Trailing at halftime is nothing new for the Barton Community College men's basketball team as the No. 16 Cougars pulled things together midway through the final frame in the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena for a 90-78 win at Pratt Community College. Barton remains tied atop the Jayhawk standings with the win at 20-4 improving to 24-4 overall while Pratt drops to 9-15 and 12-overall.
The victory aided by Hutchinson's loss at Allen County raises the stakes even higher for Barton's remaining two regular season game, the first coming this Saturday hosting fellow top charter Coffeyville Community College. Riding an eleven game win streak, the No. 12 Red Ravens play the first of their three remaining games on Thursday in hosting Butler before turning their sight on the trip to Great Bend for the Jayhawk title driver's seat heading into Monday's regular season finale contests around the conference. Tip-off time at the Barton Gym set for 7:30 p.m. with Hall of Fame and sophomore recognition taking place following the Lady Cougars 5:30 p.m. big matchup against the Red Ravens and preceding the men's showdown.
Trailing by one and scoring sixty-three second half points the first time the teams met in Great Bend, the Cougars trailed by four at Wednesday night's break before outscoring the Beavers by sixteen in second half play. Defensively, the Cougars also held the conference leading scoring team under 80 for the second time having given up 79 in the previous meeting as the Beavers shot just 29.3% from the field.
Following a Roy Broomfield converting a hoop-n-harm giving the Cougars a four point edge, the Beavers' Dawson Gunter countered with a bucket but was whistled for a technical foul after the play inside seven minutes remaining. The turn of events gave Barton all the edge they would need with Marvin Cannon sinking the pair of penalty throws and following a Pratt empty possession, Noah Webster's drive to the cup stretched the margin to six with 5:13 left.
The lead grew by two in the following two minutes with Cannon drawing an offensive charge and on the ensuing Cougar attack, Elijah Ford hauled down a big offensive rebound with Keshon Montague burying a right wing long bomb for an eight point lead.
Pratt elected to send Barton to the line on most possessions down the stretch and the Cougars did their part with 18-of-24 75% second half free throw shooting including 9-of-10 in their final trips to the stripe to ice the game away.
Webster led six Cougars in the double digit scoring column with twenty-three points on 4-of-8 from behind the arc and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Kawanise Wilkins posted his eleventh double-double of the season with fifteen points and ten rebounds with Cannon and Ford just missing double-doubles hauling down nine rebounds each in scoring fourteen and ten points respectively. Montague finished with eleven and three assists and giving the Cougars a spark off the bench, Kian Dalyrimple dropped in ten points.
Jaylon Wilson earned game high scoring honors with twenty-eight points, knocking down three treys and 11-of-13 foul shooting. Asem Johnson was 7-of-8 from the stripe for fifteen points with James Brooks recording a double-double before fouling out with ten points and eleven rebounds.