Valley Center, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-If heartbreaking losses were an Olympic event, Garden City would have already garnered a gold medal. Friday night, Jacy Holloway’s team swallowed another tough pill.
Evan Reid scored 13 points; Devin Antcil added 12, and Olathe Northwest scored the final eighth points of overtime to beat the Buffaloes 48-44 in the consolation semifinals of the 2015 January Jam.
“I felt like we didn’t do a very good job of team defense tonight,” Holloway said afterwards. “And as a result of that, the individual defense really broke us down.”
The defense might have been an issue, but it was much improved from 24 hours earlier. The problem was that better still wasn’t good enough.
Yet Garden City (7-6, 4-0) was still in a position to win the game in regulation. Trailing 38-36 with less than two minutes to play, Tramp grabbed his own miss, spun into the paint and tied it up with a left-handed finger roll.
Moments later, Olathe Northwest turned it over, giving Garden City a chance to hold for a final shot. Holloway used three timeouts to burn nearly 60 seconds off the clock. It didn’t pay off. Miguel Olivas’s lob pass to Tramp at the rim off the inbounds was intercepted by Adam Harter, whose ensuing 80-foot heave fell shy of the rim, sending the game to an extra session.
With less than two minutes to play in overtime, the Buffaloes took a 44-40 lead on the back of Tramp’s line-drive 3-pointer from the top of the key and Luis Rodriguez’s free throw. It was the last time Garden City scored.
Reid responded with a resounding blow: a transition trey from the right wing to cut the Garden City lead to one. After Tramp missed a three on the following possession, Kelly was fouled. He hit both free throws to put the Ravens in front. They never trailed again.
“We have to find a third scorer,” Holloway said. “Those other guys have to step up.”
Once again Jared Koster and Tramp did the heavy lifting, combining for 35 points on 13-of-26 shooting. The rest of the team was a pedestrian 2-of-11, scoring just nine points.
The teams traded blows early on, with neither side leading by more than four points in the first half. But if there’s one thing that’s been Garden City’s Achilles heel this season, it’s putting teams away when they have the chance. They failed again.
Akil Love scored five points and pulled down three rebounds for the Buffaloes. Rodriguez added three, and Erwin Leal one off the bench.
Matt Vanderslice sparked Mike Grove’s team with seven points in a reserve role. Curt Hoover and Kelly each scored six.
There were seven lead changes and 11 ties.
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