December 6, 2022

Broncbuster men end skid; women destroy Dodge City

Game Highlights

Box Score

Dodge City, KS ( City Coach Brady Trenkle stood confidently following his team’s fourth straight loss in Great Bend last Wednesday.

“I’ll tell everyone this: we will not spot any team a big lead early; we’re done doing that,” he said.

Call it prophetic, but Trenkle’s message finally resonated with his players. And it helped put an end to a painful two-week stretch.

Josh Fleming scored 19 points, James McNeal poured in a season-high 18 points including the go-ahead basket with less than 10 seconds to play, and Garden City ended its four-game losing streak with a dramatic 74-71 victory over rival Dodge City Wednesday night at the Civic Center.

“This is a big road win against a very good team,” Trenkle said afterwards. “Obviously, a win over this team, in this building makes it all that much sweeter.”

Trenkle spent eight seasons on other side of this rivalry.

“It’s a special feeling right now,” Trenkle said. “I’m so happy for these guys. They earned it; they put in the work. But we can’t be satisfied.”

Trenkle’s team adhered to their coach’s message and stormed out of the gates, building an 18-10 lead 10 minutes into the game. But it was their finish, not their start that finally put an end to the losing.

 Diotae Jones Dodge

After Dodge City Coach Kyle Campbell was whistled for a technical foul, Zach Beard split a pair of free throws, and Garden City (12-8, 4-5) had a 58-47 advantage with 12:37 left in the second half. But the Conquistadors never conceded, and Lorenzo Dillard’s spectacular and-1 layup capped an 11-0 run and tied the game just two minutes later.

“We let them get back in the game,” Trenkle said. “But credit them; they’re a very good team. I can’t explain enough, how big of a win this was on the road.”

Garden City responded by scoring eight straight to build the lead back to eight. But the Conquistadors slowly chipped away again, and Dillard’s two free throws with 33 seconds left pulled Dodge City to within one 69-68.

That set up one of the best finishes of the season.

With 23 seconds remaining, Broncbusters’ guard Jamar Gilbert was fouled. He hit the first free throw but missed the second, leaving the door wide open. Josh Boutte ran right through it.

The redshirt freshman bullied his way to the rim, absorbed a blow from Antorian Moore and finished with a right-hand layup. Despite missing eight free throws to that point, Boutte completed the 3-point play to give Dodge City a 71-70 edge with 18 seconds-their first lead since the 15:26 mark of the first half.

“They had a couple of and-1’s in this game,” Trenkle said. “But that’s how we play. I have a physical team. That’s not going to change.”

But McNeal had the last laugh.

Trenkle decided not to call timeout, putting the ball in Fleming’s hands. As he crossed half court, Campbell sent two defenders his way, leaving McNeal all alone. Fleming found him and the freshman buried a 12-foot jumper that put the Broncbusters in front 72-71.

“Look at a guy like James (McNeal),” Trenkle said. “He’s always been more of a facilitator but tonight, he provided us with much needed offense.”

With no timeouts and less and five seconds to go, Dillard raced to the other end, only to be called for an offensive foul. Fleming sank two free throws and James Newton never got a shot off in the waning seconds as Garden City survived an instant classic.

“We did a good job of attacking the rim tonight,” Trenkle said. “And even though we didn’t shoot a lot of free throws, we got the shots that we wanted.”

Josh Fleming at Dodge

Diontae Jones scored nine points and pulled down seven rebounds for Garden City before fouling out late in the second half. JT Bennett added seven, and Zach Beard had five.

Dillard totaled a game-high 21 points for the Conquistadors on 6-of-14 shooting. Boutte recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 17 and 11 rebounds, and Newton added 16, including three treys in the second half.

Tip ins: McNeal scored the final 10 points of the first half, helping Garden City build a 31-24 lead at the break…There were seven lead changes and three ties…Dodge City’s largest lead was one 3-2, 5-4 and 71-70…Garden City became the 10th team this season to outrebound the Conquistadors…Garden City has now won 13 out of their last 19 games vs. Dodge City…The win went a long way for making up for last season’s second-half debacle, when the Broncbusters blew the lead and Tyrell Springer missed the go-ahead layup at the buzzer

Next up: Garden City vs. Colby-Sunday, January 24-4 p.m. on 99.9 FM;; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR



Game Highlights

Box Score

Dodge City, KS ( are teams going to realize that Kavita Akula is a star on the rise?

Apparently Dodge City never got the memo.

Akula started where she left off last week in Great Bend, draining five 3-pointers (5-of-7)-finishing with 15 points, Dominique Maxwell tallied a season-best 20, and Garden City demolished the Conquistadors 78-43 Wednesday night at the Civic Center.

“I told our coaching staff that we would probably win this game by five,” Garden City Coach Nick Salazar said afterwards. “I never thought it would get out of hand. But I felt good about our defensive game plan, and it worked.”

It did indeed, to perfection.

Maxwell Dodge City Cover

Salazar’s team forced Dodge City into their worst shooting game of the season—13-of-55 from the field (24 percent) including a second quarter where the Conquistadors missed 15 of 16 shots. During that stretch, Garden City broke their spirits by scoring 27 unanswered points, holding Mark James’ team scoreless for 10:14 and building a 46-17 lead with 2:15 left in the first half.

Garden City outscored Dodge City 26-3 in the second period.

“Kavita has been great,” Salazar said of his star point guard, who rested the entire fourth quarter. “What she’s doing and how many minutes she’s had to play has been incredible.”

Last Wednesday at Barton County, Akula tied a school record by drilling eight 3-pointers. Fast forward seven days and the sharp-shooting freshman was on her game again. She’s now 13-of-18 from downtown (72 percent) over the last two games.

Antania Newton paced Dodge City (15-5, 5-4) with 13 points. But the biggest story of the night was highly-touted freshman Rachel Slattery, who came into the game second in the nation in field goal percentage. She finished with two points on 1-of-4 shooting with 10 rebounds and five blocks.

“I thought our defense on Rachel was tremendous,” said Salazar, who heavily recruited the former Spearville star. “We did what we had to do.”

Garden City (14-5, 8-1) won their fifth straight game, and improved to 7-0 in true road games this season.

Clasen three Dodge Away

The Broncbusters broke Dodge City’s backs early with Akula opening the game with back-to-back triples. Dobbins hit a jumper, Classen and Akula hit consecutive treys, and the rout was on. Four of Garden City’s first five field goals were 3-pointers.

Tip ins: Garden City was 10-of-18 shooting in the second quarter (56 percent)…Dominique Maxwell scored nine of her season-high 20 points in the fourth quarter…All 10 players saw action with only Leon’Dra Hawkins failing to score…Dodge City came into the game 15th in the country in 3-point percentage-they were just 6-of-26 from long range (23 percent)

Next up: Garden City vs. Colby-Sunday, January 24-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM;; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR