Despite both teams putting together competitive starts, the Allen County men and women fell at home to Barton County.
The women lost 66-56 while the men got hammered by the No. 7 Cougars 95-79. Both teams drop to 6-17 overall and 4-15 in Jayhawk Conference play. The loss makes three-straight for the Lady Devils while the men have lost seven-straight.
The women started off strong, going back and forth with the Lady Cougars to take a quick 11-10 lead in the first quarter. A 9-0 run from Barton put them up 19-11. Slowly but surely the Lady Devils fought their way back and on the back of a 9-2 run, got within four by the half.
Throughout the third quarter, the Lady Devils kept it tight but never seemed to get over the hump.
They got within two in the fourth quarter before another Barton run pushed the lead out to double-digits and by that point, it was too late for the Lady Devils to get back in it.
“My heart breaks because I thought our energy was so good,” Lady Devil head coach Todd Buchanan said. “I felt like we really attacked them and put them on their heels. That’s the way I want to play and we haven’t always done that… I was really proud of our effort and togetherness.”
Allen County went to the free throw line 20 times in the second half and only came away with 11 points while Barton went 10/11.
Jakira Wilson was on fire all game, recording 19 points and six assists while Kamri Summons and Destiny Pittman each had 10 points.
“I thought (Jakira played tremendous,” Buchanan said. “When she comes in and plays with that energy and tenacity, it shows how special of a talent she is.”
The men had a similar start but the rest of the game played out much differently.
Earlier in the season, they walked away with a three-point win in Great Bend and it was apparent that there was zero fear of the seventh-ranked Cougars as they went toe-to-toe for the first 10 minutes, leading by as much as six.
But Barton’s talent and the Red Devil’s shallow bench due to illness and injury caught up with them and the Cougars pushed their lead to 13 by halftime.
The second half saw things get worse as Barton ballooned its lead to as much as 35 before the Red Devils started fighting back.
Led by a 14-point second-half effort from freshman Rayce Hoepker and 10 points from sophomore Jacob Patterson, the Red Devils chipped away to just a 16-point deficit by the end of the game.
“I thought for the first 12 minutes we were the better team,” head coach Andy Shaw said. “And then they went on a run and we didn’t really have anything to come back at them. We kept playing but we just didn’t have enough.”
Sophomore Jordan Marshall had 20 points in the loss followed by 17 for Hoepker, 14 for Patterson, and 11 for Perry Carroll. Notably, sophomore Tyler Williams scored just four points after leading his team with 26 in their win at Barton.
“We’re down to 11 guys right now,” Shaw said. “And that’s part of it but other guys need to step up. We’ve got to go get one. We can’t pout because no one in this league will feel sorry for us. There aren’t any easy nights at all. So we need to go get one.”
Allen County will hit the road on Wednesday to take on Cowley County, a team the men lost to 63-54 back in early December and the women lost 75-51. The Cowley women are ranked 22nd in the country.
PHOTO: Freshman center Arial Elzie backs down a Barton defender in the Lady Devil’s loss on Saturday. REGISTER/TIMOTHY EVERSON
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