BY MIKE MARZOLF
Special to the Tribune
DODGE CITY – The cushion is gone.
Sole possession of the top spot in the Jayhawk Conference slipped away Saturday afternoon for the Barton men’s basketball team at the Civic Center in Dodge City.
Following a 66-56 loss to Dodge City, the Cougars are no longer leading the Jayhawk Conference. Barton is still tied in the loss column for the lead but have slipped 1/2 game behind Neosho County.
Barton dropped its second game in the last three outings to fall to 6-2 in the Jayhawk. The Cougars are 14-5 overall. Dodge City is on their heels at 5-3 in the conference and are also 14-5 overall.
The conference leader is now Neosho, who sits at 7-2. Currently four teams have three losses including Dodge. Also in that group is Hutchinson at 6-3. Seward County and Pratt are 5-3.
Saturday is was turnovers that was the downfall of the Cougars. Barton turned the ball over 20 times in the loss.
Despite the ball handling woes, Barton was in position late the game.
Trailing 54-45 the Cougars went on a run. Dorn hit a trey and Eddie Hunt added a jumper to make it a 56-50 game. Dequandre Dentmond followed with dunk and with five minutes to play Barton was as close as it had been since halftime at 56-52.
That, however, would be as close as Barton would get. Dodge City came right back with a 9-0 run put the game out of reach.
All 10 Cougars scored in the contest with Ezekiel Charles the only to reach double figures. Charles ended the game with 13 points while Dentmond led Barton with 10 rebounds.
The 56 points was the lowest scoring output of the season for the Cougars.
James Newton led three Dodge City players in double digits with a game-high 18 points.
Barton will look to get back on track with a pair of home games this week. The Cougars will take on Colby Wednesday at the Barton Gym then host Seward Saturday.
Colby will bring a 5-4 Jayhawk record to Great Bend and 12-7 overall. The Trojans have been near the top of the conference all season but, like Barton, have lost two of their last three games. Colby was hammered Saturday at home against Hutchinson, 96-69.
Tip for Wednesday is set for 7:30 p.m.