Garden City (7-3, 3-1) vs. Ulysses (3-7, 2-3)-Tuesday, January 21-pregame 6:45 p.m.; tipoff 7 p.m.
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Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-It’s no secret that the Garden City girls have a chance to stockpile some wins before heading to Newton next week. There’s no shame in that.
The Lady Buffs, ranked No. 8 in 6A this week, aim for a third straight victory and seventh in their last eight games Tuesday as they host Ulysses at the New Garden.
Head coach David Upton was very candid on Monday in describing his team’s approach heading into his team’s last game for nine days.
“We feel we should win Tuesday,” Upton said. “We need to take care of us, and I think we’re getting much better in so many areas.”
Defense would be one of those-an area that sparked the seventh year head coach to demand that his squad revert back to the defensive minded club that won a school-record 17 games last season. And holding Hays to just 25 percent shooting is not bad at all.
In fact, Garden City has allowed just one team to shoot over 40 percent (Dodge City-42). Even in their losses, teams aren’t shooting particularly well against them.
Meantime Ulysses is still searching for their own identity. In his second season-Tim Hofferber inherited a team that had just lost one of the biggest names in program history. Kaylea Britton’s departure has spelled mediocre seasons since. But the Tigers aren’t short on talent; more so experience than anything else.
There’s track and volleyball star Jessi Arnold, who’s averaging a double-double. Then there’s Chisholm Branscum-who’s expected to be racing cross country at a major Division I school next year. But all the athletes have yet to produce any major results. Although, Ulysses is just seven days removed from upending their former Coach Andy Gillen’s Hugoton team, in the biggest upset of the conference season. The Eagles entered that game at 7-0.