December 4, 2022

Busters down Dodge; earn spot in conference semis

Final Highlights: GCCC vs. Dodge City

Wichita, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-The last time Garden City and Dodge City met up a week and a half ago, Busters Coach Nick Salazar felt his team had no energy. Fast forward to the Region VI quarterfinals, the first-year skipper’s squad could have been the poster children for a Red Bull commercial. 

Shauqunna collins and Loysha Morris each scored 15 points as the rejuvenated Busters repeatedly got out on the break and blitzed through the Lady Conquistadors 64-50 Wednesday night at Koch Arena. 

“The key to this game was us guarding,” Salazar said afterwards. “We got up in their face, and they never responded.”

With that eight-point loss to Mark James team on February 22 firmly etched in their memory, Garden City (18-13, 8-3) stepped on Dodge City’s throats early-using a 22-2 run to turn a 9-7 game into a 31-9 rout with under four minutes to play in the half. 

“They couldn’t stay in front of us,” Salazar said. “They couldn’t guard us at all.”

The Busters appeared to be on their way to another blowout win before Keiwanna Patterson’s, straight-on three banked in-sparking a 7-0 Lady Conqs run to close the first half. They trailed 31-16 at the break. 

The run continued on the opening possession of the second half when Kelli Tolar’s driving, left-handed layup fell through-pulling Dodge City (17-15, 3-11) within 13. But every Dodge City rally was met with Buster resistance as Zantaya Davis, who missed Saturday’s game because she was attending her grandfather’s funeral in New Jersey, hit a sweeping left-hand hook in the lane-restoring order; at least for the moment in this quarterfinal matchup. 

The Lady Conquistadors had no plans of going quietly. Roneesha Hall’s right-hand hook over Sandra Davis, cut the Garden City lead to 48-39 with 7:20 to play. But that’s as close as James team would get. 

On the Busters next trip down the floor, Collins sliced her way to the rim, laid the ball in and was fouled by Hall. The sophomore’s three-point play pushed the lead back to 12 and derailed any hopes of a Lady Conqs comeback. 

“I told our team that good teams play better in the second half,” Salazar said. “We played Dodge even after half time so we were very average tonight. It’s going to take more than that to beat Hutchinson on Friday.”

Jasmine Christmas scored 11 points, her second straight double-figure scoring game and eighth of the season. (Sandra Davis) tied her season high with 14 rebounds but was just 1-for-8 from the field. (Zantaya) Davis added 10 boards and four points. 

Tollar netted 15 points for Dodge City, but was just 4-of-13 from the floor. Azaria Nave chipped in 14 on 5-of-17 shooting. She was just 1-for-7 from downtown. 

Next up: Region VI Semifinals vs. No. 3 Hutchinson-Friday, March 7-2:45 pm pregame; 3 pm tip on AM 1030 KBUF and westernkansasnews.com

Final Stats: GCCC women vs. Dodge

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