It didn’t take long for the Barton Community College women’s basketball team to squash thoughts of an upset to start the post-season.
The Cougars used an 18-0 run early in the contest to grab control on the way to an 88-66 win over Northwest Tech Saturday at the Barton Gym. The opening round win of the Region VI playoffs moves the Cougars into the quarterfinals. Barton advances with a 19-10 records while the Mavericks end their season with a 7-21 mark.
Barton, the No. 4 seed from the Jayhawk West, will draw the East No. 1 seed Coffeyville in quarterfinal play. The contest will get started at 1 pm Wednesday at Koch Arena on the campus of Wichita State University.
“We are happy to get the win, for sure,” Coach Carter Kruger said. “Making it to Wichita after playing in the Jayhawk West in a year like this is a great accomplishment.”
Barton trailed 8-7 just more than three minutes into the game when the Cougars went on that 18-0 run. When Indiah Cauley made a jumper at the 12:28 mark that Cougars had built a 25-8 lead on the Mavericks.
“We really played well on both ends of the floor for an eight or nine minute stretch in the first half, and that’s what helped us build the big lead,” Coach Kruger said. “Northwest Tech made some tough shots, and that kind of hurt our defensive mentality over the course of the game.”
Barton continued to score at an impressive pace in the opening half and went to the locker room leading 51-36 at intermission.
Northwest Tech had one more run in them to start the second half. The Mavericks cut the lead to 51-44 with a quick 8-0 run to start the second half and eventually as low as 55-50 with 15 minutes left.
Barton would not let them any closer and pushed the lead back to double figures for good with 10 minutes to play.
Phikala Anthony had another big game, pouring in 29 in her final game at the Barton Gym to match her career high. The 5-8 sophomore from Memphis scored 19 in the opening half. Cauley added 19 points and 10 assists while Katrina Roenfeldt finished with 10.
Northwest Tech was led by Leticia Rodriquez with 18 and Nyschiang Bile with 17.
The Cougars are looking to reach the semifinals for the second straight season. In their way is Coffeyville (23-8). The Red Ravens won an opening round home game over Dodge City, 91-72.
“Hopefully we understand the need to play more committed defensively as we progress into the tournament,” Coach Kruger said. “Coffeyville will stress us in a lot of different ways with their offensive capabilities, so we will need to be at the top of our game.
“Their guard play is as good or better than any team in the region, and that is also our strength. We need to force those guards into tough shots, and then attack them on the offensive end.”
The winner will play Friday at 1 pm against the winner of the Seward County (26-4) and Cowley (24-7) contest.