Barton 86, Tyler 63
Tyler 29 34 – 63
Barton 43 43 – 86
Tyler (26-7) 63
Johnson 5-13 2-4 12, Warren 4-16 2-5 11, Bergang 0-1 1-2 1, Jackson 3-9 2-2 10, Sandifer 2-4 0-0 4, Thomas 4-12 3-4 14, Balentine 1-2 0-0 2, Luster 0-2 3-4 3, Agee 2-7 0-2 4, Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Fontaine 0-3 2-2 2. Totals – 21-69 15-25 63
Barton (28-6) 86
Wilkins 8-15 3-5 21, Ford 6-8 1-2 14, Montague 4-10 0-0 11, White 2-6 0-0 4, Webster 6-10 3-4 18, Andrews 0-1 0-0 0, Cannon 3-10 4-4 10, Dalyrimple 3-5 0-0 6, Broomfield 1-3 0-0 2, Haist 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals – 32-68 11-15 86.
3-pointers – Tyler 6-21 (Thomas 3-9, Jackson 2-6, Warren 1-5, Sandifer 0-1); Barton 11-25 (Montague 3-7, Webster 3-7, Wilkins 2-5, Dalyrimple 2-4, Ford 1-1, Cannon 0-1).
Rebounds – Tyler 41 (Agee, Johnson 7); Barton 47 (Cannon 14). Assists – Tyler 7 (Warren 3); Barton 22 (Wilkins 6). Steals – Tyler 8 (Thomas 4); Barton 3 (3 with 1). Blocks – Tyler 3 (3 with 1). Barton 8 (Cannon 4)
Turnovers – Tyler 11, Barton 12. Fouled Out – None. Technicals – None.
Perhaps the Barton men’s basketball team should look into playing more 10 am games.
The normally slow-starting Cougars turned in one of their best first halves of the season in the opening round of the NJCAA National Tournament with that 10 a.m. tip Monday at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson.
Barton then dominated most of the second half, rolling by Tyler Junior College, 86-63, to advance to the second round of the tournement. The win was number 300 at Barton for Coach Craig Fletchall.
“It’s a really nice feeling to get this win,” Coach Fletchall said. “This a great group of kids. In my 13 years here this is probably the best character group I’ve had. It’s special for this group to come here and get this win.”
Waiting for the Cougars will the No. 1 seed in the the tournament, unbeaten Indian Hills. That game will tip at 2 pm today.
A couple key stretches in the game proved pivotal for Barton in the win.
The first came in the opening half. Barton had gotten off to a slow start once again, trailing 16-12, with just more than 13 minutes to play in before halftime.
But instead of falling farther behind as the Cougars have done much of the season in the first half, Barton caught fire.
It started with a 3-pointer by Kian Dalyrimple. The next trip down Noah Webster, playing in his hometown, hit a layup.
After a Marvin Cannon block, Webster connected a 3-pointer. Akeem White followed with a reverse layup and when Dalyrimple bookended the run with second trey, Barton had put together a 13-0 run and led 25-16.
All that took place over three minutes. The Cougars would never trail again.
Barton closed out the first half on another 9-1 run, taking a 43-29 lead to the locker room.
The next key stretch of the game came in the second half.
The Cougars were riding high, leading 55-40 with 13 minutes to play in the game. At that point the Apaches employed a full-court press for the first time in the game.
That press sped the game up and rattled the Cougars momentarily. Tyler got the lead down to 10 points, 62-52, with still 10 minutes to play in the game.
“That is what we wanted, to get them sped up,” Tyler Coach Mike Marquis said. “We hoped they would shoot fast and give us a chance to attack.”
Barton settled down at that point and put together a game-clinching run.
Roy Broomfield started things off with a layup. The next trip down Keshon Montague knocked down a 3-pointer.
The play that followed was the highlight of the contest.
Webster stole the ball near the midcourt, streaked toward the Barton basket and rose up. The sophomore guard continued to elevate, throwing down a dunk that sent the Barton bench and crowd, several hundred strong, into a frenzy.
After a Tyler turnover and time out, Webster hit a 3-pointer from the right wing and Kawanise ‘Squeaky’ Wilkins added a jumper in the lane moments later to cap a 12-0 run that gave Barton a 74-52 lead with eight minutes to play.
“We play a 26-game conference schedule,” Coach Fletchall said. “We’ve see a little bit of everything. We go through the grind on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You just don’t know if sometimes those trips to southeast Kansas are going to pay off.
“But we’ve seen presses, we’ve seen zone and we’ve seen lots of different things. I didn’t have them prepared to see a press because (Tyler) has pretty much played zone all year. Finally we got some gas and got some baskets.
“I felt that was the turning point. If that thing gets down to six or seven, the noose might get a little tighter.”
Tyler would get no closer than 17 the rest of the way.
Barton’s lead would reach 25 points with a couple minutes to play when Coach Fletchall subbed out his starters to a standing ovation from the Barton crowd.
Wilkins led five Cougars in double figures with 21 points and six assists. Webster added 18 including some of the biggest baskets of the game.
“It felt great,” Webster said. “I think the crowd really helped us. It felt good to have the crowd behind us. We just knew that if we came out and played hard, it was going to go to the team that wanted it more.
“Being from Hutch and with all my friends and family here, it felt great.”
Elijah Ford added 14, Montague 11 and Cannon 10. Cannon led Barton with 14 rebounds and four blocks off the Barton bench as well.
Barton shot 47 percent from the floor and 40 percent on 3-pointers. The Cougars had 22 assists on their 32 made baskets.
Micah Thomas led Tyler with 14 points.
Now the focus turns to Indian Hills, which received a first round bye. The last time these two teams played at NJCAA Tournament was the 1999 National Championship game.
“There is a great history with Barton and Indian Hills, going back to the championship game” Coach Fletchall said. “I think us playing our second game will help us early. Those first few minutes are always tough, I don’t care who you are.
“Well bring some people over tomorrow and if we can get off to a good start I think the pressure is going to be on them. I think we can play a little looser than we have all year.”
Indian Hills is the only unbeaten team in the NJCAA. The Warriors will enter the game at 33-0.