The No. 11 ranked Barton Community College men's basketball team won the Jayhawk playground seesaw battle Saturday night at the Barton Gym in an 86-81 victory over Garden City Community College. Teetering back and forth eleven times until the Broncbusters held a five point halftime edge, the Cougars rallied with fifty-four second half points as the lead flip flopped sixteen more times until Barton took the final lead for with 4:38 remaining. The sixth straight win keeps the Cougars in sole possession of first place heading into a two game road stretch at 13-2 and 17-2 overall while Garden City holds in fourth place at 9-6 and 13-6 on the year. Next games for the Cougars will be on the road, beginning with a Wednesday 7:30 p.m. tip at Butler Community College (5-10, 8-10) followed by a Saturday contest at Seward County Community College.
Garden City put up nine more shots than Barton in first half play in part to seven offensive rebounds leading to an eight point edge in second chance points. Breaking the eleventh tie with two of its sixteen first half points in the paint, the Broncbusters secured three offensive boards in the final four minutes leading to a six point closeout and 37-32 lead at the break.
The deficit grew to six five minutes into second half play but led by ten Marvin Cannon points, the Cougars outscored Garden City 17-5 in the ensuing four minutes for a six point home lead going into the mid-way point.
Scoring the next seven points, Garden City regained the lead as the teams battled back and forth with the Broncbusters holding their final lead at 69-68 on Russhard Cruickshank's fifth three pointer of the game. Kawanise Wilkins countered with his second long ball of the contest and the Cougars were off and running, grabbing a six point edge with three minutes to go before expanding to seven with 1:07 left.
All five Barton starters reached double-figure scoring with Cannon leading the way with twenty-five points, marking the third straight game of scoring twenty-five or more. The Cougars also had two double-double efforts led by Wilkins' twenty point and twelve rebound effort for his seventh of the season while Elijah Ford posted his fourth of the year on a fifteen point and ten rebound game. Scoring twelve points, Jayhawk assist leader Keshon Montague distributed six dimes for his third straight game of six or more while Noah Webster added eleven points to reach double figures for the ninth straight game.
The Broncbusters also put five in the double-digit scoring column led by Cruickshank's nineteen points, fifteen coming on 5-of-15 shooting from behind the arc. Elvis Harvey scored seventeen, Kendale Hampton dropped thirteen, and Jamir Thomas added eleven while tying Harvey for the team lead in rebounds with seven each. Theo Holloway gave the Broncbusters production off the bench while Pierre Johnson, who trails Montague in the league assist race, dished out a game high seven dimes to go along with nine points.