Go ahead, circle Wednesday, Feb. 13, on the calendar.
That’s the date of the already-much-anticipated Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division rematch with top-ranked Hutchinson.
Sure, Barton has seven critical games before the aforementioned upcoming clash. And, if last Wednesday’s 79-77 down-to-wire loss to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division-I’s No. 1 team is any indication, it goes to show that the No. 13-ranked Barton Cougars can play with anyone.
Barton, which was idle on Saturday, returns home to Kirkman Activity Center tonight to entertain Colby. The women’s game tips at 5:30, followed by the men at 7:30.
The new LT & Sheila Fleske Court will be also be christened tonight. The $70,000 project, donated by the Fleskes, longtime Barton boosters, was constructed over the Christmas holiday.
• Parker has big game
Sophomore point guard Turon Parker, who scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half, spearheading a comeback that came up shy during the narrow loss to Hutch, is quickly establishing himself as a big-game performer.
Parker hit 9 of 16 field goals, including 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, against Hutchinson.
A native of Canton, Ohio, the 6-foot, 170-pound southpaw’s performance evoked memories of last year’s Region VI tournament in Park City.
During a 68-64 semifinal win over No. 5-ranked Coffeyville, Parker sparked the Cougars, who were down 11-1 at the outset, with 19 points on 6-for-12 shooting, including a trio of 3s.
Parker had the same impact against the Blue Dragons during second-half action, where they trailed by 10 points before the southpaw helped them get back into contention.
• Tonight’s game
The Cougars, who sit in third place in the West with a 3-2 record, own a 16-3 overall mark. Colby is 9-11, 0-6.
Barton’s women are 11-7, 1-4, and Colby’s women are 6-14, 0-6.
• Statistic leaders
Sophomore guard Al Key leads the Cougars in scoring (18.3 points per game) and is tied for the team lead with Parker in steals (37). Key is also averaging 6.4 rebounds — second on the team to freshman post player Raheem Johnson’s 7.4 clip.
Parker is averaging 13.2 points — third on the team — while hitting a team-best 32 3s.