April 16, 2024

Hold on tight; Buffs finish 5th






Final Highlights: 

Valley Center, Kansas (westernkansasnews.com)-There’s no question that Garden City Head Coach Jacy Holloway would rather have been playing in the 7:15 championship game against two-time defending state champion Blue Valley Northwest. But maybe a consolation title was just what the doctor ordered. 

Hunter Delgado scored a season-high 18 points-drilling three 3-pointers, and the Buffs overcame a five-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to beat Topeka Seaman 53-51 in the fifth place game of the 2014 January Jam Saturday afternoon at Hornets Field House. 

“Coach Leader and Coach Eslinger both told me before the game that Hunter was feeling pretty good,” Holloway said afterwards. “Obviously they were right.”

Delgado began his terrific day scoreless through the first 7:55 of the opening frame. But with the clock winding down, Delgado used a crossover dribble to free himself; elevated and sank a straight-on three from two feet behind the line. It was sweet considering the senior was just 1-for-his-last 22 from downtown coming into the game. The basket gave the Buffs a one-point lead. 

His second long ball came towards the end of the second half-sparking a 5-0 Garden City run to close the half. The Buffs took a 24-20 lead into the locker room. 

Delgado began the third quarter with another three; this time the senior used a jab step to free himself and hesitated before the shot. Still-the result was the same: The ball splashing through the net giving Garden City their largest lead of the game 27-20. 

But the Vikings (4-7) responded with their own barrage. It started when Ryan Zaferjahn canned a wide-open three from the top of the key. Moments later, Hunter Poort’s layup made it five straight Topeka Seaman points. Then after Delgado sank two free throws, Reid Morgart scored on an easy layup inside-cutting Garden City’s once seven-point advantage to just two. Then Chase Bauer hit back-to-back triples-sparking a 23-15 Vikings advantage in the third period. 

Trailing 46-41 with under five minutes to play, Garden City (8-5, 2-1) would go to work. First it was Akil Love-wheeling his way to the rim around Reid Fehr to bring the Buffs within three. On the next possession, Koster used a screen from Caleb Tramp to get the basket–cutting the deficit to one with 4:58 remaining. 

Following a timeout, Tramp’s and-one layup gave the Buffaloes the lead back; the free throw made it 48-45. But the Vikings refused to go away and caught the Buffs at 51 after Morgart’s two free throws in the final minute. 

After another Holloway timeout, the Buffs isolated Delgado at the top of the key with eight seconds to play. The senior lowered his head and drove through the lane-drawing a foul on Bauer. Delgado had no problem sinking to clutch free throws to give Garden City a 53-51 lead with five seconds remaining in the final quarter. 

Seaman would have one last chance to win it, but Bauer’s three clanked off the front rim from the right wing. The Buffs closed the game on a 12-5 run and held the Vikings without a field goal for the final 5:30. 

“It was enough to finish the game,” Holloway said. 

Enough might be just what the Buffs needed to springboard them forward.

Next up: Garden City vs. Ulysses-Tuesday, January 28-7 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM KWKR and westernkansasnews.com

Final Stats: GCHS vs. Topeka Seaman


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