Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Independence, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Garden City Coach Brady Trenkle has always preached depth and for his guys to have that next-man up mentality; no matter how many minutes they play.
On Saturday night, Zach Beard epitomized that concept.
The sophomore, who missed his first three shots from the field in limited action and was held scoreless for 42:40, drilled the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime; Josh Fleming poured in 24 of his season-high 35 points in the second half, and the Broncbusters earned their first conference victory of the season with a 76-70 win over Independence at Pirates Fieldhouse.
“We beat a really good team,” Trenkle said afterwards. “And for Zach, to not play a lot in the game and then hit that shot was big. These guys know they will get their shot, and Zach took advantage.”
But for the first 20 minutes, not even Trenkle had the answer to the worst shooting first half of the season for the Broncbusters. Garden City (9-4, 1-1) missed 28 of their first 34 shots, yet trailed by only one at the break.
“We just had to find our rhythm,” he said. “We just kept pushing through.”
It also helped that Independence shot just 31 percent in the opening period.
The second half however; was a different story for Garden CIty.
The Broncbusters shot 51 percent (15-of-29), sparked by Fleming who canned 8-of-12 from the field in the final 25 minutes. The only blemish on his resume was a missed free throw in the final 15 seconds that left the door open for the Pirates to steal the game.
Fleming though was let off the hook when Damion Hunt missed a baseline jumper and once Davauhnte Turner’s miracle tip back bounced harmlessly off the backboard, sending the game to overtime tied at 61.
“We played well in the second half; we did the things that put us in a position to win the game,” Trenkle said. “This is a tough place to win. It’s maybe the loudest gym in the conference.”
And the crowd was rocking when Tate Turner’s jumper gave the Pirates a 63-62 edge with 4:13 to play in the extra session. After Fleming put the Broncbusters back in front, it was (Tate) Turner splitting a pair of free throws to knot the game at 64. Then Independence inexplicably went stone cold.
With less than 2:30 to play, Fleming became the distributor, firing a bullet pass to Beard in the right corner. The sophomore never hesitated, let fly and watched the ball splash through the net, giving Garden City the lead for good 67-64 with 2:20 remaining in overtime.
Jamar Gilbert followed that up with two free throws, Diontae Jones hit a reverse layup and two charity shots and Fleming split a pair, capping off a 9-0 run where the Broncbusters stretched the lead to 73-64.
Meanwhile, Independence was held scoreless for 3:30 before (Davauhnte) Turner’s two free throws pulled the Pirates to within seven with 24 seconds left.
“We beat a good team,” Trenkle said. “Independence is a top-20 quality team, and we beat them in their place in a great atmosphere.”
(Diontate) Jones pulled down eight rebounds and scored nine points. His lone field goal came in overtime; he was just 1-of-10 from the field. Jamar Gilbert added eight for the Broncbusters.
(Tate) Turner scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half for the Pirates. (Davauhnte) Turner added 18, Aaron Smith had 12 and Tyrone Riley grabbed a game-high 10 boards. But Independence missed 17 free throws, finishing the night 22-of-39 (they were just 3-of-7 from the line in overtime).
Despite a poor shooting first half, the Broncbusters grabbed a six-point lead with 7:38 remaining following (Diontae) Jones two free throws.
The Pirates fought right back, answering with a 13-2 run fueled by Deandre King’s triple that gave Independence a 25-20 advantage with 1:45 left. But King’s emotion was his team’s undoing. The redshirt sophomore was called for a technical foul for muttering something at Jones. Fleming hit both free throws; added one more two minutes later before Antorian Moore’s tip back following Fleming’s miss at the line pulled the Broncbusters to within one at the half.
Tip ins: Garden City’s win over Independence was their first since 2004…There were 12 lead changes and eight ties…Garden City outscored Independence 15-9 in overtime…The victory was career-number 120 for Trenkle who improved to 48-26 at Garden City
Next up: Garden City vs. Allen County-Wednesday, December 9-7:30 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
Independence, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Garden City Coach Nick Salazar admitted he was concerned heading into their second straight road game on Saturday.
“They’re all freshman so honestly I have no idea how they will respond,” the third-year skipper said before the tip. “But I don’t think they’ll have a problem getting up for this team.”
That team-Independence, was receiving votes in the newest NJCAA rankings released on Wednesday. It was also the same squad still licking their wounds from an overtime loss to the Broncbusters three weeks earlier where they blew a double-digit second-half lead.
No extra motivation needed.
Shala Dobbins scored 18 of her game-high 28 points in the second half, Jaymie Bernbeck added 13, and the Broncbusters held on for a 75-69 victory over Independence at Pirates Fieldhouse.
“We needed people to step up and make plays, and we got that tonight,” Salazar explained.
Bernbeck got her coach’s message, and her seven-point second quarter helped Garden City (8-5, 2-0) stake a 37-30 halftime lead.
Dobbins took it from there.
The freshman guard was at her sensational best in the final quarter, scoring eight of her team’s final 10 points, canning eight straight free throws in the final 1:51.
“I keep saying it that we’re not a one-trick pony,” Salazar said. “And when Shala plays the way she did, and JB (Bernbeck) plays her game, we’re pretty good.”
But as well as Dobbins played, she was outdone by Pirates’ star Brianna Jackson-Brewer, who exploded for 16 of her game-high 29 points in the third quarter, helping trim Garden City’s once 11-point lead down to three. At one point, the sophomore scored 13 straight points. In fact, it wasn’t until Maressah Milum’s free throw early in the fourth (a span of six minutes) that someone other than Jackson-Brewer cracked the ledger.
Eventually the Pirates tied the game at 59 on the back of Abby Shelton’s two free throws with 4:50 to go. But DaRae Lewis’s layup gave the Broncbusters a lead they would never relinquish despite the fact that the Pirates had the ball on several different occasions down one with a chance to go in front in the final four minutes.
“This team continues to build confidence,” Salazar said. “We did that Wednesday, and we did it again tonight.”
Donasja Scott added 10 points and six rebounds, Lewis scored nine and ripped down nine boards while Kavita Akula tallied eight-although she missed her last four 3-point attempts.
Elina Berzina scored nine points for the Pirates who, with the exception of Jackson-Brewere, were a combined 10-of-34 (29.4 percent) from the field.
Following Dominique Maxwell’s and-1 that gave Garden City a 14-8 with 2:22 left in the first, the Pirates responded with 10 straight points, capped off with Berzina’s sensational reverse layup and three-point play. But Dobbins hit a runner to end the period, Berbeck hit four straight free throws and a foul-line jumper followed up by Akula’s trey that stretched the Broncbusers lead to 30- 23.
Tip ins: Garden City has now show 77 free throws in two games vs. Independence this season (season-high 42 in first meeting and 35 on Saturday)-they’re now 6-1 in games where they shoot 25 or more foul shots…Garden City is off to their first 2-0 start in conference since 2009-2010 (started 5-0 before losing at Cloud County)
Next up: Garden City vs. Allen County-Wednesday, December 9-5:15 p.m. pregame; 5:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR