It was an important stretch on the schedule. Back-to-back games against the two teams that advanced out of the Region VI tournament last season.
Earlier in the year the Cougars picked up a split playing Cloud County and Pratt over the 3-game stretch.
This time the Cougars dropped both. After falling at home to Cloud as the Thunderbirds wrapped up the Jayhawk West title in the process, Barton had an opportunity to take control of the second spot.
That slipped away Saturday in Pratt as the Beavers rallied for a win in the final minutes take sole possession of second in the West.
Pratt scored with five minutes to play to earn a 2-1 win over Barton. The loss drops Barton to 2-3 in the West and 5-3 overall. Pratt is now 4-2 in the West and 6-4 overall.
Barton took a 1-0 lead early in the second half when Mario Ramirez scored on an assist from Benjamin Zamora in the first five minutes of the half.
Pratt tied it up minutes later when Aaron Grant found the net on a pass from Simon Christidis.
The score stayed 1-all until the final minutes of the contest.
Pratt broke that tie with just five minutes to play on the clock when Jordan Stubbings scored on a Nerlin Rivers assist to give the Beavers a 2-1 lead.
The contest was a defensive struggle throughout as Barton put just three shots on goal and Pratt six.
Barton now turns focus to Garden City. The Cougars will play Garden twice over the next six days in what is currently a battle for third in the West.
Barton still has an opportunity to get at least a share of second but probably needs to win both games against Garden as well as a match up with Dodge City later in the season.
The contest Wednesday at Garden will kick off at 4 pm.
Pratt 2, Barton 1
Barton 0 1 – 1
Pratt 0 2 – 2
Barton – Mario Ramirez (Benjamin Zamora), 50:00
Pratt – Aaron Grant (Simon Christidis), 56:00
Pratt – Jordan Stubbings (Nerlin Rivers), 85:00