The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference grind has not been easy for the Barton Lady Cougars.
After a 62-55 setback on Wednesday night against Cloud County, the Lady Cougars are 12-9 overall, including 2-6 in Jayhawk West action.
One bright spot has been the emergence of sophomore point guard Erin Copeland’s ability to rack up points, both with 3-pointers and slashing drives to the basket.
“She’s been outstanding,” Barton head coach Carter Kruger said of Copeland. “She’s been playing at a very high level and honestly, we’re lucky that she is because she’s doing a nice job for us.
“We need some others to kind of catch up.”
Against Cloud, Copeland matched her career high of 20 points. She has scored in double figures in six of the Barton’s eight conference games this season, bringing her points-per-game average up to 10.4.
Copeland, who is shooting 43.3 percent from 3-point range (26-for-60), passed Ashton Bruner as the leading scorer for Barton. Bruner averages 10.2 points per game.
On Saturday night at Kirkman Activity Center, Copeland will look to continue her recent scoring rampage against Seward County. The women start at 5:30 with the men following at 7:30.
The Lady Saints (14-7, 5-3) average 68.0 points per game, while Barton averages 64.1.
“At the end of the day, we just need to get better on the offensive end,” Kruger said. “We had a goal to score 70 points a game. We’re not anywhere close to that. Part of that’s turnovers, and part of that’s shot makers not making shots.”
Barton has had 379 turnovers, averaging 18.1 per game. However, Seward, which is coming off a 64-36 drumming at the hands of No. 1-ranked and first-place Hutchinson (22-0, 8-0) is in the same boat, averaging 20.3 per game.
Seward’s leading scorer is Madison McLain, who averages 14.0 points per game. Fabiana Monte is No. 2 at 10.6.
The Lady Cougars opened up Jayhawk West play against Seward in Liberal, falling 70-59.
“They’re a big group, similar to what we saw (from Cloud),” Kruger said. “They’ve been having some trouble shooting, but I think this is going to be a challenge. If we come out with any less effort that we did (on Wednesday night), we’re in trouble.”