The Barton Community College women's basketball team closed out the regular season Sunday afternoon with a 70-63 victory at Garden City Community College.
Sweeping the season series over the Broncbusters, Barton finishes 14-7 in third place of the Jayhawk West and 21-9 on the year in reaching the twenty-one win mark for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Garden City drops into a fifth place tie at 9-12 and 14-16 overall.
Region VI playoffs are next for the Cougars as Barton will host first round action on Wednesday in a 5:30 p.m. tip against Neosho County Community College (6-14, 9-21). Adding the men's contest to follow, Barton is offering free admission for the doubleheader with reserved parking passes still honored for the night.
Talia Roberts was the story for the Broncbusters in the opening frame, beginning and ending the period with three-pointers. Barton put together nine straight to answer Roberts' game opening trey with Taylor Regan's offensive put back, Jaylin Stapleton and Ryen White jumpers in the lane, and capped by a Richelle Turney old-fashioned three-point play putting Barton in front 9-3
Garden City rattled off the next eight with Roberts doing damage with the trey with five seconds left in the first period and a 1-of-2 trip to the line to begin second quarter scoring.
Following Mallory Miller's first of four three-pointers in the game to tie it but Garden City going back ahead on a bucket, Richelle Turney's five straight including burying a trey gave Barton the lead for good with 5:58 remaining in the half.
Madison Dirks came off the bench to pump in seven points including back-to-back treys with Miller to give Barton a 32-26 lead at the break.
Irene Chukwudi became the then seventh Cougar to reach the scoring column in opening up the third with a basket as Miller followed on the next possession with her third triple to open up a thirteen point lead.
The Broncbusters scored the next eight to cut the gap to three but four straight points from Regan and a jumper by Chukwudi pushed the lead back out to nine.
Garden City would again cut it to three late in the third period but fouled Stapleton at the mid-court stripe right before the sophomore drained the fifty foot shot as the buzzer sounded. Less than a second was left on the clock sending Stapleton to the line in sinking a pair of charity tosses, then added another two points towards her team leading total with a bucket in the fourth increasing the lead out to seven with 9:23 left.
Barton went scoreless for the next three minutes as Garden City would battle to tie it up at 53 on Jaleah Bellany's fifth of six three pointers coming with 6:29 left of the clock.
The next two minutes was Garden City's turn to come up empty on the offensive end while Barton would score the next seven including Miller sinking all three tosses after being fouled on a trey attempt.
Sinking 5-of-6 free throws in the final three minutes while watching Garden City miss seven three pointers, Barton's lead was still briefly trimmed back to four but Miller's historical fourth trey answered the call with 2:30 remaining.
The three-point make was Barton's seventh of the game, giving the Cougars 199 made treys on the season to move into 4th spot on the single season total in program history.
Reaching double figures for the nineteenth time of the season, Stapleton led Barton with nineteen points as Miller's 4-of-7 shooting from deep snapped a two-game slump in finishing with fifteen points. Turney and Regan each finished with eight points as Regan added to her rebound total in hauling down fifteen with Chukwudi pulling down eleven boards and two blocked shots, in addition to, matching Dirks' point total with seven.
Roberts led all players with five assists and twenty-three points, taking twenty-three shots to hit the total, including 4-of-9 from deep. Bellany added twenty-two in also taking twenty-three shots, connecting on six of her sixteen from behind the arc.
Stapleton's 4-of-4 charity tosses increased her single season and career free throw totals to 176-of 215 (81.9%) and 320-393 (81.4%).
Regan's 2-of-2 from the line is now tied for the 5th spot on the all-time made free throws list with Nicole Eitzmann from the 1993-95 season. The fifteen rebounds moved into sole possession of the fourth best single season achievement in surpassing Sheila Hubert's 337 mark set in the 1983-84, drawing to within fifteen of Beth Lebsack's 1981-82 mark of 356. Second on the career rebound list with 654, Regan trails only Inga Muciniece's record setting boards of 754 from the 2006-08 seasons.