Liberal, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-Brady Trenkle sent an early message to his squad. 24 hours after suffering their first loss, the second-year Head Coach benched two of his top players in Devon Anderson and Antorian Moore. His team’s response: Garden City’s best defensive performance of the season.
Jonathan Bell notched his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while the Buster defense held Clarendon to just 25 percent shooting in a 71-51 win Saturday afternoon at the Green House.
“I told my team this morning that we’re going to win this game,” Trenkle said afterwards. “I’m proud because different guys stepped up.”
One of those guys was J.T. Bennett, who provided the veteran skipper with something the Busters desperately needed: stout defense. And no play epitomized that more then when Bennett, who stands 6 feet tall, blocked 6-9 Dominic Obunaka’s shot midway through the second half.
“He (Bennett) is so good defensively,” Trenkle said. “He came up to me the other day and told me how much he loved to play defense.”
How surprising was Trenkle to hear that? Well consider that this was coming from a kid that averaged 22 points per game as a senior at Washington and was one of the top scorers in the Kansas City area.
“That says a lot about a kid,” Trenkle said. “This guy has accepted his role and it’s unbelievable to watch.”
Of course there was nothing unbelievable about Garden City’s (6-1, 0-0) offensive performance. They shot just 36 percent on 25-of-69 from the floor. But they dominated the glass, out rebounding Clarendon (2-7) 49-39 and connecting on 16-of-22 from the line.
After the Bulldogs cut the Buster lead to just eight at the half, Trenkle’s bunch awoke in the first few minutes of the final frame-hitting 8-of-their-first 12 shots-building a 19 point lead.
Tidell Pierre nearly had his first double-double with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Tyrell Springer added 11 points, two rebounds and four streals. The sophomore guard added to his nation best 35 thefts.
Bryce Pace led the Bulldogs with 10 points. He was 4-of-6 shooting; the rest of his team was just 10-of-49.
Next up: Garden City vs. Air Force Prep @ Sterling, CO-Friday, November 21-6:15 p.m. pregame; 6:30 tip on 98.1 FM; z98mobile.com and mobile app: KSKZ