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Barton survives battle of ranked teams with win at Allen County
barton community college basketball
Barton led wire-to-wire on the way to a 70-45 win over Pratt.
IOLA – The Barton men's basketball team has played three road games in the Jayhawk Conference.
In the process, the Cougars have picked up three wins against pretty good teams from the East side of the conference. In fact, those three teams are a combined 17-5 in the Jayhawk. That makes those three teams 17-2 against everyone but Barton.
But the manor in which Barton has won those three games is not playing well to the heart of Coach Craig Fletchall.
The latest of those came at Allen County in a battle of Top 25 teams. Barton left Iola with a 93-89 win to maintain its lead in the West.
Barton, ranked No. 24, is now 6-1 in the Jayhawk West and 14-2 overall. Allen, ranked No. 22, saw its 11-game winning snapped with the loss. The Red Devils are 7-1 in the East and 12-5 overall.
"It's good to get road wins," Coach Fletchall said. "Allen is a good basketball team. They went through the West without a loss until today. That includes a win at Hutchinson. So, this is a good win for our team. But we don't make it easy at times."
The issue with all three road wins has been the Cougars blowing big second half leads. And by big, all three times Barton has had leads of at least 20 points.
Saturday it was a 21-point lead in the second half that Barton nearly let slip away. The Cougars led 66-45 with 14 minutes left in the contest and appeared to be rolling.
In earlier road games in the Jayhawk, Barton led by 21 at Independence before losing the lead and rallying for the win. At Butler to start the second semester, Barton led by 27 at one point in the second half before the Grizzlies got the game to single digits.
"If we keep doing silly things when we get ahead like that we are going to lose games," Coach Fletchall said. "We have to do a better job and make better decisions in those situations."
Barton did a lot of things right in building up that lead.
The Cougars broke a 16-all tie with a 7-0 run in the first half and never trailed again. By half, the lead was 51-38 and early in the second half it hit 20 points.
The Cougars were still comfortably up, 72-56, at the media timeout in the second half.
But the Red Devils were not going to let the 11-game winning streak end quietly.
Things got very interesting following a 15-1 run to cut the lead to 76-72 with 4:06 left.
The Cougars were able keep Allen at bay over the final two minutes but were never able to put the game away until the final buzzer.
In fact, the Red Devils were within a pair at 91-89 with nine seconds to play but Jahiem Holden converted on a pair of free throws to keep Allen from having a chance to tie the game in the final seconds.
Holden led five Cougars in double figures with 22 including a 9-for-9 effort at the free throw line. Keandre Bowles and Martin Vogts each added 11 while Justin Harmon and Mavrick Gildyard tossed in 10 apiece.
Holden also led Barton with six rebounds and four assists.
Malik Hardmon led all scorers with 34 points thanks to a 14-for-18 effort the charity stripe. As a team, Allen made 30-of-38 free throws. Hardmon added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
The contest was the final cross-over for the Cougars against teams from the Jayhawk East. Barton will take a 1-game West lead over No. 12 Hutchinson to Pratt Monday as the Cougars begin their home-and-home round-robin against teams from the West.
Pratt is coming off a 63-56 win at Cloud County Saturday. The Beavers are 2-4 in the Jayhawk and 9-7 overall. Tip is set for 7:30 pm at the Beaver Dome.

Barton 93, Allen 89
Barton  51  42 – 93
Allen    38  51 – 89
Barton (6-1, 14-2) 93

Harmon 4-9 2-4 10, Munson 4-8 0-0 8, Holden 6-12 9-9 22, Vogts 5-10 0-0 11, Enneking 3-5 1-2 7, Morris 4-4 0-0 8, Bowles 5-8 0-1 11, Koehler 1-3 0-0 2, Gildyard 4-8 2-5 10. Totals – 38-69 14-21 93.
Allen (7-1, 12-5) 89
Rollerson 0-2 0-0 0, Hankins 4-18 2-2 12, Jeffries 3-11 5-6 11, Hardmon 10-21 14-18 34, Sasser 3-4 0-0 6, Jenks 2-6 0-0 4, Boyce 5-12 9-12 19, Gray 1-5 0-0 3. Totals – 28-78 30-38 89.
3-pointers – Barton 3-13 (Bowles 1-2, Holden 1-3, Vogts 1-4, Harmon 0-2, Koehler 0-2), Allen xx (xx).
Rebounds – Barton 41 (Holden 6), Allen 49 (Hardmon 10). Assists – Barton 14 (Holden 3, Vogts 3), Allen 12 (Rollerson 3, Hankins 3). Steals – Barton 6 (Enneking 2), Allen 2 (2 with 1). Blocks – Barton 4 (4 with 1), Allen 4 (Sasser 2).

Turnovers – Barton 11, Allen 10. Fouled Out – Caldwell, Barton; Jenks, Allen. Technicals – None.