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Cougars tear through Seward County
Jayhawk West
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LIBERAL —  After falling to two-time defending Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division champion Seward in the league opener in each of the last three seasons, the NJCAA No. 9-ranked Barton Cougars got it right this time around.
In a big way, mind you.
The Cougars built a 34-30 halftime lead en route to a 79-66 romp past the Saints at the Greenhouse, improving to 14-1, 1-0 on the season.
Seward, perhaps not as good as the previous three campaigns, dropped to 9-6, 0-1, as Barton snapped a six-game losing streak against the Saints, who captured third place last season in the national tournament at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
“We started out the game with a 7-0 run and started the second half with a 5-0 run,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said. “That was huge.
“We were able to knock the rust off and play well in both halves.”
The Cougars seemingly were fueled throughout from their early starts, hitting Seward from all directions and distancing themselves from the perennial powerhouse Saints after the break.
Barton’s Big 3 was at it again. The sophomore guard tandem of Turon Parker, Al Key and Andell Cumberbatch combined for all but 21 of the Cougars’ points. Their leading scorer was Parker, who poured in 22 points. He finished only 5-for-14 from the floor, but knocked down 4 of 7 3-pointers and sank all eight of his free-throw attempts.
Key had 21 points, hitting 7 of 13 field goals and 7 of 12 foul shots while dealing out a team-high six assists. Andell Cumberbatch had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“Their experience is something a lot of teams don’t have,” Fletchall said. “It’s invaluable for us.”
For good measure, freshman power forward Raheem Johnson came up big once again, scoring eight points and hauling in a game-high 12 rebounds.
Saints Twitter even had some glowing words for the Cougars, who are playing four conference games over a seven-day stretch. The tweet on the Saints Athletics web site reads: #Barton might have the best guard (Algie Key) and big (Raheem Johnson) in the league
Jabari Peters led the Saints in scoring for the second straight game, finishing with a game-high 17 points.Malcolm Hill-Bey added 10 points off the bench.
The Cougars entertain Dodge City on Monday night at 7:30, followed by a road trip to Garden City on Wednesday before returning home to Kirkman Activity Center this coming Saturday night to take on Jayhawk East foe Butler.

                                 — Mack McClure

Kansas Jayhawk Community College

Conference Western Division


At Liberal
The Greenhouse


Barton 79, Seward County 66
BARTON (14-1, 1-0)
    Andell Cumberbatch 7-13 0-3 15, Raheem Johnson 4-5 0-1 8, Rapheal Stephens 0-1 0-0 0, Turon Parker 5-14 8-8 22, Algie Key 7-13 7-12 21, Kevin Kuteyi 3-5 0-2 8, Dominique Wilson 2-2 1-2 5. Totals 28-53 16-28 79.
SEWARD COUNTY (9-6, 0-1)
    Leslee Smith 1-10 2-4 4, Edson Avila 2-2 0-2 4, Jerry Cobb 3-9 2-2 11, Kaheem Ransom 4-9 2-4 12, Jabari Peters 6-13 1-3 17, Brian Bridgeforth 3-5 2-4 8, Malcolm Hill-Bey 3-8 3-6 10, Quentin Purtue 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 22-60 12-25 66.
    Halftime — Barton 34, Seward County 30. Three-point goals — Seward County 10-23 (Peters 4-7, Cobb 3-6, Ransom 2-4, Hill-Bey 1-3, Purtue 0-2, Smith 0-1); Barton 7-14 (Parker 4-7, Kuteyi 2-3, Cumberbatch 1-3, Key 0-1). Rebounds — Barton 45 (Johnson 12); Seward County (Smith 5, Cobb 5). Assists — Seward County 13 (Ransom 4); Barton 8 (Key 6). Turnovers — Barton 19; Seward County 16. Total fouls — Seward County 24; Barton 19. Fouled out — None.