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Barton travels to Garden City on Saturday
Brunson 2 column
Barton Community Colleges Dwayne Brunson (31, center) goes up for a rebound during Wednesday nights Cougars victory over Dodge City at Kirkman Athletic Center. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

Kansas Jayhawk Community
College Conference
Western Division
Basketball Standings
               KJCCC       ALL

Hutchinso        3-0         17-0   
Cloud County        3-0         13-4
Seward        2-1         14-3
Garden City        1-1         12-4
Barton        1-2         13-4
Dodge City               1-2         12-5
Colby                    1-2         10-7
Butler                    0-2         10-6
Pratt                      0-2           9-7
Wednesday’s results
Kansas City Kansas 89, Neosho County 68
#1 Hutchinson 72, Garden City 61
Cowley 88, Labette 74
Independence 62, Fort Scott 59
Cloud County 96, Pratt 82
D2#11 Johnson County 83, Allen County 73
Seward County 67, Colby 64
Barton County 77, Dodge City 61

                             KJCCC       ALL

Hutchinson          3-1         16-0
Cloud County            3-0         12-3
Butler                      2-0         12-4
Seward County            2-1         12-5
Barton                     1-2          8-8
Colby                       1-2          6-11
Pratt              0-2         10-6
Garden City              0-2         10-6
Dodge City               0-3          7-10
Wednesday’s results
Kansas City Kansas 84, Neosho County 47
#17 Hutchinson 81, Garden City 53*
Cowley 78, Labette 59
#5 Independence 71, Fort Scott 51
Cloud County 88, Pratt 57
D2#1 Johnson County 46, Allen County 31
Seward County 64, Colby 46
Barton County 92, Dodge City 49

Saturday’s games
Highland at Johnson County (W-2 p.m., M-4 p.m.)
Kansas City Kansas at Coffeyville (W-5:, M-7)
Pratt at Seward County* (W-6, M-8)
Allen County at Labette* (W-5:30, M-7:30)
Colby at Dodge City (Women-5:30, Men-7:30)
Barton at Garden City (W-5:30, M-7:30)
Hutchinson at Butler (W-5:30, M-7:30)
Fort Scott at Cowley (W-5, M-7)
Brown Mackie at Kansas Wesleyan JV (W-TBA)
Hesston at Union College (W-6:30, M-8:30)
Neosho County at Independence (W-6, M-8)

Monday’s games
Highland at Missouri Valley JV – Marshall, Mo. (W-5:30)
Dodge City at Pratt (W-6, M-8)
Seward County at Cloud County (W-6, M-8)
Garden City at Colby (W-6, M-8)
Butler at Barton (W-6, M-8)
Bethany College JV at Brown Mackie (W-5, M-7)
Southwestern College JV at Hesston (W-6, M-8)

Wednesday’s games
Labette at Highland (W-5, M-7)
Kansas City KS at Johnson County (W-5:30, M-7:30)
Pratt at Garden City (W-5:30, M-7:30)
Allen County at Fort Scott (W-5:30, M-7:30)
Coffeyville at Neosho County (W-6, M-8)
Colby at Butler (W-5:30, M-7:30)
Cowley at Independence (W-6, M-8)
Cloud County at Dodge City (W-6, M-8)
Barton at Hutchinson (W-5:30, M-7:30)

It has been road unkind thus far for Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division teams.
Only two teams — Co-West leaders Hutchinson and Cloud County, both 3-0 — haven’t tasted a road defeat in the early portion of the conference race.
“It’s one thing to play on the road, but (Garden City) has a very good team,” said Barton head coach Craig Fletchall, whose team is 13-4 overall and 1-2 in West play, including road losses to Cloud County (85-78) and No. 25 Seward County (82-70) last week in successive games.
“We talked in length (Thursday) in practice that the schedule is going to benefit us down the stretch, if we can just fight through these tough times early. February is going to be good to us, and that’s when you want to be playing your best basketball anyway.”
To be sure, Garden City (12-4, 1-1) is just one of many difficult road tests for the Cougars, who bottled up Dodge City 77-61 Wednesday night in their conference home opener.
“We want to win and we want to play well,” Fletchall said, “but we want to look for improvement. We have three games in five days with Butler at home on Monday and NJCAA top-ranked Hutchinson (17-0, 3-0) next Wednesday.”
Maximizing possessions will be paramount when Barton heads out west to Garden City on Saturday night. Game time is set for 8. The Cougars committed only 10 turnovers and shared the ball with point guard Storm Sanders handing out nine of their 25 assists.
It appears as though the Cougars are at their best when they get out in transition. At least that’s been the case when post players Dwayne Brunson and Adam Young, along with swingman Colin Beatty and guard Carl Wallace, get out on the run.
“Most definitely,” Fletchall said. “We did it early (Wednesday night) and Dodge did a better job getting back. We didn’t get out as much as we usually do, but we’re clearly a  better team in transition.
“More teams are playing zone this year. I think what hurt us in the Cloud game maybe helped us a little bit in the Dodge City game because we’re starting to see it more now, and our guys are getting a little more used to facing a zone. We didn’t see many during the first semester.”
While holding opponents to a chilly 28.5 percentage from beyond the arc on the season (87 of 305), Barton hasn’t been much better, making only 31.9 percent through the first 17 games (111 of 348).
“Most of the teams that I have coached in the past have obviously been run-and-gun and fast-paced and shoot 3s and be more guard-oriented,” Fletchall said. “It seems like this year our strengths are with Dwayne and Adam and Colin.
“We don’t shoot is well from the perimeter and it’s definitely a weakness. I like our guards, but in these first four games, they all have been salty guards.