An expanded conference and ramped up non-conference schedule highlight the season ahead as the Barton Community College women’s basketball program releases their 2015-16 schedule.
Taking over the reins of the women’s program, Baton Athletic Director returns to the familiar territory of the hard court sidelines, a place he has previously roamed for seven seasons as a men’s couch. Alongside fourth year assistant coach Alan Clark, the duo look to exceed last year’s 19-11 season with the aided of six returning sophomores and five fresh faces.
“It has been a priority since my inception as athletic director here at Barton to schedule quality teams in our two home classics bringing in top twenty programs each year to participate,” said Rolfs. “Our opening weekend will have a nationally ranked team, as well as, for our Thanksgiving Classic. In addition to an enriched conference schedule, our women will be battle tested early this coming season and are certainly looking forward to the challenge.”
The Lady Cougars open the season on Friday, October 30, in the Best Western Angus Inn/Pizza Hut Classic taking on Redlands Community College, an 18-12 team from the 2015 season, then wrap up the weekend hosting the same Northern Oklahoma College-Enid who knocked off the Lady Cougars by fourteen last year enroute to a 23-6 No. 25 national ranked season.
Barton will then hit the road to La Junta, Colorado, for the Otero Classic for the second straight year. Last season the Lady Cougars defeated the host Otero Junior College in overtime only to have the Wranglers return the favor a few weeks later in the Barton Gym. Taking on Otero on Friday, the Lady Cougars will then play Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday.
The Lady Cougars will return home for a midweek game on November 11 hosting the junior varsity of Tabor College before taking an hour trip to Hutchinson for the November 13-14 Hutchinson Quarterback Classic. Barton will play Friday against El Centro Community College and Saturday against Murray State College.
A mid-week contest versus Sterling College JV begins a three-game homestand which includes the November 27-28 Best Western Angus Inn and Cougar Booster Club Thanksgiving Classic. In an action packed slated weekend, the Lady Cougars open with nationally ranked Iowa Western Community College followed by a rematch date with Otero. The Reivers of Iowa Western, who fell in the quarterfinals of the national tournament to the eventual third place team, finished the 2015 campaign at 31-4 and No. 17 in the final NJCAA Division I poll.
In the restructuring move and addition of conference games, Barton will begin conference play in December as the addition of Jayhawk East schools to the mix will comprise a nineteen game conference schedule.
“Finally getting all Division I teams within the KJCCC to play each other is a great development, said Rolfs. “The heart of our schedule will be league games with nineteen in all which allow a truer champion to arise when the dust settles in early March.”
Barton will open with consecutive tough road trips the Lady Cougars haven’t won the past three trips. A December 2 trip to Pratt Community College will be the first opportunity to break the streak followed by a Saturday December 5 trek to El Dorado against second place Jayhawk West finisher Butler Community College who ended the season at 24-7 and received votes in the final national poll.
The lone home game in December comes Saturday, December 12, in hosting Cowley College out of the Jayhawk East in a rare Saturday 1:30 p.m. tip-off.
The Lady Cougars begin the post-holiday conference grind with a January 2nd road trip to Allen County Community College before hosting Independence Community College on Wednesday, January 6.
Still looming on the schedule is the always tough Jayhawk West foes, as well as, a Monday, February 1, clash with the reigning Jayhawk East champion and national qualifier Coffeyville Community College. Finishing the 2014-15 season at 26-10, the Red Ravens lost in the second round of the national tournament to the eventual national champions.
Three special home events are planned for the conference portion of the schedule. Saturday’s January 30 date with Hutchinson Community College is marked for Homecoming celebrations; On Saturday, February 6, versus Dodge City Community College, Barton Athletics will induct its sixteenth class into its Hall of Fame; and Wednesday, February 17th, date versus Cloud County Community College will recognize sophomore contributions.
Game times for Barton women’s basketball home contests are slated for 5:30 p.m. at the Barton Gym with the exception of two 1:30 p.m. tip-offs, the first coming Saturday, December 12, versus Cowley College and the Saturday, January 23rd, contest against the Saints of Seward County Community College.
Season tickets for the Lady Cougars’ home games will go on sale in late September.
Complete Barton women’s basketball schedule and additional information regarding the women’s asketball program, can be found online at www.BartonSports.com