Shaking off a slow start Wednesday at the Barton Gym, the Barton Community College men’s basketball team pulled away for an 81-69 conference victory over Garden City Community College. The Cougars improve to 2-0 in Jayhawk play and 14-2 overall while Garden City suffered its third straight loss to open up conference action dropping to 0-3 and 11-6 overall. Barton will have its biggest test of the season traveling to El Dorado on Saturday to take on No. 4 Butler Community College in a 4:00 p.m. tip at the Power Plant.
Tied at twelve with 13:14 remaining in the first half, the Cougars went cold the next three minutes allowing Garden City to build a nine point lead. Kenny Enoch‘s made shot behind the arc with 10:16 to play did little to slow the momentum as the Busters built the lead out to ten over the next eight minutes.
An old fashioned three point play by Enoch followed by a bomb from reserve Jordan Windholz keyed a pivotal stretch capped by Tevin Bailey‘s 16′ jumper as the Cougars’ 10-0 run closed out first half action only trailing by eight.
With Uncle Momentum on the side of the Cougars coming out of the locker room, Jalin Barnes‘ three point play spurred a 10-3 stretch to cut the deficit to one just three minutes into the second frame. Two minutes later another Enoch’s three-ball surged the Cougars ahead by two for the first Barton lead since the 13:39 mark of the first half. The teams traded points through the next five minutes with Garden City having their last lead following a Tyrell Springer bucket with 9:59 remaining.
A jumper by Barnes and a steal and free throws by Ahmad Walker and Khalil Gracey then regained and took the Barton lead out to four. Garden City cut the deficit to as low as one twice more but the Cougars owned the last seven minutes.
Ten combined points by Walker and Barnes in the next two minutes ballooned the lead out to eleven but free throws by Springer and Jonathan Bell brought the Busters back to within seven with four minutes left.
Four straight by Walker all but ended the Busters’ hope and Barton sealed the victory in the final moment knocking down three of four free throws.
Ahmad Walker followed up his twenty-six point effort two days prior in Dodge City with a twenty-five point effort to lead four Cougars in double digit scoring. Coming off a career high twenty-five on Monday, Jalin Barnes scored thirteen with Kenny Enoch and Khalil Gracey adding eleven each. Walker led a 35-34 rebound advantage with seven while also leading the team with six assists and four steals.
Jeremee Bennett dropped seventeen in part to 4-of-7 from behind the arc to lead the Busters while also sharing team high rebound honors with Gage Loy with five each. Davon Anderson added sixteen points off the bench but the third best rebounder in the Jayhawk West was held to four boards below his average finishing with four.