Garden City, KS (www.westernkansasnews.com) – Ranked No. 1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll since the Christmas break and riding a 23 game win streak looked unstoppable. However, streaks are made to be broken, as the Hutchinson Lady Blue Dragons fell to the Garden City Lady Busters last night 64-62 in overtime at Perryman Athletic Complex in Garden City. The last loss for the Lady Blue Dragons was a year ago in March when they lost to Trinity Valley Texas in the National Championship game at the Bi-Centennial Center in Salina, Kansas. Until this week, the Garden City Lady Busters had graced the NJCAA top twenty rankings for most of the season, with their highest spot at No. 10.
Garden City knew it was going to be a tough task to beat the No. 1 Lady Blue Dragons and they would have to play at a high level, shoot the ball well, defend with heart and intensity and take care of the Basketball. The Lady Busters did all of those things and stayed close down the stretch and even had a chance to win it in regulation with the game tied at 55 each. Garden City had three players reach double figures on the night, with sophomore Tamara Jones throwing down 18 points and collected a double-double with 10 boards, sophomore Deni Jacobs added 17 and sophomore point guard Mikel Chinn chipped in 11, including the final two free throws that sealed the win and she also got the late steal to complete the upset victory in overtime at 64-62. It was a great effort for the Lady Busters with everyone contributing, as Jacobs had 8 rebounds and Nicole Young grabbed 7 boards with a couple of key blocks. Lady Buster head Coach Alaura Sharp talks about her teams level of effort and focus in the huge victory that sends Garden City to 21-3 on the season and 7-3 in the Jayhawk West.
The Garden City Community College men also faced the No. 1 team in the nation last night at Peryman Athletic complex facing Hutchinson, but losing to the Blue Dragons 62-57. The Buster men have struggled on the year with several of the Jayhawk West opponents and lost some close games, but they were certainly not intimidated by the No. 1 Blue Dragons and gave it their best shot to match the women’s upset of the No. 1 team but came up short. Garden City had leads of 8 points in each half and led for most of the game, but down the stretch of the last 7 minutes of the game, the Blue Dragons top player, freshman Kadeem Allen took over scoring 16 2nd half points and finished with 21 on the night to lead the Blue Dragons to the five point Victory and push their record to 24-0. Busters head Coach Rand Chappell comments on the effort and intensity with which his team played against the No. 1 team.
Both Buster teams will now prepare for the 2nd meeting with Barton County Saturday night in Great Bend. Be sure to catch all the action on your “Voice of the Busters”, on AM 1030 KBUF and the Live Video Webcast at www.westernkansasnews.com.