Colby, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Monday night’s Jayhawk West showdown saw more twists and turns than a really good Hollywood flick. Apparently that’s just how Brady Trenkle’s team likes it.
Tyrell Springer scored 17 points and recorded four steals as the Busters built a double-digit lead; blew it and then came from behind late to beat Colby 73-70 at the Community Building.
“We’ll take it,” Trenkle said after the game. “My guys fought. We did things that I’m not necessarily in love with like Tyrell gambling for that late steal. But we won the game; that’s all that matters.”
In truth, Springer’s riverboat gambling mentality is the main reason Garden City (15-11, 4-8) halted a two-game skid. His defense ignited an offense that failed to score a bucket for more than six minutes after the Busters built a 58-47 lead with 11:45 to play. During the same stretch, Colby used a 15-2 run to take a 62-60 advantage. In stepped the sophomore transfer from Jacksonville College.
“We needed someone to step up,” Trenkle said. “We prayed that it wouldn’t happen to us again; obviously our prayers were answered.”
His prayer was Springer, who hit a free throw and stole two passes that led to run-out layups-giving the Busters the lead back 65-62 with 2:46 to go in the second half. But Colby (12-4 3-9) wasn’t going away that easy.
Brian Starr canned a triple in the corner to pull his team within two. Moments later Khyree Wooten tied the game with a layup. After Tidell Piere sank two free throws to push the Busters back in front, it was Starr burying a double-clutch jumper from the foul line to knot the game at 70.
“The Starr kid was tough; we knew that coming in,” Trenkle said. “But give our guys credit; they contained him for the most part.”
Garden City extended the lead to three with two free throws by J.T. Bennett and one by Davon Anderson. But the one miss left the door cracked for Colby. They couldn’t take advantage.
“We did a good job of denying the ball on the inbounds,” Trenkle said. “They had to throw it into Meyer, and that took a couple more seconds off the clock.”
Even before the final sequence, Trenkle had to have had a flashback to January 10 when the Busters tied the game with free throws only to see Bryce Watkins drive around Anderson for the game-winning layup.
“We thought about fouling,” Trenkle said of his team being up three late. “But I’ve seen too many crazy things happen in that situation; so we just played it straight up.”
The decision paid dividends. Colby Coach Rusty Grafel found a way to get the ball in Watkins hands once again. But this time, two defenders swarmed him on the wing, and his hailmary 3-point attempt fell a foot short at the buzzer.
“That was a great final stand,” Trenkle said. “We needed that badly.”
Bennett finished with 11 points and three rebounds for the Busters. Anderson nearly notched a double-double with nine points and eight boards. In all, 11 different Garden City players scored.
Wooten paced the Trojans with 21 points while Starr connected on a season-high four triples. He tallied 19 points. Hassan Attia recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 boards. Layton Leydig chipped in 10.
There were 10 ties and six lead changes. Colby’s largest lead was five at 6-1 with 17:48 to play in the first half; Garden City’s was 11.
Next up: vs. Pratt-Wednesday, February 11 7:30 p.m. on AM 1030 KBUF; westernkansasnews.com; mobile app: KBUF and tuneinradio app: KBUF
Shorthanded Busters find a way; down Colby on the road
Colby, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-When Garden City women’s coach Nick Salazar walked into the Community Building on Monday night, luck wasn’t necessarily on his side. He found out earlier in the day he would be without three of his main players in Loysha Morris, Tionnia McKee and Bianca Cage. And it definitely showed early on.
Despite all of that, it was Tori Span hitting the game winning free throw with less than 10 seconds to play, overcoming a 14-point deficit to beat Colby 61-60 at the Community Building.
“We found a way,” Salazar said. “Was it pretty? No. But we did it. And without those girls, it was a struggle. It wasn’t pretty, but we got the win.”
To say it was a struggle was an understatement early as the Busters found themselves down 25-11 with 7:54 remaining in the first half. It didn’t help matters that Garden City (13-13, 4-8) shot just 38 percent and turned the ball over 15 times in the first 20 minutes.
“We didn’t play very well early,” Salazar said. “We had way too many miscues and unforced errors.”
Those empty possessions were compounded by the fact that Colby (11-15, 4-8) won the rebounding war in the first period 20-14-grabbing six offensive boards to Garden City’s two. That script totally flipped in the final stanza.
The Busters used a 10-0 run early in the second half, capped off by Taleah Williams spinning layup that gave Garden City their first lead 39-38. That lead grew to as many as four before the teams traded body blows over the final five minutes. That’s when divine intervention took over.
With the game tied at 60 and seven seconds remaining, Tori Span drew a foul. As she headed to the line, no one in the gym except for the sophomore knew that it was only a one-and-one. The free throw clanked off the back rim and thinking she would have another, nobody boxed out Span, who grabbed the rebound, retreated to half court where she was fouled again with five seconds to play.
“It was just a heads up play by Tori,” Salazar said. “Her awareness saved the game.”
This time it was the double bonus, and Spann delivered 1-of-2 at the stripe giving her team a 61-60 edge.
“Boy did we need that,” Salazar said with an exhale afterwards.
He needed to take a deep breath because the Trojans still had a chance to win it with four seconds. But D.J. Cato never got a shot off, and the Busters won a game despite trailing for nearly 31 minutes.
“You feel bad for Colby on that free throw,” Salazar said. “But those are the types of plays that have haunted us all year. Tonight it finally worked for us and not against us.”
Lost in all of this was the fact that Kate Inchun had the game of her life. She singlehandedly kept Garden City afloat early on, canning four 3-pointers in the first half, finishing the night with a career-best 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including a season-high six treys. Spann totaled 14 points and nine rebounds while Williams added 11 and 10 boards; her seventh double-double of the season.
Amanda Miller led the way for Colby with 18 points. D.D. Williams scored 13 points; Jady Grady 11 and Cato 10.
Next up: vs. Pratt-Wednesday, February 11-5:15 p.m. pregame; 5:30 p.m. tip on AM 1030; westernkansasnews.com; mobile app: KBUF and tuneinrado: KBUF