The bus ride home from Concordia has not involved much celebrating. In fact, it had been seven years since the Barton Community College women’s basketball team enjoyed the ride back to Great Bend following a win over Cloud County.
Wednesday’s night trip home was a good one for Coach Carter Kruger and the Cougars.
Not only did Barton pick up a win at Arley Bryant Gymnasium for the first time since 2007, it did so in convincing fashion. The Cougars dominated the Thunderbirds, winning 73-56. The win put Barton alone in fourth in the Jayhawk West with a 4-4 mark. Barton is 14-6 overall. Cloud is now 1-7 and 8-13 as the usually potent Thunderbirds struggle through a tough season.
“Once again, we put together a great second half of basketball on both ends of the floor,” Coach Kruger said. “At times, especially on the perimeter, we were outstanding defensively. That translated into a much more aggressive mentality on offense and we were able to get rolling a bit.”
The game wasn’t even as close as they final for most of the second half. Barton led by as many as 29 with five minutes to play.
Barton never trailed in the game. When Katrina Roenfeldt hit a 3-pointer to break a 13-all tie it would put Barton ahead for good. That started a 5-0 run at the midway point of the half and Barton went to half up 32-25.
It didn’t take long to put the game away in the second half. Barton shot out of the gates on a 6-0 run that turned into a 10-2 run then an 18-6 stretch. And it just didn’t stop. Barton continued to pour in points while Cloud struggled to score.
The lead reached the 20-point plateau on a Ciera Lampe trey to make it 53-31 with 12 minutes left. It eventually reached that high of 29 at 70-41 on a Dominique Baker put back. From there Cloud did some cosmetics on the final, finishing on a 14-3 run to close the game out.
Julia Dixon and Indiah Cauley both finished with 14 points to lead the Cougars. It was a career-high for Dixon, a freshman forward from New Jersey. Baker and Roenfeldt each added 10. Cauley also had four assists and four steals.
“It was nice to see the balanced scoring again – that’s how we can beat the teams above us in the standings,” Coach Kruger said. “We need everyone to chip in, to make shots, to get rebounds, to finish plays. If our players continue to improve we can be a great offensive team by the time March rolls around.”
The Cougars get nationally ranked Seward County Saturday night Liberal. The Saints, No. 6 in the nation, just missed upsetting top ranked and unbeaten Hutchinson Wednesday in Liberal. Hutchinson hit a pair of free throws with 3.9 seconds to play to hand Seward just its second loss on the season. The Saints are now 18-2 overall and 6-1 in the West.
“Seward is a national championship contender,” Coach Kruger said. “Their out-of-state and especially their international players are outstanding talents, but if we can continue to score the way we’ve started to score it, I think we can match them.
“They played outstanding during the first match up – we need to play our best game and do a bit more defensively to limit their impact.”
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