February 24, 2024

Lady Buffs bumped in substate final


Final Highlights: GCHS vs. Maize

Maize, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-No one, not even Maize Head Coach Jerrod Handy could have imagined how things would play out  in Friday night’s 6A sub state championship game. After the final buzzer went off, even the veteran skipper had to look at the scoreboard in disbelief over the thorough beat down his team just laid on the Western Athletic Conference runner-ups. 

Saige Baalman scored 14 points and Keiryn Swenson pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds as the 5th ranked Lady Eagles roared to a fifth straight sub state title with a 62-38 win over Garden City at Eagles Field House. 

“The first couple of minutes of the game we matched them; they matched us; we played pretty well,” Lady Buffaloes Coach David Upton said afterwards. “Then they want on that run.”

The run he’s referring to had a very strong Garden City contingent in utter shock. The Lady Eagles used a 22-1 spurt to turn a one-point deficit into a blowout midway through the second quarter. In fact, the Buffaloes (13-9) went more than 12 minutes without a field goal. That stint finally ended when Jaymie Bernbeck, who was just 3-of-11 from the field, converted a layup from the left block in the first minute of the third quarter. The junior finished the night with eight points and three rebounds. 

But the Buffaloes never mounted any serious threat, thanks in large part to 22 turnovers, tied for the third most this season. 

Playing in her final game as a Buffalo, Taryn Tempel, the school’s all-time leading scorer, had just one shot attempt through three quarters. She ended the night with eight points-ending a streak of five straight double-figure scoring games. 

The lone bright spot for Upton was Tionnia McKee. The senior’s last outing might have been her most inspiring-netting 11 points-most of them in dominant fashion. She was the only Garden City player in double figures-finishing 4-of-10 from the field. The rest of her team was just 8-of-30 combined. 

“I’m really going to miss this group,” Upton said referring to his senior class of Tempel, McKee, Taylor Lineberger and Kennedy Brunson. “They did a lot of special things the last few years.”

Lineberger, who was playing in her second game back after missing 12 contests with a broken hand, pulled down four rebounds in limited minutes.

Daley Handy splashed home 13 points for the Lady Eagles (18-4), while Briana Johnson, who’s buzzer-beating shot a week earlier that clinched the league championship, put in 12.  

Final Stats: GCHS vs. Maize

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