OTTUMWA, Iowa — The Barton Community College men’s basketball team improved to 7-3 on the season with a 91-86 win over Marshalltown on Saturday.
The win allowed the Cougars to salvage a split at the Indian Hills tournament, after losing to No. 2-ranked Indian Hills.
“I was pleased with our effort after a short turnaround from the loss,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said. “We knew going in that we were going to play two quality teams in Iowa. We’re a little road weary, and we’ll be happy to get back home.”
Barton hosts McPherson College on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., following the Lady Cougars’ matchup against Tabor JV, which starts at 5:30.
Then on Friday and Saturday, Barton hosts the Best Western Angus Inn/Cougar Booster Club Thanksgiving Basketball Classic.
Things started slowly for the Cougars, who trailed 40-36 at halftime.
Barton got things turned around in the second half to score 55 points for the win.
“We knew the best that we could come away with was a split, and we worked hard to make that happen,” Fletchall said. “We got the lead, and we made our free throws down the stretch.
“It really resembled a conference game for us. It was a grind, but we’re going to be happy to get back home.”
Leading the charge was Raheem Johnson, who finished with a double-double, scoring 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Darius Gibson finished with 19 points, and Tyler Corley added 15.
Indian Hills 107, Barton 80
OTTUMWA, Iowa — The Barton men had a tough test in challenging the NJCAA No. 2-ranked Indian Hills Warriors on Friday night on the road.
“They really are the No. 1 team in the nation,” Fletchall said. “The (current) No. 1 lost, so they’ll take over when the next poll comes out, and they really showed why they’re ranked where they are.
“They have depth at every position. They have size in the middle, and great guards that have signed to keep playing at great schools. They’re likely a national title team.”
Both teams struggled in the first half.
Indian Hills shot 32 percent from the field in the first half, but held the Cougars to 24 percent on field goals and forced Barton to turn the ball over 17 times in the first 20 minutes.
The Warriors led 38-24 at intermission, and pulled away in the second half.
“They just exploded on us in the second half,” Fletchall said. “They started to take off, and the home crowd had the house rocking.”
Corley led Barton with 20 points, one of three Barton players in double figures.
Isaac Williams had 18 points, draining four 3-pointers, and D.J. Johnson scored 11 points for Barton.
— Kevin Price