Newton, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Entering Thursday’s opening-round game at the Newton Invitational, Garden City had turned the ball over 20 or more times in a game six times. They had lost five of those.
Unfortunately those numbers stayed true to form vs. Andover Central.
The Buffaloes gave it away 26 times, including 16 in the second half, Emporia-State signee Amanda Kakoulias notched her second double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds, and the third-ranked Jaguars squashed Garden City 54-29 at Ravenscroft Gym.
“I’m at a loss for words on what the problems are,” Buffaloes Coach David Upton said afterwards. “Our effort wasn’t there. We turned it over, and they were blowing right past us.”
The 26 miscues were the second most committed by Garden City (5-7, 0-3) this season. Couple that with two long scoring droughts, and the Buffaloes dug themselves a very deep hole.
Joslyn Munoz’s 3-pointer from the right corner pulled the brown and white to within three with 4:15 left in the second quarter. They wouldn’t score again in the first half.
Andover Central (8-3, 5-0) countered with 11 straight points, including three consecutive buckets by Kakoulias, and just like that the Jaguars had a 28-14 lead at the half.
“We played really well for about 12 minutes,” Upton said. “But then we let things get away from us. But we need more effort; that’s the bottom line.”
Garden City never pulled closer than 11 the rest of the way, and a 1-for-11 shooting third quarter had the Buffaloes trailing by 22 entering the fourth. They managed only five field goals over the final 16 minutes.
“We have to be better in all areas,” Upton said. “But this allows us to show the girls exactly how fast some of these teams are. Andover likes to push, and I don’t think you realize just how fast they are until the game starts.”
Ryann Stearns recorded her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Andover Center, who were without two starters: Maddy Leedom and junior-post Jenna Peckham because of a concussion. Still the Jaguars destroyed the Buffaloes on the glass 43-22 and grabbed a season-high 21 offensive rebounds.
Abbie Dart led the Buffaloes with 12 points, but scored only five over the final three quarters. Her triple with 5:30 remaining in the first gave Garden City their only lead 5-4. It lasted a grand total of 1:15. Stearns scored seven straight points, and the Jaguars never trailed again.
Munoz tallied eight for the Buffaloes, who fell to 1-4 since the Christmas break. Aerianna Stinemetz added four.
Next up: Garden City vs. Bishop Carroll-Friday, January 29-2:45 p.m. pregame; 3 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR