June 16, 2024

Bumpy ride; Busters split at Pratt


Final men’s highlights: GCCC vs. Pratt

Pratt, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-Change is never a bad thing; Garden City Head Coach Brady Trenkle recognized that on the road Wednesday night. 

The first-year head man altered his starting lineup for the first time since before the Christmas break. The result: A 62-61 heart-stopping win over Pratt at the Beaver Dome. 

“The luck was finally on our side,” Trenkle said after the game. “I’m proud of my guys. This is a good rebound; this is a tough place to play.”

The lineup change included D’Shon Taylor, John Bell and Miles banks, who replaced Talan Whitaker in the starting five. It worked out well. 

Playing in one of the toughest venues in the Jayhawk Conference didn’t seem to bother the Busters (20-8, 6-6), who stormed out of the gates with 16 straight points; taking a 16-3 lead with 12:30 to play in the half. The Beavers looked shell shocked; not only because of the score, but just how Garden City was doing it. 

The Busters drilled a season-high eight 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes. In fact, Trenkle’s squad was 8-of-10 from long range at the intermission. They finished 11-of-19. 

“It was different guys,” Trenkle said with a smile. “I think five or six guys hit a three. It’s what we work on with our guards in practice.”

That lead swelled to as many as 19 early in the second half after Jeremy Wilson’s left-handed hook shot gave Garden City a 49-30 advantage. That’s when Pratt (17-11, 7-5) finally made their move. 

The Beavers used a steady diet of Kevin Allen in the final 15 minutes. The sophomore went to work on Whitaker-scoring 13 second-half points. He also got help from Kaion Seales, who’s three from the top of the key with 4:00 remaining pulled Pratt to within three at 57-54. 

After a Reuben King triple pushed the Buster lead to six, Allen countered a minute later with a spinning, left-hand hook shot that cut the lead back to three. He followed that up with a pair of free throws to make it 60-59 with under two minutes remaining. King’s layup extended the Garden City lead back to three and set up a wild last 60 seconds. 

With the Busters back in possession and the shot clock off, most of the stomping fans at the Beaver Dome expected Pratt to foul. But a hard trap on Jalen Variste forced the freshman guard into a turnover, where Thomas Tshikaya gathered the loose ball, raced to the rim- where he was intentionally fouled by Tiodell Pierre. 

Tshikaya missed both free throws before the Beavers took the ball out underneath. Allen was fouled on the inbounds pass and had a chance to tie game at the line. After hitting the first to make it a 62-61 game, the sophomore air balled the second and the Busters grabbed the rebound. King was fouled and had a chance to ice the game. 

But as has been the case all year, King missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Seals grabbed the loose ball. With no timeouts and six seconds to play, Javis Flynn raced across half court and found a wide open Robert Davis on the wing. The freshman used a ball fake to get Variste in the air and unloaded a three that appeared to be right on line. But the ball ping ponged out, and the Busters escaped the Beaver Dome with a one-point victory. 

“We came in and we guarded,” Trenkle said. “We hit shots.” 

King led the Busters with 13 points; Variste and Taylor added 10. Allen finished with 19 for Pratt. Taylor Schieber had 12; Kaion Seals 11 and Deshun Roberts chipped in 10. 

Notes: Garden City notched their 20th win of the season; first time they’ve done that since 2011. 

Final Stats: GCCC men vs. Pratt 2


Final Highlights: GCCC vs. Pratt

Entering Wednesday night’s game in the Beaver Dome, Garden City had a golden chance to wrap up the third seed in the Jayhawk West. Unfortunately for them Pratt had other ideas. 

Maddie Pendry knocked down a season-high four 3-pointers-finishing with 22 points as the Lady Beavers stormed out to a 17-0 lead and coasted to a 72-49 win over the Lady Busters. 

Garden City, trailed by as many as 27, shot a season worst 29 percent from the field on 17-of-58. Loysha Morris led the Busters with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting. The rest of her team was a combined 12-of-46. 

Tatiana Grant notched her 43rd straight double-figure scoring games with 16 points and eight rebounds. 

Next up: Garden City vs. Dodge City-5:30 p.m. on AM 1030 KBUF and westernkansasnews.com

Final Stats: GCCC women vs. Pratt 2




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