Sterling, CO (westernkansasnews.com)-Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. On Saturday afternoon, Brady Trenkle’s team skated through on that exact premise.
Tyrell Springer scored 22 points, and Garden City staved off a furious rally to squeak past the Northeastern All Stars 87-85 at the Bank of Colorado Center.
“Those guys are pros,” Trenkle said afterwards. “They know how to score.”
Even in a 20-point loss on Friday night, the All Stars, directed by former Dayton University star DJ Stelley, scored 56 second-half points against Northeastern; so scoring wasn’t an issue for the veteran-laden squad.
That offensive firepower staked the All Stars to an early 11-point lead. But a 17-2 Buster run gave the men in gold a one-point edge going into the locker room.
“Our guys didn’t have their legs,” Trenkle said. “That was clear. They battled the whole game.”
In the second half, the lead changed hands only twice, but the Busters had to hang on for dear life.
Kelvin Franklin’s miracle three with 1:15 to play tied the game at 85. Then free throw shooting, which has been one of Garden City’s best traits early in the season, nearly cost them; especially in the waning seconds.
After Franklin missed a pair of charity shots with less than 10 seconds remaining on a questionable foul call on Tidell Pierre, Davon Anderson grabbed the rebound and was fouled. All he had to do was hit both free throws and the game was over. But the sophomore left the pair short, leaving the door wide open for a potential upset.
With 2.8 seconds to play, the All Stars had a chance to send the game to overtime. But Derek Lemuel, who caught the ball 10 feet from the basket, lost the handle as he spun right, and the game was over.
“I think we got better today,” Trenkle said. “But we looked sluggish. I don’t know what it is about early games, but our guys aren’t very good before 7:30. But we needed this, and we can’t wait to get home.”
Richie Spiller got out of his scoring funk-pouring in 11 points on 5-of-8 from the floor. Anderson added 11 points and six boards.
Franklin scored a game-high 25 points on 23 shots to lead the All Stars. His brother Stephen netted 22 on an efficient 7-of-14 shooting. Lamuel added 14.
Next up: Garden City vs. Clarendon-Tuesday, November 25-7:30 p.m. on AM 1030 KBUF; kbufmobile.com and mobile app: KBUF