Liberal, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–On Friday afternoon at the Green House in Liberal, Garden City knew they were in for a tall task, facing the Chaparrals of Midland. It proved to be a big task in the end, as the Chaparrals never trailed, and pulled away for a 98-86 win over the Busters on the first day of the Billy’s/Days Inn Classic.
After the game was tied at two and four, Midland used two big runs in the first half. Their runs of nine and eight straight points propelled them to a 14-point lead with 5:48 remaining in the first half at 40-26. Garden City chipped away, and pulled to within six at 46-40 with around two minutes left before the break, only to see the Chaparrals take a 53-45 halftime lead.
The Busters played catch up for a majority of the second half, as they eventually pulled to within 65-62 with 12:26 remaining, with a Zach Beard old fashioned three-point play. That would be the closest they would get. Midland (7-1) used a 10-2 run over the next two minutes, and never looked back, and led by as many as 15 at 96-81 with under a minute remaining, ending Garden City’s brief two-game win streak.
In the loss, Garden City (6-2) had four players in double figures, led by Josh Fleming’s 23 points, followed by Aaron Ray with 16, Zach Beard’s 13 and Jabar Ray pitched in with 11. The Busters shot 48.5% for the game from the field (32-66) and were 18-28 from the foul line.
Three big keys that made the difference in the game were the Chaparral’s experience, their three-point shooting and the amount of free throws they made. Midland made 10 three’s compared to Garden City’s four, and they were 32-40 from the charity line, making four more than what the Busters attempted in the game.
Leading the way for Midland was Jordan Furlow, who poured in 28 points off the bench, including a 17-19 performance from the foul line. Jachai Simmons added 17 and Solomon Hainna added 11. The Chaparrals shot 48.3% for the game, and outrebounded Garden City 41-34.
Garden City will face Frank Phillips on Saturday afternoon at 4. The Plainsmen are 7-2, following their 90-75 loss to Seward County Friday night.
Brady Trenkle Postgame