June 12, 2024

GCHS boys lose on controversial call; girls steamrolled by Railers

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Hays, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-For three quarters, Garden City appeared overmatched by No. 7 Olathe North. Then, in an eight-minute stretch, the Buffaloes erased a 15-point deficit only to have a questionable foul call turn the tide in the final seconds.

Josh Moore scored 19 points and sank two free throws with less than a second to play to give the Eagles a dramatic 60-58 victory over the Buffaloes Friday night at Indians Field House in the semifinals of the 31st annual Hays Shootout.

“That’s a tough way to lose it,” Garden City Coach Jacy Holloway said afterwards.

Especially considering Caleb Tramp put on one of the most special performances in program history. The senior hit his first five shots from the field; drilled a career-best four 3-pointers; scored 16 second-half points and registered four steals. Just to top it off, he threw down three vicious dunks.

“He (Tramp) played a lot of minutes on a sore ankle,” Holloway said. “He did a great job of playing through it.”

The senior’s 29-point, 10 rebound showcase was enhanced by a steady floor game that hasn’t been seen in Finney County in more than a decade. He finished 10-of-20 from the field, while the rest of his team failed to keep up, shooting a pedestrian 9-of-26 collectively.

And consider that his best work came with Garden City trailing 52-37 entering the fourth quarter. He started the period by knocking down a 3 from the left wing. Then he recorded back-to-back steals; one of those ending in a blow-by finish at the rim where the senior slammed it home with his left hand.

Not to be outdone, Olathe North’s RJ Smith, who might just be the most physically-gifted athlete in the Sunflower State, turned things around early-flipping a 10-4 deficit into a 38-29 halftime lead. That advantage swelled to as many as 19 in the second half thanks to a 29-15 spurt that covered the second and third quarters.

But the Buffaloes rallied in the fourth; tying the game with 17 seconds left on Jared Koster’s stick back of Tramp’s missed free throw. Those late-game heroics setup a sequence that will be talked about for the rest of the season.

Deadlocked at 58, Olathe North had the ball with 13 seconds to go. They also had the mismatch that they were looking for. And as the clock ticked under five seconds, Danny Baker lobbed a pass on the block to Moore, who was covered by the much smaller Miguel Olivas. Moore spun left, elevated and missed a pointblank shot. But as the ball pinballed out of the cylinder, referee Randy Wetzel blew his whistle and called a blocking foul on Olivas with six tenths of a second to play.

“That’s a tough one to swallow,” Holloway said with a perplexed look on his face.

Moore, who’s already committed to play football at Kansas and survived a childhood bout with cancer, splashed home the pair, putting the Eagles up 60-58.

With no timeouts, the Buffaloes had one last gasp. But Tramp’s half-court heave fell a foot shy of the rim, and the game was over.

“We have to be able to bounce back,” Holloway explained. “In the locker room it was disappointment, but confidence knowing that we’re pretty good.”

Akil Love had his best game as a varsity player, totaling 10 points. Koster chipped in eight but was just 3-of-10 from the field.

Alonzo Williams tallied 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting for Olathe North. Smith added 13.

Tip ins: This was the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the basketball floor, but they had plenty of prior history; the Eagles, led by Philadelphia Eagles return specialist Darren Sproles, torched Dave Meadows squad in the 6A state football championship game in 1998…Olathe North moves on to play Hays in the finals Saturday night; the Indians escaped with a 54-50 win over Great Bend…It’s the Eagles first 2-0 start since 2009

Next up: Third-place game vs. Great Bend-Saturday, December 6-3:15 p.m. on 99.9 F; kwkrmobile.com and mobile app: KWKR


Girls miss the boat in semifinal loss

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Hays, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Through seven scoreless minutes during the first quarter of Friday afternoon’s semifinal contest, Garden City Coach David Upton had to be wondering: who put the lid so tightly on the basket?

Jana Boston scored 10 points, Taylor Stahly added 10, and the Newton defense held the Lady Buffaloes to a miserable 10-of-40 shooting day en route to a 43-30 win at Indians Field House.

“We’re not panicking after two games,” Upton said afterwards. “90 percent of the things we did today are correctable. This team has a lot of heart and a lot of grit.”

They proved that after misfiring on 9-of-their-first-10 shots and falling behind 16-3 early in the second quarter. Upton’s team responded with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to five. But that’s as close as they’d get the rest of the way as the Lady Railers countered with a 12-2 spurt and took a 28-13 lead into the break.

In the second half, Garden City’s defense held their own, but they didn’t make up much ground thanks to 14 turnovers and Newton’s ability to hit free throws. They finished 20-of-25 from the stripe

Breece Dreiling led the Buffaloes with seven points and eight boards. Abbie Dart continued her early season struggles with just six points on 3-of-13 shooting. Jessica Carrillo added six points and four rebounds.

Besides Boston and Stahly, who were a combined 7-of-14 from the floor, the rest of the team collectively was just 4-of-22.

Tip ins: Newton moves into the Championship game for the first time since 2012, and they improved to 4-0 lifetime vs. Garden City…It’s only the second time in Garden City’s last 24 games that they’ve shot under 30 percent (Last time vs. Newton in last year’s Hays Shootout; shot 26 percent)

Next up: Garden City vs. Great Bend-Saturday, 1:15 pm pregame; 1:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; kwkrmobile.com and mobile app: KWKR