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Cougar women 7-game winning streak snapped; split games at Classic
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Sometimes in November for college basketball teams it is about how you respond. From that aspect, the Barton Community College women’s basketball team earned an A for the weekend. From the wins and losses perspective it may not be as high of a grade.
The Cougars split games this past weekend the Best Western Booster Club Thanksgiving Classic at the Barton Gym. Barton lost its opener Friday night to Otero (Colo) College, 87-75, then responded with an impressive 72-55 win over Jayhawk East foe Independence Saturday.
“We really showed something by bouncing back on Saturday with a great performance,” Coach Carter Kruger said. “However, inconsistency is the thing that keeps good teams from being great teams. Right now, we are just a good team that needs to become much more consistent to reach our ceiling as a group.”
With the split, Barton saw its 7-game winning streak snapped and is now 8-2 on the season. Independence fell to 6-3 with the loss while Otero leaves the classic with 5-6 mark.
In the win over Independence, Barton gained control early in the contest. In fact it was a 16-0 run that gave the Cougars a double digit lead early in the game and Indy was able to get it back under 10 just once the rest of the way.
Barton trailed 9-8 with 13:25 to play when Ciera Lampe knocked down a 3-pointer to give Barton a lead it would not lost the rest of the way. That bucket would spark the 16-0 run. Lampe scored five and Julia Dixon four in during the run that Dixon ended on a jumper with 9:33 to play.
When the dust had cleared, Barton had done the damage in four-minute span and led 24-9. Barton took a 39-23 lead to intermission and the margin reached 20 early in the second half.
“We were almost like a different team Saturday compared to Friday,” Coach Kruger said. “This victory is completely a result of our defensive effort and focus on the game plan.  
“We actually scored more points Friday and lost by 12, so, to hold a talented team like Independence to 55 points just shows how good we can be when we play to our capabilities.”
Lampe and Phikala Anthony led the way with 11 points each as Barton put together a very balanced offensive attack. Anthony also dished out five assists to lead the Cougars, which shot 52 percent from the floor on 27-of-52. Meanwhile the Barton defense limited the Pirates to just 17-of-57 from the field for 30 percent.
Things weren’t as pretty the opening night as Barton lost to a team it had beaten just two weeks earlier. Barton won at the Otero Classic in a 91-88 overtime thriller. But Friday at the Barton Gym, the Wranglers returned the favor by winning on Barton’s home floor. The loss ended Barton’s 7-game winning streak.
Otero jumped ahead 4-0 in the opening minutes and never trailed the entire contest. An 8-0 run by the Wranglers midway through the opening half gave them a 24-11 lead before the Cougars began to show some life. Barton, behind six points from Anthony and four from Indiah Cauley responded with 11 straight of its own to make it 24-22 with six minutes to play in the half. But a quick 8-0 spurt by Otero ended the Barton run and gave the Wranglers control of the game once again.
By half Otero had pushed the margin to 12 at 40-28. The Cougars would close the gap to as low as four at 59-55 on a Lampe 3-pointer with 10:12 to play but Otero responded with a 10-1 run.
“We came out of the gate very unfocused and with a lack of intensity, and unfortunately Otero did not,” Coach Kruger said. “You have to give them credit, they made tough shots and played great offensively. When you add that with the fact that we played our worst game of the season, it adds up to a big loss.”
Anthony again led Barton with 19 points followed by Cauley off the bench with 14. Brandi Williams scored 12 and Katrina Roenfeldt 10. Delia Garcia-Paunero led Otero with 22.
Barton will head to Hutchinson this weekend for the Hutch Classic. The Cougars will take on Allen County Community College Friday and the Central Methodist JV Saturday. Both games start at 1:30 pm.