BY MIKE MARZOLF
Special to the Tribune
Season openers are always a bit of a nervous time for basketball coaches. Finally a chance to see how the preseason work has paid off.
This year for the Barton women’s basketball team was met with even more anticipation than normal. First, it was the first game in the Alan Clark era for the Cougars.
Second, it was one of just four non-conference games before Barton starts its 26-game Jayhawk Conference slate.
So getting off to a 1-0 start behind an 82-55 win over Brown Mackie Wednesday night at the Barton Gym was a solid beginning to the season.
“We did a lot of good things,” Coach Clark said. “We have some good pieces. It will just be a process of getting those pieces to play well together.”
The Cougars took control of the game in the second quarter. Barton led 18-13 after one, then outscored the Lions, 25-9, in the second. The Cougars were never threatened after that.
During that key second quarter, Barton hit 10-of-16 shots, led by a 14-point quarter from Katrina Roenfeldt. The sophomore from Dodge City knocked down 4-of-8 treys in the period.
Meanwhile, the Cougars held the Lions to just 4-of-19 from the field in the second quarter.
For the game, Roenfeldt made six 3-pointers and finished with 24 points in 27 minutes. Regan Unruh added 17 points, thanks in large part to a 7-of-9 showing at the free throw line. Anterrika Willis added 12.
Roenfeldt and Baylee Robinson both had seven rebounds to pace the Cougars and Alexus Bryson six assists. The Cougars did turn the ball over 21 times.
“I thought we were pretty good in transition,” Coach Clark said. “But we turned it over too much. We have to cut back on the 21 turnovers.
“Katrina shot the ball well. But we didn’t rebound as well as we should have and we fouled too much. With the rebounding it is just a matter of being tougher.”
Haley Tiles and Mariah Adams led Brown Mackie with 15 points.
The Cougars will host their only classic of the non-conference season this weekend. Barton will host Iowa Western Friday and Northern Oklahoma-Enid. Games Friday and Saturday will tip at 5:30 pm in the Best Western/Booster Club Classic.