Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Trailing by as many as many as 15 points Tuesday night at home against Dodge City, Garden City was in jeopardy of doing something they hadn’t done since Jacy Holloway took over five years ago: lose four straight games. Then came a fiery speech at halftime that would have made Tim Tebow jealous.
“I said what I needed to say,” Holloway said. “And that was that.”
What ensued was the most inspiring six quarters of basketball the Buffaloes have played in two years. Caleb Tramp notched his second straight 20-point game with a game-high 21, and Garden City used a tenacious trap defense to push their way to a 47-38 victory over conference-rival Great Bend Friday night at the Garden.
“When he (Tramp) is on the floor, he has a better chance to score,” Holloway said. “He came out with a lot of energy tonight.”
Tramp scored the first six points of the game, which included an impressive dunk where he grabbed the ball out of mid-air and stuffed it with his right hand. He added three more rim rockers; the most impressive of the trio: a backboard setup from guard Miguel Olivas.
While Tramp led the offense, it was a team-inspired effort on the other end-holding Great Bend to just 27 shot attempts and five first-quarter points.
“I thought our defense was good, but we are nowhere close to where we need to be,” Holloway said. “They still gave up too many open shots.”
In retrospect, Holloway wasn’t too concerned about his team’s defense coming in. It was the Panthers 2-3 zone that had him up nights. But after struggling against it in a loss back in February, the Buffaloes figured out the magic formula: shoot 56 percent and you’ll have no problems.
Garden City (5-4, 2-0) hit eight out of their first 12 shots, building their lead to as many as 15 points.
Koster scored eight points but was just 3-of-10 from the field. Luis Rodriguez added eight points, four rebounds and two blocks, one of those was a swat back of sophomore Kody Crosby’s 3-pointer midway through the first half.
Crosby led the Panthers with 14 points. Shade Wodnra chipped in eight; Wyatt Bryant had six.
Tip ins: The nine turnovers committed by Garden City was the second fewest this season (Season-low eight vs. Pueblo East)…It was the first time the Buffaloes shot over 50 percent all season…The eight 3-pointers attempted was the second fewest this season (5 vs. Thomas More Prep)…Buffaloes did not attempt a free throw until the final minute of the game; a season-low four-attempts
Next up: at Liberal-Tuesday, January 13-7:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; kwkrmobile.com and mobile app: KWKR
Unruh sizzles; Lady Buffs fall at home
Garden City, KS-If a scientist went back and dissected Garden City’s five losses, they might find an interesting trend: when both teams shoot poorly, the Buffaloes lose. That hypothesis proved to be right on the money Friday night.
Great Bend and Garden City combined to shoot just 35 percent from the floor, but it was Regan Unruh that carried the day, scoring a game-high 23 points as the Panthers doused the Buffaloes 58-55 at the Garden.
“Our girls played their hearts out,” Garden City Head Coach David Upton said afterwards. “But you have to give Great Bend credit.”
Especially in the second half, when the Panthers turned a 23-21 deficit into five-point advantage late in the second half. That’s when things got interesting.
With Garden City down three following Tiffany Butler’s layup with less than 10 seconds remaining, Upton called a timeout. On the ensuring sequence, Lauren Welsch, who was allowed to run the baseline because of the made bucket before the stoppage in play, added a new wrinkle: dribbling the ball while out of bounds.
“You can’t dribble the ball when you’re inbounding,” Upton explained. “It should have been our ball with nine seconds.”
The officials missed it, and Garden City had to foul. Macy Moyers cooperated by missing two free throws giving the Buffaloes one last chance. But with no timeouts, Garden City had to go the length of the floor. Butler lobbed a perfect pass to Breece Dreiling who had a great look from the wing. But her triple hit the front rim ending a wild final minute.
“She (Dreiling) had a great look,” Upton said. “You couldn’t have asked for a better shot in the final seconds.”
Joslyn Munoz had her best game as a varsity player, scoring 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Abbie Dart netted 13 points, and Jessica Carrillo added her first double-double with 11 points and 12 boards.
Welsch scored 18 points to help spark the Panthers second-half attack. She and Unruh combined for 41 points on 10-of-20 shooting. The rest of the team was just 4-of-19.
Tip ins: Great Bend has now won five straight against Garden City, including their second straight at the Garden…There were 14 lead changes and eight ties…Garden City’s largest lead was five at 12-7 with 1:52 left in the first quarter; Great Bend’s largest was five in the second half
Next up: vs. Liberal-Tuesday, January 13-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; kwkrmobile.com and mobile app: KWKR