The Barton Community College men's basketball team rallied from a seventeen point first half deficit before outscoring the 13th ranked Blue Dragons of Hutchinson Community College by fourteen in second half play for a 102-87 victory.
The victory snapped a seven game losing streak in the series and the last three at the Barton Gym as Barton inches a half game from second place at 8-4 and 17-4 on the season while Hutchinson slides to 9-4 in the Jayhawk and 18-4 overall. Barton will look to carry the momentum into Saturday as the Cougars host Garden City Community College in a 7:30 p.m. tip.
Coming off its third worst shooting performance of the season on Saturday in Liberal, the Cougars missed their first two attempts in trailing by six in the early three minutes before getting the first of John Williams' three-pointers and an Akeem White jumper to tie it up at ten.
Headed for a career scoring night, White's consecutive buckets put Barton out by four before an 11-0 run gave Hutchinson a lead of seven into the media timeout, growing to as much as seventeen with 5:57 remaining.
The Cougars got hot from long range beginning with White's triple to be later followed by Leondre Washington and Breontae Hunt coming off the bench to continue the ignition. Getting a block on the defensive end, Hunt settled in front of the Blue Dragon bench before launching Diovonte Caldwell's assist for the trey cutting the margin to seven. Hunt would later dial up on another shot beyond the arc followed by a layup to cap an 18-2 Barton stretch closing to within 46-45 with 1:28 left.
Hutchinson stopped the run briefly on a 1-of-2 trip to the line before Tyrell Andrews gave the Cougars a halftime lead in converting an And-1 late in the half.
A 10-0 start to the second half increased the Barton lead to eleven as the margin hovered around the ten point gap past the media timeout. The Blue Dragons cut the deficit to five with 7:42 to play but a Caldwell And-1 followed by a pair of three-pointers pushed the Barton lead back out to 94-80 just under the five minute mark remaining.
White's inside bucket from Caldwell's sixth assist of the night struck the century mark while giving Barton its largest lead of seventeen with 1:39 to play.
The career high thirty-one point performance by White led five Cougars in double digits as Barton played perhaps its best game as a team overall. Caldwell added sixteen off the bench behind 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc while Elijah Ford matched the team high six assists to go along with fourteen points. Washington tallied eleven on the night with four assists with Hunt's spark off the bench contributing ten points.
Four Blue Dragons hit the double-digit scoring with D.J. Mitchell and James Rojas coming off the bench with twenty-three and nineteen points respectively. Rheaquone Taylor added fourteen while Saquan Singleton just missed a double-double before fouling out with eleven points and nine boards.
Hutchinson outshot the Cougars 58.9% to 50.6% on the night on twenty-five less field goal attempts as the Blue Dragons committed nineteen turnovers while Barton committed just eight.