The Barton Community College men's basketball team rode a big first half Saturday in Iola, Kansas, for a 93-89 survival victory at Allen Community College.
Victors of six straight, the 24th ranked Cougars improve to 14-2 on the season and a Jayhawk West leading 6-1 mark to conclude the cross-over portion while snapping 22nd ranked Allen's eleven game win streak dropping the East's top team to 7-1 and 12-5 overall.
Barton concludes its brief two-game road stretch on Monday with a short drive to Pratt Community College for a 7:30 p.m. tip at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena.
Trailing 13-7 following a 9-0 run by the hosts, Barton climbed back to tie it at 16 on Diovonte Caldwell's jumper and again at 18 for the contest's final gridlock. Jaheim Holden keyed the separating seven point stretch to tie it up, with Jarin Koehler getting an offensive put back before Mavrick Gildyard's three-point play put Barton up 23-18 with 11:04 remaining.
The margin hovered around the 8-10 range until the under five mark with Desean Munson's four points leading an eight point surge putting the Cougars out to a thirteen point difference. Allen scored the next four points but Justin Harmon and Martin Vogts pushed it back to a big gap to send Barton to the break leading 51-38.
Trading a trio of baskets to open up the second frame, Holden's three-ball keyed another pivotal surge with Anthony Atkinson-Enneking's offensive rebound and stick back opened up a twenty-one point potential blow-out at 66-45 with under fifteen minutes to play.
Nursing a fourteen point lead with seven minutes remaining, Barton had to deal with the host Red Devils going to work on the offensive glass, finishing with an incredible twenty-nine, resulting in a twelve second chance point margin in the game and multiple trips to the foul line.
Ten straight points over the next four minutes put Allen within striking distance, outscoring Barton 15-1 before Enneking's pivotal steal and transition two-hand stuff stopped the three minute scoreless drought and the Cougars' first field goal in six minutes.
The Red Devils wouldn't go away, getting to the free throw line and crashing the boards to cut the margin to three twice. The first coming with 2:40 to play with the last coming with thirty-eight seconds on their second And-1 conversion in two minutes.
Vogts' 1-of-2 trip to the line pushed it back to four but a perfectly executed inbounds play made it an even closer two point contest.
Leading the Cougars in scoring on the night, Holden's clutch pair of free throws with nine seconds remaining to cap a perfect nine tosses at the stripe sealed the victory as Allen came up empty in changing the final 93-89 score.
Ten Cougars reached the scoring column with Holden's twenty-two points leading the way to go along with a team high six rebounds. Vogts and Keandre Bowles each contributed eleven, Harmon and Gildyard added ten apiece, Munson and Demarcus Morris tallying eight points each, with Enneking close behind finishing with seven.
Malik Hardmon led all scorers as the reigning conference player of the week posted thirty-four points, getting fourteen from the free throw line on 14-of-18 shooting, while hauling down nine of his game high ten rebounds on the offensive glass. Joel Boyce contributed nineteen off the bench, sinking 9-of-12 from the foul stripe, with Trez Hankins and Tyus Jeffries adding twelve and eleven points respectively.
The region's top shooting Cougars shot 55.1% from the field compared to just 35.95% for Allen but the Red Devils converted on 30-of-39 from the foul line for a sixteen point advantage as Barton sank 14-of-21 charities.