There’s so much more for Barton Community College to accomplish.
Coming off an electric 87-81 triumph over No. 6-ranked Hutchinson last Wednesday night at home, the unranked Cougars and Butler are vying for third place in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division basketball standings.
“We’re tied with Butler,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said. “We both have two road games out of our next three.
“We feel like we have to win out. Butler has won five in a row. They’re playing as well as anyone in the conference.”
The Cougars, 22-5 overall, 9-4 Jayhawk West, travel to Colby tonight to take on the Trojans, 12-16, 3-11, at 8. On Saturday night, Barton hosts Pratt, 14-13, 4-9, at 7:30, and then the Cougars travel to Concordia next Wednesday to take on Cloud County, 14-13, 5-8, to end the regular season.
“All three of these games will be big,” Fletchall said. “Our guys have remained focused, and they want to go a step further than last year’s team.
“I applaud our sophomore guards for showing leadership and getting to this point with a thin rotation.”
Butler travels to Cloud County tonight, hosts Seward on Saturday and travels to Dodge City next Wednesday.
“We don’t want to scoreboard watch,” Fletchall said, “and we don’t want to feel like we climaxed at the Hutch game.”
“We shot ourselves in the foot at Garden City and Butler (road losses earlier in the season). It’s something Hutch and Seward have been able to avoid, so that put us in a dogfight for third.”
Barton is led in scoring average, assists and steals by sophomore guard Al Key, who is averaging 18.3 points, has handed out 103 assists and made 52 steals.
Key, a third-team NJCAA All-America selection and the Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year last season, moved into seventh place on the Barton career scoring list with 1,107 after scoring 15 points in the win over Hutch.
The other two-thirds of Barton’s Big 3 — Andell Cumberbatch and Turon Parker — are averaging 14.3 and 12.3 points, respectively.
Cumberbatch, a small forward, is averaging a team-best 7.7 rebounds while shooting 49.5 percent from the field (139 for 281). Parker, who has a team-high 43 3-pointers, ranks No. 2 on the team in both assists (97) and steals (50).
Kansas Jayhawk Community
Western Division basketball race
Hutchinson 11-2 25-2
Seward County 11-2 20-7
Barton 9-4 22-5
Butler 9-4 21-6