Part of the rigors of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference season is being able to adapt to the style of an opposing team.
For the second straight game, Barton, the highest scoring team in the West, was subjected to some half-court style of play. It’s something the high-flying, free-wheeling Cougars would rather avoid, as they took on a game Butler team on Saturday night at Kirkman Activity Center.
Yet, unlike a 66-47 debacle at Garden City on Wednesday night, where the Cougars suffered their first conference loss, they made the right adjustments at halftime and registered a 73-64 victory over the Grizzlies.
After falling behind by five points at halftime, the Cougars used a decisive run midway through the second half to improve to 16-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. They outscored the Grizzlies 45-31 in the second half.
“We wanted to get to right spots on offense and move the ball,” said Barton guard Al Key, who scored 17 of his 21 points after halftime. Key hit 5 of 11 field goals, and made 11 of 12 free throws in the second half.
“If we have the open jump shot, take it, and if the big man has a matchup, we try to look down low or drive baseline. We tried to play our game more than theirs, even though when they slow it down, and we still find a way to score in the half court.”
Barton clung to a 42-41 lead when swingman Andell Cumberbatch scored off a drive into the lane for a 44-41 edge with 12:58 remaining. Key converted a pair of free throws, and guard Kevin Kuteyi hit a driving layup, prompting Butler to call timeout with 12 minutes left and trailing 48-41.
The Cougars maintained that advantage until Butler freshman guard Shomari Triggs hit a jumper to pull the Grizzlies within 55-49 with 5:20 left.
But Cumberbatch made the first of two free throws, and Rapheal Stephens soared in for an offensive rebound and tipped in Cumberbatch’s miss to kick the margin back up to nine points.
Cumberbatch had a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive end. Kuteyi scored eight of his 10 points in the first half, and point guard Turon Parker had seven of his nine points after the break.
Butler, 13-4, 1-2, was led by Triggs, who hit 8 of 12 field goals and 3 of 7 3-pointers for a team-high 21 points, the Grizzlies’ only player in double figures
Butler popped in 5 of 13 from distance in the first half, including Triggs hitting both of his 3-point attempts, providing a small separation as it built a 33-28 halftime lead.
Barton shot only 33 percent in the opening 20 minutes, making 9 of 27 field goals. Kuteyi came off the bench to score eight first-half points and Cumberbatch scored seven.
A Kuteyi 3-pointer with 13:45 to go in the first half gave the Cougars, who trailed 10-6 early, their first lead at 11-10.
But Trent Richardson answered with a trey on the other end to regain the lead at 13-10, the start of an 8-3 Grizzlies run to push their lead to 21-13 at the 11:32 mark.
“Sometimes in the half-court offense, we get carried away with working it to one side and we need to work the ball back and forth to get the defense to move,” Key said
Butler, which hit 36.8 percent of its first-half shots (14 for 38), wasn’t able to extend its advantage the remainder of the half.
Triggs finished with 10 first-half points, hitting all four of his shots from the floor.
Kansas Jayhawk Community
At Great Bend
Kirkman Activity Center
Barton 73, Butler 64
Shomari Triggs 8-12 2-2 21, Trent Richardson 4-14 0-0 9, Bakari Triggs 3-8 0-1 7, Jordan Madrid-Andrew 3-5 0-0 6, Eric Watson 2-7 0-0 5, Sean Osler 2-10 0-2 5, Larry Fitzgerald 2-4 0-0 5, Ja’ln Williams 1-5 2-4 4, Sean Goodwin 1-2 0-0 2, LaMont Pruitt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-67 4-9 64.
BARTON (16-2, 3-1)
Algie Key 5-11 11-12 21, Andell Cumberbatch 5-13 7-10 18, Kevin Kuteyi 3-8 2-4 10, Turon Parker 2-5 5-6 9, Rapheal Stephens 3-3 0-2 6, Raheem Johnson 2-6 2-4 6, Dominique Wilson 1-3 1-2 3, John Goodson 0-0 0-0 0, Travell Robinson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 28-40 73.
Halftime—Butler 33, Barton 28. Three-point goals—Butler CC 8-23 (S. Triggs 3-7, Osler 1-6, Watson 1-3, Richardson 1-2, B. Triggs 1-3, Fitzgerald 1-2); Barton 3-8 (Kuteyi 2-4, Cumberbatch 1-3, Parker 0-1). Rebounds—Butler CC 34 (Richardson 8), Barton 43 (Cumberbatch 14). Steals — Barton 7, Butler 6. Assists—Butler 12 (S. Triggs 3); Barton 6 (Parker 3). Turnovers — Butler 14, Barton 11. Blocked shots — Barton 8 (Johnson 5); Butler 3 (Richardson, Osler, Pruitt). Total fouls—Butler CC 27, Barton 12. Fouled out—Butler (B. Triggs, Williams); Barton (None).