The trip to Independence was a forgettable one for the Barton women’s basketball team back in December.
It was one of, it not the worst outing of the season for the Cougars in a 31-points loss.
A couple months and a change of venue made a big difference, but it wasn’t quite enough for the Cougars.
Independence led nearly wire-to-wire to pick up the Jayhawk Conference win and stayed among the leaders in the conference. The Pirates left Great Bend with a 71-59 win.
The loss drops Barton to an even 10-10 in the Jayhawk and 14-10 overall. Indy, meanwhile, improved to 16-4 and 18-5. Seward still leads the pack at 18-2 with Cowley, Hutchinson and Independence all two back at 16-4.
The Cougars remained tied for that eighth and final home playoff spot with Coffeyville. The duo is now two games back of Cloud County and Garden City.
“We got beat in the post pretty bad,” Coach Alan Clark said. “We played hard but we just have to be able to make plays when we need to. “Right now, we are in a battle to get a home playoff game along with Coffeyville for that eighth spot. It’s going to be tough to move above that spot. We just have to do what we can to get that last spot.”
Much of the game was spent with Independence building a comfortable lead and Barton battling back.
Indy used a 9-0 run in the first period to take a 14-6 lead with three minutes left in the quarter but the Cougars didn’t panic. A pair of free throws by Jaylin Stapleton and two more by Taylor Regan cut that lead to 14-10.
After one, Barton trailed 16-12 – a 17-point point improvement from the first quarter score in Independence when Barton trailed by 21 points. It was a quarter that saw Barton hit just 1-of-14 from the field but made 10-of-10 free throws.
Things started to get away from Barton in the second quarter. Independence went on a 7-2 run to push its lead to double figures at 26-16 with 6:13 left in the half.
It reached 11 points when Erika Moore knocked down her third 3-pointer of the game to make it 29-18. A 6-0 Barton run made it 29-24 and the Cougars, once again, avoided letting Indy get away from them.
When Stapleton drilled a trey with 1:31 to play in the half, the Cougars had whittled that lead to 32-29.
The Pirates, though, closed out the half on a 6-2 run to go to the locker room up 38-31.
The third quarter kept much the same theme as Indy pushed the lead to as high as nine on a couple occasions with the Cougars battling back.
Regan cut the lead to 47-43 with 3:30 left in the period after a field goal and free throw. The Pirates would get the lead back to double figures at 55-45 just 1:35 left in the third.
A productive final minute got Barton back in the game once again as Jeanna Dixon scored the final four points of the quarter and Barton finished on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 55-51.
Indy made the task larger to start the final period hitting back-to-back treys to start the final 10 minutes and push the lead back to double digits at 61-51 with 7:36 left.
Indy would takes its biggest lead of the game on the next possession at 63-51 as then Cougars failed to score in the first five minutes of the final period.
The Cougars would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Regan, the reigning conference Player-of-the-Week, led Barton with 18 points. Stapleton and Micaela Jellison each added 11. The Cougars hit a steallar 24-of-27 free throws in the loss.
Erica Moore led the Pirates with 18 points. Mychaell Gray scored 14 and Fatarah Kinnard added 11.
The Cougars will head to Dodge City to take on the Conquistadors as Barton tries to stay in the top half of the Jayhawk for a home playoff game in March. Dodge is 6-13 in the Jayhawk and 9-13 overall.
“We control our own destiny for a home playoff game,” Coach Clark said. “But we need to get some wins in the game we should win as well as pick up some key wins as well.”
Independence 71, Barton 59
Indy 14 24 17 16 – 71
Barton 10 21 20 8 – 59
Independence (16-4, 18-5) 71
Akatas 3-3 0-0 6, Kinnard 3-5 3-4 11, Moore 6-11 2-3 18, Trotter 1-3 0-0 2, Akuen 1-3 6-8 8, Goodluck 0-3 0-0 0, Mikkelsen 1-2 1-2 3, Weiss 1-2 0-0 3, Collyer 0-1 0-0 0, Kelly 0-2 0-0 0, Gray 5-10 3-4 14, Schoenberger 3-4 0-0 6. Totals – 24-49 15-21 71.
Barton (10-10, 13-11) 59
Stapleton 2-14 6-6 11, Regan 3-6 12-12 18, Jellison 5-8 1-1 11, Ndao 3-9 0-0 6, Dolinsky 3-8 2-2 8, Dixon 1-2 2-4 4, Miller 0-3 1-2 1, Chukwudi 0-2 0-0 0. Totals – 17-52 24-27 59.
3-pointers – Indy 8-20 (Moore 4-7, Kinnard 2-3, Weiss 1-2, Gray 1-3, Trotter 0-1, Goodluck 0-1, Mikkelsen 0-1 Collyer 0-1, Kelly 0-1); Barton 1-7 (Stapleton 1-5, Regan 0-1, Miller 0-1).
Rebounds – Indy 37 (Akuen 12); Barton 28 (Jellison 7). Assists – Indy 15 (Akuen 6); Barton 8 (Dolinsky 4). Steals – Indy 9 (Kinnard 3); Barton 7 (Dolinsky 3). Blocks – Indy 4 (Akuen 3). Barton 2 (Regan, Jellison)
Turnovers – Indy 16, Barton xx. Fouled Out – Ndao, Barton. Technicals – None.