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Charles paces Barton in season-opening hoops win
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Ezekiel Charles breaks away for a basket against the McPherson JV to start the 2016-17 basketball campaign for the Barton men. Charles poured in 30 points in the 86-48 win over the Bulldogs at the Barton Gym. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

 It’s been a productive week for Ezekiel Charles. After verbally committing to play for Quinnipiac University next season it was time to start his sophomore season with the Barton men’s basketball team.

And what a start it was. Charles poured in 30 points in just 22 minutes as the Cougars rolled to an 86-48 win over the McPherson JV to tip off the 2016-17 season at the Barton Gym.

It was a 16-0 run by Barton in the first half that put the Bulldogs away. Barton led just 26-20 with nine minutes to play in the half.

Tyrone Poole hit a 3-pointer with 8:22 to stat the run and Charles ended with a pair of free throws at the 4:17 to make it 42-20. Charles scored seven of the 16 in the run.

By halftime it was 48-21.

Charles ended the night hitting 10-of-12 shots from the floor including 7-of-9 on 3-pointers. Jahlil Rawley added 11 off the bench and Malik Toppin 10. Anthony Smith grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Cougars.

Barton is at home this weekend for the Best Western/Booster Club Classic Friday and Saturday nights. The Cougars will tip at 7:30 both nights. Barton will play Highland Friday then take on Hesston Saturday.

Barton had just four non-conference games this year before traveling to Colby to start the 26-game Jayhawk Conference schedule Nov. 12.