Another one down.
The Barton men’s basketball team continues to knock out wins to start Jayhawk Conference play. The latest came Wednesday night at the Barton Gym as the Cougars knocked off Independence. The win put Barton alone as the last unbeaten team in the conference.
Barton’s 63-46 thumping of the Pirates coupled with a 113-111 triple overtime win by Cowley at Hutchinson gave Barton sole possession of first place. The Cougars are now 5-0 in the Jayhawk and 13-3 overall. Barton is riding a 6-game winning streak and have won 11 of its last 12.
Independence fell to 2-4 and 11-4. With its loss to Cowley, Hutch is now 5-1 and 16-1.
“We played some really good defense on the night,” Coach Craig Fletchall said. “They have some really good guards. We did a good job of taking them out of their game a little bit. It helped they missed a lot of shots but we had something to do with that.”
The key stretch Wednesday came early in the second half. The teams had traded the lead four times in the opening 20 minutes with the Cougars gaining control of the game late in the half to take a 28-20 lead to half.
After a trey by Indy cut it to 28-23 to start the second half Barton’s defense went in lockdown. Indy did not score the next eight minutes. Meanwhile Barton put the hammer down. The Cougars went on a 14-0 run for a 42-23 lead with 11 minutes to play.
The Cougars coasted from there for the easy win.
“Offensively we played much better in the second half,” Coach Fletchall said. “We moved the ball better and did a lot less one-on-one play. I am not real pleased with our play as a team but it was a win.”
The familiar trio of Derek Dorn, Dequandre Dentmond and Keith Mack led the way once again. Dorn hit double figures for the sixth straight game with a game-high 16 points. Mack added 13 points. It was the fourth straight game Mack hit double figures and ninth time in 10 games. Dentmond made it seven of nine in double digits with 10 points. The freshman added 12 rebounds for his third double-double in four games.
Barton has not been pushed to the final minutes in any of its five conference games. The closet contest has been an 80-72 win at Allen Saturday. All four other games have been double digit wins.
Barton will get a good road test Saturday with a trip to Chanute. Neosho County was won three straight conference games since starting 1-2. The Panthers are 4-2 in the Jayhawk in third place. Neosho is 12-3 overall.
The game will be the first for Coach Fletchall in Chanute against the team he used to coach before coming to Barton. Fletchall returned to Chanute three seasons ago to play in a classic but did not play Neosho. Neosho is 6-1 at home this season.