GARDEN CITY — It would a pretty good bet to take. That if a team’s starters combine to score just eight points, that team is going to lose. Easy money.
Not if you were in Garden City Sunday night. The Barton women’s basketball team had its starters score just eight points. But the bench scored 50. That was enough to win a wild contest at the Perryman Center, 58-50, over Garden City.
The win helped Barton get a better grip on a home playoff game later in the season. Barton is now 8-7 in the Jayhawk Conference, sitting in seventh place. The Cougars, 11-8 overall, are three games clear of eighth. Garden is one of those teams tied for eighth at 5-10 along with Independence. The Broncbusters are 7-12 overall.
“The starters, for whatever reason, were not very aggressive on the offensive end,” Coach Alan Clark said. “They were on the defensive end but not offensively. Our bench was. They came in and attacked the basket.”
On a rare Sunday night game, the crowd was treated to a strange game to say the least. The amount of bench support the Cougars received wasn’t the only strange thing to happen.
For instance, Garden City scored three points the first quarter and followed with 23 in the second. Barton won the first and fourth quarters by a combined 19 points. Garden City won the second and third quarters by a combined 13 points. And Barton had 11 more made free throws than made field goals.
Barton didn’t score a single point until 4:34 remained in the first quarter when Micaela Jellison made a free throw. That tied the game at 1-all. A personal 6-0 by Jalisa Jones off the Barton bench in the final two minutes of the quarter gave Barton an 11-3 lead after one.
The Cougar lead reached 10 in the second and was still 25-16 with three minutes left in the half. But Garden would go on a 9-0 run to tie it before Barton responded with five straight and took a 30-26 lead to half.
Garden controlled the third period and even built an 8-point lead of its own at 43-35 with 1:30 left in the period. Jellison made a couple field goals to close out the quarter and cut the lead to 44-39.
Barton started the final period with a purpose. Jellison made a pair of free throws, Lauren Welsch knocked down a jumper and Jones made a basket to put the Cougars up 45-44 with 7:45 left.
“Our girls didn’t quit,” Coach Clark said. “We had lost the big lead but we just kept playing. It was definitely a grind it out win.”
A big point in the game came a minute later. Welsch was fouled by Garden’s Tionnia McKee. McKee was then hit with a technical foul as well. Welsch made 3-of-4 free throws to cap a 9-0 run by the Cougars to start the quarter and give Barton a 48-44 lead.
The lead would get to as high as five on a couple of occasions before Garden made a push to even the game. The Broncbusters trialed just 54-52 and had a couple chances to tie or take the lead. Finally with just 18 seconds to play, Megan Jirak made a pair of free throws and Welsch did likewise with seven seconds left to secure the wild road win.
Jellison scored 19, Welsch 17 and Jones 14 all off the Cougar bench. For Jellison and Welsch those numbers are career highs. For Jones it ties a season high.
The only starters to score were Jirak with five and Katrina Roenfeldt with a three.
Jellison also grabbed 10 rebounds for her first double-double. The Cougars made 25-of-36 throws in the win. Welsch finished 11-of-13 and Jellison 9-of-13.
Lewis led Garden with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Now Barton turns focus to Butler and a 5:30 pm tip Wednesday at the Barton Gym. A win there and Cougars could put some pressure on the Grizzlies for the sixth spot. Butler is 9-5 in the Jayhawk and 12-5 overall.
“We want to be in that top group,” Coach Clark said. “They last several years we’ve been in that bottom group. We have kind of separated ourselves from that bottom group this year but we need to beat some teams in that top group. We can’t just play them close anymore, we have to start winning those games.”
Barton 58, Garden City 52
Barton 11 19 9 19 58
Garden 3 23 18 8 52
Barton (11-8, 8-7)
Bryson 0-0 0-0 0, Roenfeldt 1-8 0-0 3, Jirak 1-8 2-2 5, Unruh 0-1 0-0 0, Robinson 0-4 0-0 0, Jellison 5-12 9-13 10, Welsch 3-9 11-13 17, Jones 5-7 4-7 14. Totals – 15-49 26-35 58.
Garden (7-12, 5-10)
Akula 0-6 0-0 0, McKee 3-7 0-0 6, Barefield 4-14 1-2 10, Lewis 6-10 5-6 17, Carrillo 2-5 0-0 4, Hawkins 1-4 2-2 4, Muir 2-3 1-2 5, Besecker 2-4 0-0 6, Hinde 0-1 0-0 0, Duhart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals – 20-54 9-12 52.
3-pointers – Barton 2-12 (Roenfeldt 1-9, Jirak 1-4, Jellison 0-1, Welsch 0-1); Garden 3-24 (Besecjer 2-4, Barefield 1-7, Akula 0-6, Hawkins 0-3, Carrillo 0-2, McKee 0-1, Hinde 0-1).
Rebounds – Barton 43 (Jellison 10); Garden 27 (Lewis 13). Assists – Barton 4 (Jones 2), Garden 9 (Lewis 5). Steals – Barton 4 (Roenfeldt 2); Garden 3 (3 with 1). Blocks – Barton 1 (Jones); Garden 0.
Turnovers – Barton 15, Garden 17. Fouled Out – Lewis, Garden. Technicals – McKee, Garden.