No doubt winning at the Green House was going to be a tough task. Much like its most recent road trip to Arley Bryant Gym in Concordia, the Barton Community College women’s basketball team had not won in the building since 2007.
But unlike the Cougars win at Cloud County, the streak will continue at the Green House in Liberal. Seward County had little trouble in rolling by the Cougars. The 6th ranked Saints won the Jayhawk West battle 78-48.
The win improved Seward to 7-1 in the West and 18-2 overall. The Saints were coming off a 1-point last-second loss to No. 1 Hutchinson Wednesday night. Barton dropped to 4-5 in conference action with the setback and 14-7 overall.
“It’s impossible to beat a team as talented as Seward unless we execute our game plan extremely well. We did not do that,” Coach Carter Kruger said. “Offensively we did not attack enough and defensively we lost their shooters way too often.”
Two factors weighted heavily in the Cougars loss – Barton turned the ball over 39 times and Seward hit 12-of-23 3-pointers.
The game started slowly with both teams having trouble shooting and handling the ball. It took nearly two minutes for either team to score. Barton led 4-3 nearly seven minutes into the half. The Cougars first field goal didn’t fall until the half was nearly 10 minutes old – but trailed just 7-6 at that point.
Action pick up from there and when Seward closed the half on a 7-0 run the Saints led 34-22. It was a half that saw Barton turn the ball over 19 times and shoot 36 percent from the floor. It wasn’t much better for Seward with 15 turnovers and 35 percent shooting.
Seward did manage to hit 5-of-9 3-pointers in the half while Barton made just 1-of-8. Seward did not slow down in the second half scoring 44 second half points on the way to the 30-point win.
“It’s tough for our team because we felt like we had a good plan, we felt like we were ready,” Coach Kruger said. “All we can do now is get back to work and prepare for a big game Wednesday.”
Barton sophomore KK Anthony scored 13 points to lead the Cougars. But it was the 39 turnover the Cougars committed – fourth most in school history – that kept Barton from having any chance of the upset.
The Saints were paced by Daniela Galindo and Rebekah Hatchard as both hit five 3-pointers and posted career highs in scoring. Hatchard hit 5-fo-7 and ended with 22 points while Galina knocked down 5-of-9 for 21.
The Cougars have two big games this week in their quest for a top four finish in the West and a home playoff game to open the post season.
Barton will host Dodge City Wednesday then travel to Garden City Saturday. Dodge City comes to Barton at the bottom of the West at 1-8 and 10-13 while Garden City is among a group of three teams with five losses in a battle for that fourth spot.
“Dodge, while having just one conference win, is one of the more talented teams in the league,” Coach Kruger said. “Their guards can really score and their post players are starting to step up.”