Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-During his senior year of high school at Wilbur Cross in New Haven, Connecticut, Josh Fleming earned a reputation: in a sense he was the man.
That’s what happens when you average 34 points per game, and lead your team to the state semifinals where they lost to eventual-state runner-up Trinity Catholic.
“With Josh, it’s like watch out,” Broncbuster Head Coach Brady Trenkle said.
Truth be told-that’s all that needed to be said.
Through six games, fans had caught glimpses of it. Saturday night they got the whole package.
Just call him “big shot” Josh.
The freshman guard turned the Perryman Athletic Complex into his own personal playground, scoring 19 of his season-high 29 points in the second half, including the game-winning jumper with four seconds to go in overtime giving Garden City a dramatic 87-86 victory over Northeastern.
“There’s something about Josh Fleming,” Trenkle added with a smile following his team’s sixth win of the season. He definitely convinced everyone tonight. He was pretty impressive.”
Impressive yes; but that adjective does not necessarily describe what Fleming meant to the Broncbusters in an emotional, physical battle Saturday night with two teams coached by guys that had the same last name.
With 2:10 remaining in regulation, Garden City (6-1) had a 73-69 lead. But four straight Plainsmen points, capped off by Marcus Cooper’s two free throws tied the game with 1:32 to play.
“My brother and I were working the refs hard in this game,” Trenkle said. “We were both fighting for our kids.”
Then after Fleming misfired from the post, it was James Dumes connecting on a fall away, mid-range jumper over Aaron Ray that gave Northeastern (1-5) a 75-73 edge with 41 seconds.
Following a timeout, Fleming missed a runner in the lane. But on the rebound, Diontae Jones was fouled by Cooper. He hit the first free throw but missed the second leaving Garden City in a one-point hole. On the other end J.J. Griffin connected on two charity shots, giving the Plainsmen a three-point lead.
Then it was Fleming’s turn again. This time he didn’t miss.
With time winding down in regulation, the 5-9 guard who led the state of Connecticut in scoring as a senior, took the dish from Ray, elevated and buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to tie the game with four seconds.
Northeastern still had a chance to win it when Griffin had the ball punched out of his hands right to Robert Jones, but the sophomore from Denver missed a leaner in the paint, sending the game into overtime.
“This was one of the hardest games to win,” Trenkle said. “I wouldn’t want to be a referee in this one. They’ve got so many things that they have to call this year. It’s hard on them; it’s hard on us.”
It was even harder for his brother Eddie Trenkle, who watched his team squander three separate nine-point leads in the second half. Then in the extra session, his team did it again.
Cooper’s driving layup against Jamar Gilbert gave the Plainsmen the first points in overtime. But Garden City followed with the next four, and eventually built an 85-82 lead after Fleming’s banker from the left block.
“There were so many twists and turns in this game,” (Brady) Trenkle said. “How do you win a game like that?”
Perseverance for one; especially after Cooper scored the next four Northeastern points (a tip back off Brady Baer’s missed 3-pointer and two free throws) that gave the Plainsmen an 86-85 advantage.
But there was no way Fleming was letting this game slip away.
With less than 10 seconds to go, Trenkle drew up an isolation for his leading scorer. Fleming caught the ball up top; drove right against Cooper, stopped on a dime and drilled a jumper from the right elbow to put Garden City back in front.
Without hesitation, Cooper raced the other way with a chance to win it again. But his layup attempt fell short, and the Broncbusters survived two scares to beat Northeastern for the first time since 2011.
“This win feels good and bad,” Trenkle said. “You feel good, but at the same time, my brother’s team is so talented, and they lost the game. I will never do this to my brother again unless it’s in the national tournament.”
Wouldn’t that be a treat?
Gilbert was the only other Broncbuster in double figures with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He also pulled down seven rebounds as did Gage Loy.
Cooper led the Plainsmen with 27 points, 15 of those coming in the second half. Dumes chipped in 20; Naradian James 12 and Garrett Bagget canned three triples to finish with 10.
After the Broncbusters grabbed an early 12-10 lead with 13:34 left in the first half, Northeastern took control, building an 11-point edge in the opening period. Garden City responded with a 19-10 run to pull within two at the break.
Tip ins: The last three meetings between these two teams have been decided by two points or less (Garden City has won two of those: this year and 2011)…A night after drilling 15 3-pointers, the Broncbusters came back down to earth, going 7-of-25 from long range (they hit five in the second half)…There were nine ties and nine lead changes; Garden City’s largest advantage was four at the 17:10 mark; the Plainsmen led by as many as 11…It was the first time this season that Garden City trailed at the half and still found a way to win…Northeastern is off to their worst start since 2013…Garden City has now won 15 out of their last 18 non-conference home games
Next up: Garden City vs. Midland, TX (Seward County Classic) Friday, November 20 3:45 p.m pregame; 4 p.m tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR
Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Broncbuster Head Coach Nick Salazar said it perfectly right before tipoff:
“Rylie Torrey is a special, special player.”
The word special appears twice there; it was no accident.
Neither was the freshman’s performance Saturday night in Garden City.
Torrey Came out on fire, connecting on four 3-pointers in the first half and scoring a team-high 21 points as Northern Oklahoma College-Enid rolled past the Broncbusters 74-59 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
“She was great,” Salazar said emphatically after the game.
Torrey made easy work of Garden City’s man-to-man defense, scoring 16 points in the first 20 minutes; nine of those in the first quarter alone.
“It didn’t matter what defense we were in,” Salazar explained. “They were getting wide-open shots all night. Our problem was effort. These girls have to understand that you have to go hard every play. We had a few of them tell me before the game they were sick and not feeling well. I told them they needed to tough it out.”
Unfortunately the numbers speak for themselves.
NOC (4-2) ran their triangle-motion offense to perfection, hitting five 3-pointers in the first half. They added four more triples in the final 20 minutes, leaving no doubt, leading by as many as 24-points with 7:25 to go in the fourth quarter.
But Salazar’s problems went well beyond the defensive end. On offense it was Shala Dobbins and no one else. Add the fact that Dobbins was disciplined for an off-the-court issue and had to come off the bench, and the Broncbusters found themselves in a 12-2 hole four minutes into the game.
Dobbins did finish strong, scoring 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting. But the rest of the team scored just 33 points on a combined 12-of-42 from the field (29 percent).
“We took 54 shots,” Salazar explained. “We’ve got to make them; period! There’s no excuses on that front. Our girls got the shots they wanted; they just didn’t knock them down.”
Kavita Akula, who’s hit an early-season wall after an 0-for-14 showing against Independence, scored nine points on just 3-of-9 from the floor. Jaymie Bernbeck added eight points and four rebounds for Garden City (4-2).
Gabbie Parsons tallied 16 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Jets. Shawnta Johnson added 15 and seven rebounds.
Tip ins: NOC led wire-to-wire…Garden City shot just 29 percent in the first half, digging themselves into a 14-point deficit at the half…It was the second time this season Garden City shot under 40 percent (Gillette was the other one)…The Jets have now won the last two meetings against the Broncbusters (this was the first meeting since 2009)…It was only the second time this season NOC outrebounded their opponent (34-27)
Next up: Garden City vs. No. 2 Trinity Valley (WNIT @ Midland, TX)-Thursday, November 19-12:45 p.m. pregame; 1 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR