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Another 6th ranked opponent, contrasting losses for the Barton women in defeat at Hutchinson #GoBarton #RoarCougs

Barton women's basketball player Jaylin Stapleton dribbles around Irene Chukwudi's first half screen

The Barton Community College women's basketball team ran across a motivated Hutchinson Community College team Wednesday night at the Sports Arena with the 6th ranked Blue Dragons rolling to an 87-49 victory.

The loss didn't hurt Barton in the standings as the Cougars had already locked in the third spot for the remaining regular season but the Blue Dragons were fighting for a league title while also looking to close out the home slate with a victory on sophomore night. The results sends Barton to 13-7 in the West and 20-9 overall headed to Saturday's 2:00 p.m. tip at Garden City Community College to wind up the regular season while Hutchinson improves to 19-1 and 28-1 setting up the big Jayhawk Conference title showdown in Liberal Saturday at 2nd ranked Seward County Community College.

Having played the then 6th ranked Saints of Seward County to within one last week, Barton faced its second 6th ranked team after the release of the latest polls but the game flow and results were a stark contrast. Extraordinaire

Barton jumped on the Saints by seventeen points in the first quarter last week but Wednesday night it took the Cougars over twenty minutes to reach their own seventeenth point. Turnovers killed Barton early, coming six giveaways in the first three minutes resulting in Head Coach Alan Clark clearing the floor with a fresh set of five players.

Thankfully the Blue Dragons also started slow, knocking down just a pair of treys and a field goal in the time span as the starters were filtered back into the game facing just an 8-0 deficit. Reigning conference Player of the Week Taylor Regan finally got the Cougars on the board at the 5:28 mark with Ryen White's unorthodox jumper in the lane forty seconds later cutting the deficit in half.

Hutchinson closed out the quarter scoring six of the next eight, tacking on the second frame's first two points in opening up a ten point lead. Regan's jumper followed by Jaylin Stapleton knocking down the only three-pointer of the game for the Cougars sliced the Hutchinson lead to 16-11 with 8:30 left, cutting the margin to five following Irene Chukwudi's put back and Richelle Turney's jumper, but it would be the last field made in the final 6:18.

The Cougars took care of the ball a little better in the second frame with just six more turnovers but Hutchinson doubled up their offensive rebounds in setting up a big quarter. Regan's 1-of-2 trip to the line halted Barton's five minute scoring drought stopping Hutchinson's 14-0 run as the teams would go to the break in a Blue Dragon 36-16 advantage.

Stapleton, who would lead Barton with sixteen points, accounted for Barton's first eight points of the third quarter before adding a three-point play with 2:50 left in the frame with the visitors still looking up a 52-30 deficit.

Barton would continue to have trouble finding the bottom of the net, shooting just 31% in the game, as another scoring drought lasting until the 7:24 mark of the fourth quarter as Ndao would get the first two of her nine points in the quarter to reach double figures in the game.

Having scored ten against the Blue Dragons in the first team's meeting, Ndao contributed twelve Wednesday night to join Stapleton's sixteen and Regan's eleven as the lone Cougars in double figures.

The Blue Dragons were paced by a pair of fifteen point efforts by Jada Mickens and Tia Bradshaw with Makayla Vannett and Dejanae Roebuck adding twelve and eleven points respectively.