Broncbuster men fall in OT; Donasja Scott wins it for women

Game Highlights

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Chanute, KS ( Garden City Coach Brady Trenkle had his way, his team would never play another game at Neosho County.

And seeing how the last two contests there have played out, can you really blame him?

Freddie McSwain matched a season high with 25 points and 15 rebounds, Richard Grandberry added 20, and the Panthers overcame deficits of 12 and nine points late to beat the Broncbusters 100-96 in double overtime Saturday night.

“It comes down to practice, and our guys really couldn’t practice this week because of all the weather and all the delays,” Trenkle said. “We need to practice.”

Practice aside, the first game of the second semester was eerily similar to the conference-tournament opener two years ago when the Broncbusters had a two-point lead late only to be held without a field goal over the final eight minutes in a 15-point loss.

Cue the encore.

Despite being totally dominated on the glass (57-28), Garden City (11-5, 3-2) led 63-51 with 9:13 to go. But Neosho County (11-3, 3-2) stormed back, and Jalen Jackson’s runner just left of the lane capped off a 30-18 spurt that tied the game with 10 seconds to play. The sophomore, who transferred from Mercyhurst North East Community College in Ohio, scored the Panthers final eight points to even the score.

“We had our chances to win this game on the road,” Trenkle added. “That’s the frustrating part. But these guys played really hard.”

Zach Beard had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his 18-foot jumper at the buzzer was wide right sending the game into overtime.

“This is how it’s going to be night in and night out,” Trenkle explained. “It will be a challenge for any team to get to 20 wins.”

In the first extra session, the Panthers scored the first four points to take a four-point edge. Jamal Gilbert answered for Garden City with a 3-pointer from the corner before McSwain’s powerful two-hand stuff put Neosho County up three 87-84 with two minutes remaining.

When the Broncbusters got the ball back, Beard made up for his miss at the end of regulation by sinking a trey from the left wing that tied the game at 87. Neither team scored for the remainder of the period.

“Those guys played loose, and they deserved to win,” Trenkle said.

In the second overtime, it appeared as if the Broncbusters would make amends for not putting the game away in regulation. Trenkle’s team built a 94-87 edge following Beard’s 3-pointer with 3:14 left.

But as they did late in the second half, the Panthers pushed right back-closing the contest on a 13-2 run. McSwain’s layup with 14 seconds to go gave Neosho County the lead for good. The Broncbusters answered with back-to-back turnovers; Jackson hit two free throws and the Panthers finally put Garden City away.

Jackson, who missed the first half of the season while finishing up his transfer paperwork, scored all 18 of his points in the second half.  

“It’s hard to be upset at my guys the way that they played,” Trenkle said. “Just credit Neosho-they made plays.”

Jamar Gilbert scored 17 of his 19 points after halftime to pace the Broncbusters. He was 6-of-8 from the field in the second half. Brandon Jones and Diontae Jones tallied 13 apiece while Beard netted 11.

The game was close for the most part with nine lead changes and 10 ties in the first half alone. Garden City took their largest lead of the first period when Brandon Jones sank two free throws to make it 25-20. The Panthers eventually pulled to within two at the break.

Next up: Garden City vs. Pratt-Wednesday, January 6-7:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM;; tuneinradio app: KWKR and mobile app: KWKR




Game Highlights

GCCC women vs. Neosho

Listen to the full game in our archives section

Chanute, KS ( Garden City could ever figure out how to start games quicker, the possibilities appear endless.

For now, they’ll settle for strong finishes.

Jenna Classen and Kavita Akula each scored 15 points, and Donasja Scott hit a hook shot in the final seconds that helped the Broncbusters pull out a 57-55 victory over Neosho County at Panthers Field House Saturday afternoon.

“We’ll take a win any way we can get one,” Garden City Coach Nick Salazar explained afterwards. “This team showed me a lot today.”

For starters, they showed they could take a punch and fight right back. Garden City (10-6, 4-1) was held scoreless for the first four minutes before Classen hit a 3-pointer. Eventually they trailed 19-10 with six minutes to play in the first half.

That’s when Akula caught fire.

The freshman point guard drained three straight triples, fueling a 16-5 run to close the first half that put the Broncbusters up 26-24 at the intermission. Akula scored 12 of her 15 points in the second quarter.

“We couldn’t have one of those games where Kavita went 0-for-6 or Jenna didn’t hit a shot,” Salazar said. “They needed to step up and they did.”

That pressure was compounded by the fact that leading scorer Shala Dobbins missed the game because of personal reasons. In her absence, Salazar’s two perimeter players carried the day, with Dominique Maxwell chipping in nine points and DaRae Lewis adding eight and 11 boards before being kicked out after being whistled for two technical fouls in the fourth quarter.

But despite leading at the half, Garden City could never put Neosho County (7-6, 1-4) away. Twice in the game’s final five minutes, the Panthers took the lead only to have Akula and Classen answer the bell. The point guard hit her lone triple of the second half to put the Broncbusters back in front 46-45 with 4:38 remaining. Then after Lewis was kicked out and Jhanai Felix sank two technical free throws to give the panthers the lead, Classen was fouled shooting a 3. She hit two of the three foul shots to give the Broncbusters a two-point cushion.

“Neosho played with a lot of vocal energy,” Salazar said. “I told our team that we have to be above that. We had to overcome it, and we did.”

After Brooke Neal’s two free throws tied the game with 16 seconds to play, Salazar called timeout. In the huddle, he went back to something that had worked so successfully in the first half.

“I saw how they were defending the paint,” the third-year coach explained.

With Lewis out, Salazar put the ball in Scott’s hands. The freshman caught the ball on the left block, drove across the lane and hit a sky hook that would have made Magic Jonson and Kareem Abdul Jabar jealous.

“The entire first half, DaRae was able to catch the ball and sweep across the lane because of their zone,” Salazar said. “We figured we would try it again.”

Neosho County had one last chance, but Neal’s baseline jumper rattled out, and the Broncbusters hung on for their fourth conference win of the season.

Kascity Martin scored 15 points to pace the Panthers. Makayla Bell, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, added 10. Felix chipped in 10 as well but was only 1-of-5 from the field.

Next up: Garden City vs. Pratt-Wednesday, January 6-5:15 p.m. pregame; 5:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM;; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR