It was one of the most exciting games at the Barton Gym all season. And there were plenty of them.
Back on Feb. 1 a put-back at the buzzer gave the Barton men’s basketball team a win over Coffeyville, 79-77. It was the first of back-to-back buzzer beaters by Dequandre Dentmond for 79-77 wins.
Since that time, Barton had struggled to a 1-4 record. Perhaps a repeat performance is just what Barton needs to kick-start a post-season run.
The Cougars (18-12) head to Region VI action as the No. 6 seed and will play host to perennial power Coffeyville Thursday at the Barton Gym. The Red Ravens (15-15) will bring the No. 11 seed to the 7 p.m. tip off.
“It the post season now,” Coach Craig Fletchall said. “Just survive and advance.”
The Cougars are 6-2 against the teams on their half of the bracket this year, including that close win over Coffeyville. But Coffeyville will present the Cougars all the challenge they want.
“Coffeyville is really, really talented,” Coach Fletchall said. “All coaches are going to say the team they are playing is better than their record or seed, but Coffeyville has enough talent to win it all and they are the No. 11 seed.”
If the Cougars get by the Red Ravens, they will head to Hartman Arena for quarterfinal action Sunday. The Cougars would play the winner of No. 3 Neosho (25-5) and No. 14 Independence (14-14) at 5 p.m. Neosho is one of the teams in the bottom half to beat Barton.
The bottom half of the bracket is highlighted by No. 2 Pratt. The Beavers (22-8) will host No. 15 Cloud (9-21) to start off while No. 7 Butler (17-13) host No. 10 Northwest Tech (19-11), the other team to beat Barton back in November.
Hutchinson is the Jayhawk Conference champion and the top seed in the tournament. The Blue Dragons (27-3) will get an automatic bid to the NJCAA National Tournament this year. If Hutch wins the Region VI post season, the runner team would go as well.
Hutch will receive a bye then take on the winner of No. 9 Seward County (18-12) and No. 8 Garden City (17-13). The rest of the top half of the bracket will see No. 4 Dodge City (22-8) hosting No. 13 Cowley (14-16) and No. 5 Colby (18-12) at home against No. 12 Allen County (16-14).
Thursday, Feb 25 at home sites
(1) Hutchinson (27-3) receives a bye
(9) Seward (18-12) at (8) Garden City (17-13), 8 p.m.
(13) Cowley (14-16) at (4) Dodge City (22-8), 7 p.m. (Wed, 2/24)
(12) Allen County (16-14) at (5) Colby (18-12), 7 p.m.
(14) Independence (14-14) at (3) Neosho (25-5), 7:30 p.m.
(11) Coffeyville (15-15) at (6) Barton (18-12), 7 p.m.
(15) Cloud (9-21) at (2) Pratt (22-8), 7 p.m.
(10) Northwest Tech (19-11) at (7) Butler (17-13), 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb 28 at Hartman Arena in Wichita
Hutchinson v Garden/Seward winner, 1 p.m.
Dodge/Cowley winner v Colby/Allen winner, 3 p.m.
Neosho/Indy winner v Barton/Coffeyville winner, 5 p.m.
Pratt/Cloud winner v Butler/NW Tech winner, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 2 at Hartman Arena in Wichita
Top two quarterfinal winners, 7 p.m.
Bottom two quarterfinal winners, 5 p.m.
Thursday, March 3 at Hartman Arena in Wichita
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.