It’s going to be a tough mountain to climb.
Barton Community College’s women’s basketball team stands in the shadow of No. 1-ranked Hutchinson.
The two teams meet tonight at 5:30 at Hutchinson in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Western Division action.
“We’re focused on us more than on them,” Barton head coach Carter Kruger said. “Regardless of how good they are or who they are or what they can do, if we don’t get better, than it’s not going to help us.”
The Lady Cougars are coming off a 74-56 drumming at the hands of West foe Butler.
Barton, which is 11-6 overall, 1-3 in the West, had 27 turnovers in the setback, and averages 18.7 turnovers per game.
Kruger said his team has put the loss behind them.
“We have a pretty mature group,” Kruger said. “We know we didn’t play our best game. We know that it was not our best coaching. We know we have to handle the next game.”
That next game promises to be a challenge.
Hutch, which is in first place in the conference standings at 17-0, 3-0, averages 77.9 points per game. Barton averages 65.1.
“We need to get better offensively,” Kruger said. “We’ve also been working on some small things on defense, but I think we’re almost there defensively.”
The Lady Blue Dragons have three players averaging in double figures.
Chrisstasia Walter and Jamie Patrick share the lead, averaging 13.5 points apiece. Jasmine Patterson averages 11.6.
“They play pretty good at home,” Kruger said of playing at Hutchinson Sports Arena. “They don’t really have games where they let down, but I don’t want to put too much stock in it.
“They’re not a WNBA team, We’re not going to play the Jayhawks or something. They play at the same level that we do.”
Barton’s lone player averaging in double figures is freshman guard Ashton Bruner with 10.4 points per game. She also leads in rebounds per game at 8.2.
Sophomore Blair Bloomfield averages 9.7 points per game, Erin Copeland averages 8.8 and Payton Scheer is behind her at 8.3.
National Junior College
1. Hutchinson Community College
2. North Idaho College
3. Trinity Valley Community College
4. Central Arizona College
5. Gulf Coast State College
6. Shelton State Community College
7. Northwest Florida State College
8. Walters State Community College
9. Georgia Highlands College
10. Garden City Community College