By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
No. 1 Hutchinson pulls away from Lady Cougars
Jayhawk West
spt kp BCC Kruger
Barton head womens basketball coach Carter Kruger draws up a play during a timeout in the second half against No. 1-ranked Hutchinson in Jayhawk West action. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

HUTCHINSON — It didn’t really look like the nation’s No. 1 women’s community college basketball team versus an unranked opponent on Wednesday night.
Not from the start.
Barton Community College led National Junior College Athletic Association’s No. 1-ranked Hutchinson for more than 10 minutes in the first half, but the Lady Blue Dragons held a small lead at intermission, and added to it in the second half for a 65-56 victory at the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
“We’ve been stressing better starts, and we’ve been stressing being ready to go,” Barton head coach Carter Kruger said. “Honestly, our kids said, ‘We’re good shooters, hit shots.’ And we’re going to stick with that.”
The win bolsters Hutch’s record to 18-0, 4-0 in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division action. Barton drops to 11-7, 1-4.
Trailing by six points heading into the second half, Barton’s Ta’Kerra Williams broke through for a layup.
Hutch went on a 10-3 run to make it 43-32, a lead the Lady Cougars cut into in the closing minutes.
Down 53-40, Barton made one last attempt at rallying, led by three steals and a pair of offensive rebounds by Ashton Bruner.
“She’s a tough kid,” Kruger said of Bruner, who finished with 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Cougars. “She’s a fighter, and now that we know that everybody else has got it in them. You know, we’re not the most talented group. We’re not the most physically impressive group.
“But when we’re a scrappy and tough group of kids, we’re tough to beat. That’s who needs to show up the next 11 games of conference and in the playoffs.”
The Lady Cougars made a 13-2 run to close the gap to 55-53 with 2:30 remaining in the game.
Hutchinson found its stride again, widening the lead and holding it down the stretch.
Taschell Phillips led the Lady Cougars with 16 points in the game.
“Taschell had the best game that she’s ever had,” Kruger said. “It wasn’t because of stats. It’s because she was doing what she’s coached to do, and what she does better than anybody else. And that’s get to the basket, get to the rim, get fouled.
“When she’s going to the basket and getting fouled, she’s pretty good.”
Erin Copeland joined her in double figures with 13 points.
“She was big for us,” Kruger said. “We talked a little bit about her needing to score. I think that she’s getting more and more comfortable with that as she goes.”
The Lady Cougars started out strong — real strong.
While Hutchinson’s Jamie Patrick dropped in the game’s first points, a 3-pointer from the left wing, Barton roared back with eight unanswered points of its own.
Kailai Brantner scored a 3 from the right side. Followed by a Blair Bloomfield 3 from the opposite side.
Williams laced in a layup for an 8-3 Barton advantage.
Barton led by as much as seven points, giving the Lady Blue Dragons fits with a tight zone defense, before Hutchinson started to sink some shots.
Hutchinson’s Chrisstasia Walter tied the game at 15 on a breakaway layup.
Phillips responded with a three-point play.
The Lady Dragons took the lead on a Jade Herl 3-pointer. She hit back-to-back 3s for a 25-20 advantage.
Hutchinson pulled away bit by bit, leading 31-25 at halftime.
Barton hosts Colby on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30.

Kansas Jayhawk Community
College Conference
Western Division



At Hutchinson
Hutchinson Sports Arena

No. 1 Hutchinson 65, Barton  56
BARTON (11-7, 1-4)
    Taschell Phillips 6-12 3-4 16, Erin Copeland 5-11 2-3 13, Kailai Brantner 2-6 3-4 8, Blair Bloomfield 2-9 2-2 8, Ta’Kerra Williams 3-9 1-4 7, Ashton Bruner 2-5 0-1 4, Taylor Mayes 0-1 0-0 0, Jackie Bueno 0-1 0-0 0, Kelsey Keith 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 20-57 11-18 56.
HUTCHINSON (18-0, 4-0)
    Aja Sorrells 9-16 2-2 20, Jasmine Patterson 7-11 2-5 16, Jamie Patrick 3-9 0-0 9, Briana Starks 3-6 0-0 6, Chrisstasia Walter 2-7 1-3 5, Jade Herl 1-4 2-2 5, Kiarra Jones 1-2 2-6 4, Kyrsten Crawford 0-2 0-0 0, Jen’Von’Ta Hill 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 26-62 9-18 65.
    Halftime — Hutchinson 31, Barton 25. Three-point goals — Barton 5-17 (Bloomfield 2-8, Phillips 1-1, Brantner 1-2, Copeland 1-3, Keith 0-3); Hutchinson 4-16 (Patrick 3-9, Herl 1-4, Walter 0-2, Crawford 0-1). Rebounds — Barton 43 (Bruner 11), Hutchinson 42 (Patterson 9). Assists — Barton 9 (Bruner 2, Brantner 2, Copeland 2); Hutchinson 21 (Walter 5). Steals — Barton 14 (Bloomfield 4); Hutchinson 9 (Sorrells 3). Blocked shots — Hutchinson 2 (Patrick, Patterson); Barton 1 (Williams). Turnovers — Barton 20, Hutchinson 17. Total fouls — Barton 15, Hutchinson 15. Fouled out — None.