The following is part seven in a summer series of some of the most memorable moments in Barton athletics. This week is ‘Past Mini’s’ featuring three moments in men’s basketball.
A BEATING FOR THE FOR BOOKS
It was February 19, 2005.
Things had not been going so good for the Barton Community College men’s basketball team. A month earlier the team had been placed on probation and banned from post season play.
A rigorous non-conference schedule included Northeastern JC (Colo), Coffeyville twice, Iowa Western, Westchester (NY), West Plains (Mo) and Cowley. Barton was at just 5-8 at the break.
Two conference losses to start Jayhawk West play had Barton, who had played for the Region VI title the previous year, 5-10 at that point.
The Cougars and coach Dave ‘Soupy’ Campbell were able to gather themselves a bit and, by the time mid-February rolled around, were vying for a finish in the top half of the conference.
Barton was led by sophomore standout Antanas Kavaliauskas. He would eventually end the season with a double-double average of 17.6 points and 10.0 rebounds. Kavaliauskas would go on to star at Texas A&M and is currently one of the top pro players in his home country of Lithuania.
On this Saturday evening at the Barton Gym the only thing that mattered was Hutchinson was coming to the Barton Gym. No matter what the record it was a big game.
The Blue Dragons were not having a great season either. Hutchinson was 15-8 overall and 5-6 in the West. Barton was 10-15 and 5-6 in the West as well.
What happened over the next 40 minutes of basketball was truly one for the record books.
Barton shot out of the gates to grab an 8-1 lead in front of the crowd of nearly 2000. The margin would get as high as 13 in the opening half and at intermission the Cougars led 37-28.
Things got ugly for Hutchinson in a hurry in the second half.
Barton rolled out of the half on a 17-2 run as six different Cougars scored. When Kavaliauskas scored on a pass from Caleb Tegtmeier, Barton had a 54-30 lead with 11:28 to play.
It wasn’t over.
The lead would get to 59-32 on another Kavaliauskas bucket, this time on an assist from Marcus Barrett with 10:20 left.
It reached 72-42 on a Dylan Channel 3-pointer with 4:10 remaining and when the final buzzer sounded Barton had handed Hutchinson an 81-48 drilling.
It was the largest loss Hutchinson ever suffered to Barton and fourth largest loss in the Blue Dragon’s long history. It was the worst defeat in 46 years for Hutchinson.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ‘O’
It was March 12, 2007.
After serving two years of probation Barton was finally back in the post season – and making the most of it.
Leading the way was the trio of Thiago Cordeiro, Ivan Evans and, in the clutch, Omar Johnson.
On this night Barton was taking on Dodge City for the right to advance to the Region VI title game and a date with Coffeyville.
Barton had reached the semifinals after a thrilling win over Seward. The hero in that game was ‘O’ – Omar Johnson. Johnson gave Barton the lead with 39 seconds when the diminutive 5-7 point guard hit a high-arching jumper over the out-stretched arms of two Saint players low in the left baseline as the shot clock ran out.
Freshman Chris Jackson would seal the deal with two free throws with 11 seconds left in front of his hometown crowd in Wichita at Koch Arena. Seward would get off a desperation 3-pointer after losing control of the ball and Barton in the semifinals.
Waiting in the semifinals was Dodge City – a team that had beaten Barton twice in the regular season. Dodge won in overtime in Dodge and 45-43 at Barton. The Conquistadors were the Jayhawk West champions and were 26-5 on the season.
Barton brought a 26-6 mark to the game.
Barton seized control of the game from the outset and led by as many as 15 when Evans hit a jumper in the paint for a 25-10 lead with 3:26 left in the opening half.
Barton maintained its double digit lead throughout most of the second half and still led 54-44 with 3:16 to play.
But Barton would proceed to turn the ball over on four straight trips down the floor and Dodge City made them pay by scoring on every one of those turnovers. In fact Dodge City scored 10 points off those four turnovers thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Angel Santiago and two layups by Jarray Mathews.
When Mathews stole a pass by Johnson and drove down for a layup with 55 seconds left Dodge City had tied the game at 54-all.
But not too worry. Barton had the ‘O’.
Not only had Johnson hit a big shot the previous night, he had delivered a buzzer-beating three earlier in the year to beat Brown Mackie, 95-92 in overtime.
So there was little doubt who was going to get the ball with a chance to take the lead in this one.
But first Barton had to just get a shot off – something they hadn’t done in nearly three minutes.
The possession wasn’t pretty as Barton struggled to get the ball over midcourt. With the shot clock winding down, Johnson found himself doubled-team some 25 feet from the basket.
Johnson was able to dip and spin for an opening, then floated up an off-balance 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. The ball hit nothing but the bottom of the net with 15 seconds left, giving Barton a 57-54 lead and sending Barton back to the Region VI title game.
Coffeyville would win that title game, 69-61, and finish third in the nation.
THE MOST AMAZING 20 SECONDS IN SHOOT-OUT HISTORY
It was December 1, 2007.
The now defunct Jayhawk Shoot-Out had a marquee matchup set for its Saturday night feature: Barton and Coffeyville. These two teams had met numerous times in the post season in prior years but with the quirky rotation and politicking the two didn’t seem to meet up in the Shoot-Out very often.
This was one of those years they did.
The previous season saw the two teams do battle in the Region VI championship game. Coffeyville won that contest, 69-61, and went on to a third place finish at the NJCAA Tournament.
The teams entered the game with a combined record of 15-3. Barton was 8-1 while Coffeyville was 7-2 and ranked No. 12 in the country. Nellis West Gym in Coffeyville was near full.
Third-year coach Craig Fletchall watched as Coffeyville jumped to an early lead and controlled the game. The Red Ravens went to halftime up 46-34.
Things looked even bleaker with 12:25 to play in the contest and Coffeyville blowing Barton completely out of the gym at 73-55.
But bit by bit Barton whittled away at the lead: A Qa’rraan Calhoun 3-pointer, some Chris Jackson free throws and a Javon Parris layup. The Cougars kept working away. Jackson made it a 10-point game with a trey at the 7:40 mark cutting the lead to 79-69.
But Barton never seriously threatened. Coffeyville pushed the lead back to 14 and still lead 92-84 with just more than a minute to play.
That was when Calhoun buried a 3-pointer to make it 92-87 – the closest Barton had been since the first half.
Barton had a chance to pull even closer but failed and when Daniel Payne made two free throws with 23 seconds to play, Coffeyville looked to have sealed the deal with a 94-87 lead.
Then things got crazy – real crazy.
Chip Steven quickly dribbled the ball down the court, flipped the ball to Scott Schneider who tossed it to Jackson 27 feet from the basket.
Jackson launched the long trey from left of the top of the key – BANG. Coffeyville 94, Barton 90 with 15 seconds left.
Coach Fletchall called a quick timeout.
Barton immediately fouled on the inbounds pass sending Terrance Hill to the line. He made the first but missed the second. Calhoun grabbed the rebound and flipped the ball to Parris near midcourt. Parris drove the lane and found an open Steven in the deep left corner.
Steven fired a high-arching 3-pointer that rolled in with eight seconds to play. Coffeyville 95, Barton 93.
Out of time outs Barton quickly set up its full court pressure as Coffeyville took its time getting to the ball.
Schneider got a hand on the inbounds pass. The ball floated in the lane and a mad scramble ensued. Jackson and Parris would leap for the ball along with Coffeyville’s Lucas Lamb. The three collided, Parris fell to the floor and the ball bounded to Calhoun just outside the 3-point arch.
Calhoun grabbed the ball just right of the top of the key elevated over the outstretch arm of Lamb and fired.
Coach Fletchall shuffled with anticipation in front of Matt Simmons, assistant coach Jordan Watson and Wagner Bueno – all on the Barton bench – as the ball stayed in the air from what seemed like 10 seconds.
It finally came down with a splash in the Barton net with one second left. By this time Fletchall was on the floor dancing near the timeline. Watson had scissor kicked his way to a 24 inch vertical jump and Simmons started to sprint on the floor.
Suddenly realizing there was one tick left all retreated quickly to the bench area as Lamb took a three-quarter court pass and quickly tossed up a desperation 30-footer that hit the back rim and fell to the floor.
Ball game – Barton 96, Coffeyville 95.