The Barton men’s basketball team matched its highest ranking in the Craig Fletchall era Tuesday afternoon when the Cougars moved up four spots and into the Top 10 at No. 7 in the latest NJCAA Top 25 rankings.
That matched the final poll in January of 2007 when Barton was also ranked No. 7. That team, led by Omar Johnson, Ivan Evans and Thiago Cordiero was 21-1 at the time.
This year’s edition of the Cougars have now been ranked six straight weeks and stand at 19-2 overall. Barton had spent the last two weeks just outside the Top 10 at No. 11.
The Cougars have won eight straight games since returning from the semester break. During that time, Barton has risen 14 spots in the poll.
Hutchinson remained ranked as well, with the Blue Dragons (17-4) falling from No. 12 to No. 16 after a loss to Coffeyville. With that win, Coffeyville returned the rankings after a two-week hiatus. The Red Ravens (17-4) are ranked No. 20.
The top three teams remained the same for the third straight week.
Northwest Florida is ranked No. 1 at 23-0 followed by Indian Hills (Iowa), also 23-0, and Vincennes (Ind), 21-0. Those are the only three unbeaten teams left in the NJCAA.
Florida Southwestern State moved up one spot to No. 4 and Odessa (Texas) is up three spots to No. 5. Just ahead of the Cougars at No. 6 is Motlow State (Tenn).
Barton had a 2-game lead on both Coffeyville and Hutchinson in the Jayhawk Conference. Barton is 15-2 while the Blue Dragons and Red Ravens are 13-4. Everyone else the Jayhawk has at least six losses.
Barton is home Wednesday night against Cowley College. The Tigers are 10-7 in the Jayhawk and just snapped 4-game losing streak Saturday. This weekend the Cougars head to Iola to take on Allen County. The Red Devils are just 4-13 in the Jayhawk but have handed Barton one of its two losses on the season.