PARK CITY — The Barton Community College Cougars sent shockwaves through Hartman Arena and the National Junior College Athletic Association Division-I Region VI basketball playoffs Sunday afternoon.
After falling behind 11-1 in the early going, unranked Barton came back with a spellbinding run and went on to capsize perennial powerhouse and tournament favorite Coffeyville 68-64 in quarterfinal action.
“An 11-1 run is tough with the No. 5 team in the nation looking to blow you out,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said. “I thought our guys showed some composure, got the lead and never looked back the rest of the game.
“Coming off the floor at halftime (leading the Ravens 36-33), someone yelled, ‘20 more minutes, coach,’ and I said, ‘100 more minutes,’ and that’s what we told our team. We respect Coffeyville, but we’re not in awe of them and we think we’ve got a team that can win this thing. We have four more halves where we’ve got to play well.”
The win was a byproduct of a three-pronged scoring attack, featuring Algie Key, Turon Parker and Dwayne Brunson and a shutdown team effort on the opposite end of the floor. Key scored a team-high 22 points, Parker flourished 19 points, including a trio of crucial 3-pointers, and Brunson had 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots, narrrowly missing a triple-double.
Parker kick-started Barton to its early rally with 10 straight points, swishing a 3-pointer, converting a three-point play and hitting two other baskets to give it a 12-11 lead with 12:38 remaining in the first half.
The fast-breaking Cougars were not to be denied as they matched Coffeyville’s energy and then some.
“Turon’s shots were huge,” Fletchall said. “He hit a couple big 3s and when Al is drawing and dishing, we’ve got some guys knocking down shots and that’s going to be big the next two games.”
Key, still wearing a protective pad on his injured deltoid muscle in his right shoulder, shrugged off some early misses on drives to the rim to finish 7 for 14 from the floor, including 8 for 10 from the foul line.
“There probably was some disbelief when he missed some layups in the first half,” Fletchall said of Key, the newly crowned Jayhawk West freshman of the year in a vote by conference coaches. “He’s playing through a lot of pain and to attack the basket like he did late and hit some free throws was big.”
Out of the gate in the second half, three straight devastating attacks to the rim by Key resulted in baskets, and Darius Hill’s layup and a Jonathan Pittman basket at the 16:54 mark capped a 10-1 run for a 46-34 lead.
Barton also locked down on the Ravens (28-4) with a stronghold defense that limited them to just 5-for-25 shooting from beyond the arc. Coffeyville also contributed to its own undoing by misfiring on 16 of 25 free throws, including five of its last six.
Brunson had a pair of critical blocks on Coffeyville 3-pointers late in the game, and the Cougars put a lid on the game with guard Kurt Walker sinking two free throws with 14.6 seconds left for a 67-64 lead and Parker making 1 of 2 with 4.6 seconds left to make it a two-possession game at 68-64.
“Late in the game, we put Dwayne on the wing (in BCC’s zone defense) and we put Julian (Rose) in the middle,” Fletchall said. “I think that length caused some problems for them with their 3.
“Kurt was huge. It was a one-point game (65-64) when he hit those.”
With Barton leading 65-61 and the shot clock about to expire, the Ravens forced a jump ball on Walker with Coffeyville getting the possession arrow.
Shooting guard Dawon Cummings then dropped in a deep 3 from the left wing to pull Coffeyville within 65-64 with 21.9 seconds left.
But Walker came through in the clutch just over seven seconds later.
“Really, it was a team effort,” Fletchall said. “I know it’s a clique, but Andell Cumberbatch’s 3-pointer looms big and Jonathan Pittman’s energy in the first half … we played nine guys and everybody brought it.”
JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL
NJCAA Region VI Tournament
At Park City
Barton Community College 68,
Turon Parker 6-12 4-5 19, Algie Key 7-14 8-10 22, Dwayne Brunson 5-17 3-4 14, Carl Wallace 1-4 0-0 2, Darius Hill 1-2 0-0 2, Jonathan Pittman 1-2 0-0 4, Kurt Walker 0-0 4-4 4, Andell Cumberbatch 1-2 0-0 3, Julian Rose 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 22-57 19-23 68.
Dawon Cummings 2-9 1-1 7, Chadrack Lufile 4-6 2-7 10, Charles Hammorck 2-11 0-2 4, Colby Carr 8-12 3-8 19, Jalani Poston 4-10 2-5 10, Cameron Craig 1-4 0-0 3, Ethan Cordray 0-2 0-0 0, Eli Alexander 2-5 0-0 6, Marquis Cuyler 1-2 1-2 3, Davonte Chaney 0-0 0-0 0, Cory Henshall 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-62 9-25 64.
Three-point goals — Barton 5-13 (Parker 3-8, Brunson 1-3, Cumberbatch 1-1, Rose 0-1); Coffeyville 5-25 (Cummings 2-9, Alexander 2-4, Craig 1-3, Hammorck 0-5, Carr 0-2, Cordray 0-2). Rebounds — Coffeyville 40 (Poston 13, Lufile 8); Barton 23 (Brunson 14, Key 6, Parker 6). Assists — Barton 16 (Wallace 4, Key 3, Brunson 3); Coffeyville 11 (Carr 6). Steals — Coffeyville 9 (Carr 5); Barton 7 (Parker 2). Turnovers —Barton 15, Coffeyville 14. Blocked shots —Barton 8 (Brunson 8); Coffeyville 4 (Poston 3). Total fouls — Barton 23, Coffeyville 19. Fouled out —None.