy-three of the Cougars' eighty seven points. Corley led all players with twenty-nine points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field. Williams provided a huge spark off the bench with one of his better all-around games posting his second career double-double. Knocking down 4-of-7 shots from behind the arc and 5-of-6 free throws, the freshman finished 7-of-13 from the field to finish with twenty-three points while grabbing a team high ten rebounds. Going 8-of-18 from the field, Gibson finished with twenty-one points including a buzzer beating deep three-pointer to cool down the Hutchinson momentum into halftime. Corley and Gibson both also dished out four assists each while Deriece Parks led the team in steals with three.
All-American Kadeem Allen racked up a double-double performance twenty-three points and thirteen rebounds as three Hutchinson players reached double figures. Darrick Wood led the Dragons with twenty-four while Coreontae Berry scored thirteen. B.J. Watson led with five assists and also accounted for four steals.
More photos available at Barton Sports Flickr page