Hays, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Playing in front of hostile environments is becoming commonplace for the Garden City boys. So is proving their doubters wrong.
Jared Koster picked a perfect time to play his best game of the season, scoring 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting as Garden City toppled No. 5 Hays 58-46 Friday night at Indians Field House.
“Our defense was great tonight,” Head Coach Jacy Holloway said. “We played them straight up, and we were able to sustain it.”
Coming in, the thought might have been to play zone-a defensive scheme aimed purely to slowdown two-time conference player of the year Brady Werth. But Garden City (7-4, 4-0) never flinched. They stayed in a man-to-man throughout the game-giving up 23 points to the senior on 10-of-12 from the field. But the kicker: the rest of the Indians scored a combined 23 points on just 6-of-26.
“We felt really good with our game plan,” Holloway said. “All we had to do was execute it.”
Early on, it appeared that plan would eventually give way, especially after Hays jumped out to a 16-7 lead in the first quarter. And it didn’t help matters that Caleb Tramp got off to a 1-for-6 shooting start.
“We just kept digging,” Holloway said. “Our guys took their initial blow.”
That blow had the Buffaloes staggered and dazed, but not out. And with less than a minute to play in the first half, Jose Acosta’s baseline jumper tied the game at 26. That was just the tip of the iceberg.
After Isaiah Nunnery’s three-point play gave Hays (7-2, 2-1) a 31-28 lead, Tramp and Koster went to work. The two combined for 15 of the Buffaloes’ 19 third-quarter points-spearheading a 15-2 run to open up a 43-33 lead in the final minute of the frame. That lead swelled to as many as 12.
Tramp finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Miguel Olivas played his best game of the season-pouring in 10 pounds and hitting all six of his free throws. Luis Rodriguez added eight points, two rebounds and three blocks.
Nunnery scored 15 points for the Indians, who shot just 40 percent in the second half.
Tip ins: The win snapped Hays’ five-game winning streak in the series…It’s Garden City’s first win at Hays since February 17, 2012…Garden City has now won four games in a row; it’s only the second time they’ve done that since 2010
Next up: vs. Wichita Northwest (Valley Center Tournament)-Thursday, January 22-3 p.m pregame; 3:15 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; kwkrmobile.com and mobile app: KWKR (tuneinradio app: KWKR)
Surprise return ignites Lady Buffs in 21-point win
Hays, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Originally, Garden City girls’ coach David Upton had planned on waiting until the Ulysses game to put Jaymie Bernbeck back on the floor. The senior had missed the first 10 games after offseason knee surgery. But those plans changed about an hour before game time.
In her first action since last year’s substate final against Maize, Bernbeck worked her way back into game shape, scoring four points to go along with Abbie Dart’s game-high 10 and the Buffaloes marched to a 45-24 victory over Hays at Indians Field House Friday night.
“We played her (Bernbeck) about 12 minutes,” Upton said. “And I though she looked really good. She was moving well. Our plan all along was to move her along slowly.”
And even though they expedited her recovery, Upton and his staff stayed close to the script, giving her spot minutes in each quarter. Despite a couple of turnovers, Garden City’s best player didn’t appear rusty at all.
“Obviously our plan is to work her back into the starting lineup,” Upton explained. “She’ll get there.”
And her presence was a welcome sight, especially on the defensive end. Garden City forced 24 turnovers and held the Lady Indians to just 7-of-33 shooting (21 percent).
Tiffany Butler scored eight points, and Joslyn Munoz chipped in seven for Garden City (6-5, 2-2). And the Buffaloes cleaned up their defensive rebounding, limiting Hays (3-6, 0-3) to just six offensive rebounds; this after they allowed a season-worst 18 Tuesday night at Liberal.
Haley George and Audra Schmeidler paced the Indians with four points apiece.
Next up: at Ulysses-Tuesday, January 20-7:45 p.m. pregame; 8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; kwkrmobile.com and mobile app: KWKR (tuneinradio app: KWKR)