May 28, 2022

Statement win; Busters knock off Otero

Audio Highlights: GCCC vs. Otero

La Junta, Co (westernkansasnews.com)-Brady Trenkle’s squad feels strongly about one thing: They should be 6-0. On Tuesday night on the road, the Busters proved it. 

Talan Whitaker scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and the Buster defense held the Rattlers to under 40 percent shooting in a 67-59 victory at the McDivitt Center. 

“These kids are in the locker room right now thinking to themselves that they should be undefeated,” Trenkle said. “But it is what it is.”

After Garden City built an early 9-3 lead, Otero’s sophomore sharp shooter Chris Golden began to heat up. The All-Region performer drilled four first-half triples, spearheading an 11-0 run that cut a six-point deficit into a four-point half-time advantage. 

Busters huddle up during a timeout in the second half

“He (Golden) torched us in the first half,” Trenkle said. “We had to make an adjustment.”

In the final 20 minutes, the Buster defense crowded Golden’s space, chasing the sophomore off the three-point line. Once they shut him down, it appeared Garden City (4-2) had sucked the life out of the Rattler attack. 

The proof: Otero hit only two field goals in a nine-minute stretch (14:40-5:40); by that time the Buster lead swelled to nine. 

But as they did just seven days ago, the Rattlers didn’t go down quietly. Golden’s fifth three pulled them within two with under three minutes to play. But this time Garden City responded; Jade Cathey, who finished with 12 points and six boards, and played only limited minutes because of foul trouble, banked in a spinning layup and was fouled by Nick Ongarato. He missed the free throw, but D’Shon Taylor secured the offensive rebound and was fouled. Taylor would sink a pair of free throws and the Busters never looked back. 

“This was a complete team effort tonight,” Trenkle said. “We needed everyone for this one. We guarded the heck out of them and it paid off. It’s the second time we’ve held a really good scoring team to 60 points or less.”

Next up: Garden City vs. York College; Friday, November 22; pregame 7:15 p.m….tip 7:30 p.m.–AM 1030 KBUF; online at www.westernkansasnews.com/kbuf and on your smart phone at kbufmobile.com; TuneinRadio App: Keyword-KBUF

Final Stats: GCCC vs. Otero

 

Women

Lady Busters blow lead; can’t convert late

Audio Highlights: GCCC vs. Otero

La Junta, CO (westernkansasnews.com)-Nick Salazar tried to get the officials attention, but they wouldn’t hear it. Whatever the case may be, the first-year Head Coach watched his team’s double-digit, second-half deficit evaporate. 

Haley Martinez buried three big, second-half threes; finished with 13 points-Danica Shipley netted a game-high 18 and the Rattlers turned a 12-point deficit into a 71-70 victory over Garden City on Tuesday night at the McDivitt Center. 

But it was the final 60 seconds that got Salazar a bit fired up. 

With his team trailing by one following a missed free throw by Stephanie Rey, Shaqunna Collins went over to referee Suzie Gilbert to call a timeout. But Gilbert apparently never heard the call and time would eventually expire with the Busters not able to get a shot off. 

“It should never have come to that,” Salazar said. “We had plenty of chances down the stretch to make plays and we didn’t.”

After watching that 12-point lead turn into a five-point hole with under five minutes to play, Salazar called a timeout. The brief rest rejuvenated the Buster attack as Garden City reeled off six unanswered points to take a one-point lead. The next three minutes would see the lead exchange hands multiple times. But it was a Brittany Gutierrez bucket with 30 seconds left that gave Otero (4-3) a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. 

Garden City (3-5) had a chance to win the game in the final seconds after Loysha Morris grabbed a missed one-and-one free throw attempt by Rey. But after Garden City wasn’t granted a timeout, Morris tried to get something off. She found Jasmine Christmas at the top of the key, who quickly pitched it off to Allegria Chisholm. The red-shirt sophomore, who finished the night with 16 points and three rebounds, drilled what would have been a game-winning three. But the buzzer had already sounded and the Rattlers secured their 99th home win in their last 115 attempts. 

Next up: Garden City at Butler; Tuesday, November 26; pregame 5:15 p.m….tip 5:30 p.m.–AM 1030 KBUF; online at www.westernkansasnews.com/kbuf and on your smart phone at kbufmobile.com; TuneinRadio App: Keyword-KBUF

Final Stats: GCCC vs. Otero

 

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