Saturday the Colby Community College men's basketball team boarded the bus with a rare win in Great Bend after the Trojans knocked off Barton Community College 75-70.
It's just the third time in the last 32 games the Trojans beat the Cougars on their home court. Two of those wins came under head coach Rusty Grafel.
"Barton is always a tough team and a tough place to play," he said. We started great, which really helped us through the course of the game. In the second half, we found a way to make tough plays on both ends of the floor."
After trailing 2-0, Colby spent the next five minutes building a 17-6 lead. Barton regrouped and rolled off a 16-4 run to go ahead 22-21 with eight minutes left in the half. The Cougars led by as many as six but an Eric Turner three as the halftime buzzer sounded brought the Trojans within a point at 34-33.
Barton opened the second half on a 10-2 to lead by nine. Colby scored the next 11 points, sparked by 3-pointers from Rian Carter, Craig Beaudion and Joshua Edwards. At the 12:19 mark the Trojans led 47-44. The score stayed within three points until the Trojans widened the gap on consecutive trips, capped by another three by Turner for a 65-57 lead.
Colby hit 15 of 24 from the free throw line, which was good enough down the stretch to hold off a late Barton run.
The Trojans shot 49 percent from the floor (25-51) and 38.5 percent (10-26) from beyond the arc.
Beaudion had a game-high 22 points. Eddie Davis had 18 points and nine rebounds while Carter was a spark off the bench with 15 points and five assists.
Elijah Ford led the Cougars with 19 points.
The Trojans feel good with the victory at Barton after a convincing 82-58 win in Colby Jan. 16 against Northwest Tech.
"The last two games have been a step in the right direction for this team," Grafel said. "We have executed better on the defensive end which helped our confidence on the offensive end. Craig Beaudion continues to play well for us in all parts of the game, and I felt like we got a lot out of all ten of our guys though out the game. What we have to keep understanding and taking advantage of is the separation we need to make each game with the team we are up against and keep playing consistent, good basketball."
With the win, Colby moves to 11-8 overall and 6-4 in the Jayhawk Conference, just a game back of Barton (15-3, 5-3).
The Trojans are back at the Colby Community Building for a 7:30 p.m. tip Wednesday against No. 18 Seward County (16-3, 9-1).