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Cougars to host Allen on Saturday afternoon in NJCAA Region VI first round
Barton Community College guard Al Key has moved up to No. 5 on the career scoring list for the Cougars, who host Allen at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Kirkman Activity Center. Admission for the first-round NJCAA Region VI postseason basketball tournament game is free. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

No. 24-ranked Barton Community College gets the bottom of the barrel for its first-round NJCAA Region VI postseason basketball tournament opponent.
Allen, 6-24 overall, comes calling to Kirkman Activity Center on Saturday afternoon for a 3 p.m. tipoff at LT & Sheila Fleske Court. Admission is free.
The woeful Red Devils finished in last place in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Eastern Division with a 2-16 record.
“They’re going to come into an afternoon game with no pressure,” Barton head coach Craig Fletchall said of Allen. “We’re going to have to have a good effort.
“I like our chances. (Allen) has good perimeter shooters, and that’s always a concern this time of year.”
Barton, 25-5, secured the No. 3 seed out of the Jayhawk West with a 12-4 conference mark. Seward County, 23-7, 14-2, wrapped up its third straight West crown and captured the region’s top seed in the process by beating fifth-ranked Hutchinson 62-60 on Wednesday night.
Hutch, 27-3, 13-3, is the No. 2 seed in the West.
Providing Barton beats Allen, the Cougars will advance to quarterfinal play on Tuesday night at 7 against either East foe Cowley County, 19-10, 14-3, or West opponent Pratt, 5-15, 5-11.
Cowley will be a heavy favorite against Pratt, and the Cougars would have to travel to Arkansas City. If Pratt were to upset Cowley, Barton would host Pratt in a quarterfinal on Tuesday.
“Obviously, with the change of the tournament format this year, It’s not a great year to be a No. 3 or 4 seed because you have to go on the road for the quarterfinals,” Fletchall said. “In the past, the quarterfinals would be at a neutral site.”
Quarterfinal winners advance to Hartman Arena in Park City next Friday night. The regional final is set for a week from Saturday.
Sophomore guard Al Key, who leads the Cougars with an 18-point scoring average, has moved into fifth place on the Barton career scoring list with 1,152 points, surpassing former Barton and University of Oklahoma standout Ebi Ere. He needs 38 points to pass Jackie Jones, another former Barton and Oklahoma standout, for No. 4 on the list.
Key and teammate Andell Cumberbatch recorded double-doubles during Barton’s 79-57 road victory at Cloud County in Concordia on Wednesday night to end the regular season. Cumberbatch had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Key had 12 points and 10 assists.