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Barton women roll to easy win conference opener
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The conference season has officially tipped off. It did so in a very favorable way for the Barton Community College women’s basketball team Monday night. After having to wait two extra days due to the weather for the Jayhawk West opener, Barton started the conference off with a double-digit road win.
The Cougars traveled to the Civic Center in Dodge City and got out of Dodge with a 77-65 win to start the 16-game West grind. Barton used a huge rebound advantage to earn the win, moving to 11-2 overall and 1-0 in the West. Dodge City fell to 9-6 overall and 0-1.
Rebounding has been a strong suit for the Cougars so far and it was again Monday. Barton dominated the boards by a 28-rebound margin and turned that into 20 second chance points. The Cougars corralled 60 rebounds – 22 offensive – and had three separate players grab double figure rebounds in the win. The Cougars have won the battle of the boards in all but two games this season and have now out-rebounded their foes by double figures in seven games.
Barton started slowly in the win trailing by as many as six in the opening minutes. The Cougars didn’t tie the game until a 13-all score following a 3-point play by Indiah Cauley midway through the half and didn’t lead until another minute after that when Phikala Anthony hit two free throws with 8:43 to play for a 15-13 lead to cap the 5-0 run for Barton.
“We started out very sluggishly on both ends of the floor,” Barton Coach Carter Kruger said. “Thankfully our defense picked up and allowed us to get into a good rhythm offensively as the first half progressed.”
The teams continued to trade leads in the opening half until the final minutes. Brandi Williams gave Barton the lead for good with a layup at the 2:35 mark of the opening half to ignite an 8-0 to give the Cougars a 33-26 lead. Barton took a 33-27 lead to half.
Dodge City used a 7-0 run to cut the Barton lead to 40-38 but Dodge City native Katrina Roenfeldt knocked down a 3-pointer for Barton to once again spark a Barton run with 15:20 to play in the contest. Dominique Baker followed with a jumper then Cauley added another jumper and a pair of free throws to push the Barton advantage to 49-38 with 13:54 left.
The Conquistadors would only briefly cut the lead under double figures before a Julia Dixon free throw pushed it back to 10 at 40-30 and Barton would lead by double figures the rest of the way.
The lead grew as high as 17 on numerous occasion before the Cougars settled for the 12-point win.
“You could tell we took 33 days off of playing from an offensive perspective, but we eventually shook off the rust and started to play better.” Coach Kruger said.
Cauley came off the bench to pace Barton as freshman guard from Philadelphia ended the night with a career-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Baker also posted a career-high. The Mississippi freshman tossed in 15. Her previous high was nine.
Anthony a 5-8 guard from Memphis earned a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. It was the third double-double for the sophomore as she kept her string of double digit points in every game this year intact. She currently leads Barton at 16.3 points per game.
Roenfeldt, a 5-6 freshman from Dodge, had a triumphant return to her hometown with her first double-double of the year with 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Roenfeldt is the only other Cougars averaging double figures with an 11.4 average.
Dixon added 10 points and Williams 10 rebounds for the Cougars.
Dodge City put three players in double figures led by 12 from Tara Whipple.
Barton will play host to Garden City tonight in its home opener in West play. The Cougars were scheduled to open the conference season at home Saturday against Seward County but weather moved that contest to Jan. 12. Garden City is 0-2 in the West with losses at Butler and home to No. 2 Hutchinson. The Broncbusters are 9-7 overall.
“Garden is very, very athletic and dangerous in transition,” Coach Kruger said. “They score a lot from their defense so we will need to do a great job with ball security and finishing shots when given our opportunity.”