May 16, 2022

Opening night for GCHS

Garden City boys (0-0) vs TMP (0-0)-pregame 6:15 p.m.; tip off 6:30 p.m.; Garden City girls (0-0) vs. TMP (0-0) following boys game

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Hays, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-It’s been eight months since David Upton watched his 17-win squad lose to a Kelley Snodgrass’s four-win Dodge City club in the 6A sub-state semifinals. And it’s not something he’s about to reflect on. 

“I’ve talked to the girls about it; we’ve moved passed it,” Upton said. “It’s all about this year.”

Well this year starts Thursday night at Hays Middle school against Thomas Moore Prep, a team that appears to be a shell of its former self. 

Rose McFarland is in her second year back with the Monarchs after leading the program from 1990-1994. Her team won only six games last year. 

“We’re young, so it should be interesting,” McFarland said. 

They face a Garden City team that is coming off it’s best season in program history. But make no mistake about it, this team isn’t resting on what it did last year. The goal is the state tournament; they’ve been there twice under Upton. 

The boys are really the element of the unknown. Entering his fourth season as Head Coach, Jacy Holloway returns basically all of his starting lineup; that is except for leading scorer Bo Banner and spark plug Austin Terpstra. 

But in steps Caleb Tramp, who wiggled his way into Holloway’s lineup towards the end of the year.

Holloway will match wits with veteran head coach Joe Hertel, who’s been roaming near the TMP bench for nearly three decades. And there have been plenty of highlights in 29 years. 

As a No. 7 seed in the 2005 3A state tournament, the Monarchs knocked off then No. 1 Minneapolis in the finals. Two years later, TMP returned to the title game, this time walking away with a 4A crown. But the last few years have been anything but glorious. 

The team averaged only 52.1 points per game in 2012-2013, that’s good for third worst during Hertel’s tenure. In fact they haven’t had a player average over 13 ppg in more than six years. 

Should be an interesting test on opening night. 

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