The Barton Bears (3-2, 3-2) dropped both games of a rare duo of conference games played on back-to-back nights against the Marked Tree Indians (8-0, 2-0) by a score of 72-68 and the Earle Bulldogs (4-4, 1-0) by a margin of 75-68 last Thursday and Friday.
Barton went on the road to face the Indians and got off to a rough start, with Marked Tree racing out to a 22-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Bears spent the rest of the night trying to catch up.
The Bears had it down into single digits at 36-27 at the half. Playing their trademark man-to-man defense, the Bears trailed only by eight at 49-41 at the end of the third.
In what BHS Coach Greg Poole called a great basketball environment, Barton made its run in the fourth. The Bears got hot on offense and forced turnovers on defense, but the 27 points in the fourth quarter just weren’t enough as the undefeated Indians turned back the Bears’ upset bid on the road.
Terran Williams and Hykeem Hancock led the Bears with 19 points each against Marked Tree.
Earle 75, Barton 68
Against the Bulldogs, the Bears had their chances. Barton led by one at the half and by as many as 11 points in the third quarter before the Bulldog full-court press began to wear down the Bears, who usually only rotate seven players.
Poole said, “We had some turnovers against their press and we struggled from the free throw line. Playing our third game in four days, we might have been a little tired at the end.”
Hancock led the Bears against Earle with a season-high 39 points. Williams added 12 points.
Lady Bears win by Forfeit over Marked Tree
The Lady Bears (1-4, 1-4) picked up a forfeit win on Thursday against Marked Tree (2-11, 1-2). The Lady Indians did not have enough players available on Thursday.
Lady Bears suffer 87-23 loss to Earle Lady Bulldogs
Against the Lady Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0), Barton was without point guard Astyn Ingram and had difficulty against Earle’s full-court pressure. Earle had the mercy rule in effect the entire fourth quarter. Jennifer Williams led Barton with 15 points in the loss.
Barton’s next games will be Thursday in the HWH Invitation at the CHS Gymnasium. The Lady Bears will take on Pine Bluff Dollarway at 2:15 in the opening game of the tournament. The Bears have the nightcap on opening day at 8:30 when Barton takes on the Marianna Trojans.