It has been a season of some rough moments for the Barton women’s basketball team. A pair of injuries have taken away what most likely would have been the Cougars two leading scorers. One of those was before the season ever started.
Then there have been the five losses by less than six points in conference in play. Through it all, Barton may just be playing some of its best basketball of the season.
Barton made it wins in two of three games with a 62-57 win over Dodge City Saturday night at the Barton Gym. The only loss in that stretch was a 2-point road setback to the second place team in the Jayhawk Conference.
“I think our kids understand now what they have to do for us to compete in this conference. For us to win in this conference,” Coach Trevor Rolfs said. “Before I think they may have understood it to an extent but now each one understands completely what they have to do.
“If we are indeed playing our best basketball it is because of that.”
Barton is now 5-10 in the Jayhawk and 13-13 overall. Dodge City is right in front of the Cougars in standings at 6-8 and 16-9.
In its last three outings, Barton has defeated the third place team in the standings, lost the heartbreaker at second place Garden City then redeem an earlier loss to Dodge City.
Saturday against Dodge the Cougars played with the lead most of the first half then used a big third quarter to take control of the contest.
In the end the Cougars hit some key free throws to hold off a Conquistador rally for the win.
Barton took the lead for the first time at 9-7 on an Alexus Bryson layup. Barton led 14-10 after the first and 23-21 at halftime.
The Conquistadors did take a brief 25-23 lead early in the second half. The Cougars responded in a big way.
Following the lead by Dodge, Barton went on a 20-4 run, finding itself up 45-29 late in the third.
Barton still held a double digit lead midway through the final period. But Barton went a couple minutes without a bucket as Dodge cut the lead to 53-48 with still nearly four minutes to play.
A McKenna Kraus basket held off the Conquistadors. Barton kept the lead at seven with a Dominique Baker layup with just more than one minute to play at 57-50.
Barton made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 20 second to secure the win.
“It was a typical game for us, especially a home game,” Coach Rolfs said. “We are in it most of the game, in fact control things most of the game then find a way to give it away at the end. This time we didn’t.”
Three players paced Barton in scoring during the win. Bryson led the Cougars with 15 points followed closely by Baker and Jalisa Jones with 13 each. Kilee Harris led Barton with nine rebounds.
Antania Newton led all scorers with 18 points for Dodge. Alexus Johnson added 14 and Rachel Slattery finished with 12 points and a dominating 23 rebounds.
Barton has a chance to make it back-to-back wins for the first time in the conference Wednesday with a trip to Colby. The Trojans have yet to win a game in the conference at 0-14. They are 4-21 overall. Barton won the matchup in Great Bend earlier this year, 83-40.