Needing the win to secure a home playoff game, the Barton Community College women’s basketball team shook off a pesky Cloud County Community College team for an 86-79 victory Wednesday at the Barton Gym. Leading for most of the game, a pivotal 7-1 stretch in the waning moments pushed Barton’s advantage out to eight with 1:34 to play as the Lady Cougars would hold on to secure its first home playoff game since 2011. Wrapping up the fourth seed out of the Jayhawk West, Barton improves to 8-8 in conference play and 18-10 for the regular season while Cloud County finishes in the eighth spot at 4-12 and 11-18 on the season. The Lady Cougars will begin Region VI playoffs on Saturday with free admission to fans as Barton welcomes Northwest Kansas Technical College to the Barton Gym for the 5:30 p.m. first round tip-off.
Barton also received career high individual achievements and impacts on the school record book in the historical night. One of two players to record a double-double Wednesday night, Phikala Anthony struck for career highs in scoring and free throw shooting while setting and moving up the historical chart. The sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee, led three Lady Cougars in scoring with a career high twenty-nine points in recording her seventh double-double of the season hauling down thirteen rebounds, one off her career high mark. Indiah Cauley also had a monster night with nineteen points and eleven rebounds to record her second double-double of her freshman season. Ciera Lampe closed out her final regular season game at the Barton Gym knocking down 3-of-7 behind the arc to reach double-figures for the third straight game finishing with thirteen points. Anthony and Cauley led in steals with two each while Anthony led a nineteen assist night for the Lady Cougars with five.
Breannah Bretches led Cloud County in scoring with eighteen points as the Thunderbirds lost their fourth straight conference contest. Tai Nittler came off the bench to score fourteen while Luize Skrastina added thirteen. Kimi Lindshield grabbed a team high seven rebounds with eight points while Katelyn Thomson led with three thefts. The Lady Thunderbirds dished out sixteen assists with six players have two or more led by the three dimes each from Nittler, Kristina Farber, and Macy Davis.
Sinking 15-of-16 from the charity stripe, Anthony recorded the second most free throws made in a game and third most attempts. Anthony also took over the top spot on the single season free throw chart with 154 makes surpassing Barton Hall of Famer Wendy Okeson who sank 153 in the 1999-2000 season. Now within twenty-five of Okeson on the career chart as well, Anthony’s 228 made shots moved past Katasha Witcher’s 221 set in the 1995-1997 seasons for the second spot on the chart.
In addition to the moving up in made free throws, Anthony dots the charts on attempted free throws as well. Anthony’s sixteen attempts was the fourth time a Lady Cougar attempted as many, good for the third spot on the single game chart. With 195 attempts on the season, Anthony trails only Witcher’s 196 and Okeson’s 206 while also trailing the duo in career attempts. Breaking a third place tie with Netanya Jackson, Anthony’s career attempts of 297 trails Okeson’s 344 and Witcher’s top spot of 354.
Now at 79% from the stripe, Anthony solidified her third spot in best single season percentage as Alisha Fanshier’s 82.5% in 2009-2010 and Andrea Barber’s 82.4% in 2006-2007 lead the chart.
On a team historical note, Anthony and the Lady Cougars are on the verge of setting the school record in free throw percentage throughout the season. Despite a subpar overall night of 22-of-34 from the stripe, the Lady Cougars bring their season total to 454 out of 633, good for 71.7% far exceeding the 70% mark set in the 2006-07 season.
In its previous meeting against Northwest Kansas, Barton was playing its second consecutive game and took twenty minutes getting cranked up before emphatically blowing out the Lady Mavericks 91-51 back on November 19 in Goodland. Trailing 30-29 at the break, the Lady Cougars held the Mavericks to twenty-one second half points while scoring sixty-two of their own to run away with the forty point victory. Indiah Cauley and Keneisha Winfrey, who was lost for the season ten days later, led four Lady Cougars in double digits with sixteen points. Katrina Roenfeldt scored ten and Phikala Anthony recorded her then second double-double of the season with ten points and twelve rebounds. Leticia Rodriguez was the lone Lady Maverick in double figures with twenty points while Kali Zimmerman had seven rebounds as Barton controlled the boards 55-31.