February 4, 2023

Broncbuster men win second in a row; Women surge past Colby


Box Score

Listen to the complete game in our archives section

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Over the past few weeks, Garden City men’s Coach Brady Trenkle has been seen at church praying for the return of guard Aaron Ray.

On Sunday, those prayers were finally answered.

After missing 10 straight games because of a broken wrist, Ray returned to score a season-high 26 points on 6-of-13 shooting, Josh Fleming added 18, and the Broncbusters overcame an early 10-point deficit to beat Colby 73-65 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

“We are snake bitten, at least that’s what my brother keeps telling me,” Trenkle said afterwards. “We get Aaron back, which is great, but then we lose Jamar with a knee. That’ the type of year it has been.”

Jamar Gilbert missed Sunday’s game, but for Trenkle and company, having Ray out there filled a big-time void.

Trenkle inserted his freshman guard six minutes into the game and watched him go to work. Ray splashed home an elbow jumper to pull the Broncbusters to within seven. It was a sign of things to come.

“It’s such a big difference when he’s (Ray) is out there,” Trenkle said. “And the good thing about him is that he stayed in shape while he was out.”

Ray’s three-point play the next time down the floor pulled the Broncbusters within two. His free throws with 3:38 left in the first half erased Colby’s 10-point deficit before Josh Fleming gave Garden City a 28-26 lead with a pullup jumper.

“Aaron sparked our entire team,” Trenkle added. “Nobody was surprised at what he was able to do.”

But the momentum of the game shifted early in the final period.

Colby (13-8, 6-5) point guard Brian Starr, who came into Sunday’s contest fifth in the nation in assists and 14th in the conference in scoring, picked up his fourth foul two minutes into the second half. The sophomore didn’t agree with the call and let referee Vern Kisner know about it. The result: a technical foul putting Rusty Grafel’s best player on the bench for the final 17:54.

Less than 30 seconds later, Ahmed Ismail fouled Antorian Moore on a drive to the basket. The seven-foot sophomore also took exception to the call. As Ismail turned to say something to the official, Grafel grabbed his sophomore center and escorted him to the bench. He never saw the floor again.

 Busters vs Colby 4

Bennet connected on the two technical free throws, Antorian Moore was 1-of-2, and (Aaron) Ray drilled a 3-pointer giving Garden City (13-8, 5-5) a 42-31 lead with 15:34 to play.

“It was a very physical game,” Trenkle explained. “It got a little out control. But credit the referees for getting things in order. But that’s how we like to play. We don’t call fouls in practice, so we expect to see that type of game.”

Despite being without their floor general, Colby worked their way back into the game, eventually tying it up at 57 on Bilal Abdur-Rahim’s two free throws with 5:02 left.

Following the charity shots, the Broncbusters turned the ball over. Hassan Attia, who began the day with a steal and an emphatic dunk, was fouled underneath. But the sophomore wasn’t close on the ensuing free throws; J.T. Bennett responded with a cold-blooded 3-pointer from the right corner, and Garden City led 60-57 with 2:53 remaining. Colby never got any closer.

The Broncbusters scored their final 13 points from the free throw line, completing the comeback and handing Trenkle his first back-to-back wins since early December.

“I’ve always said it: get this team to the free throw line, and we’ll be fine,” he explained. “We shot 40 free throws; we continue to do that, and we’ll be fine.”

The Broncbusters shot a season-high 43 free throws (29-of-43). It was the most attempts since December 5 when they beat Independence in overtime on the road.

Bennett scored 14 points for the Broncbusters and was 7-of-10 from the stripe.

Abdur-Rahim posted his second double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Colby, who has alternated wins and losses their last seven games. Noskie Obanya and Attia each had 10. Attia fouled out late in the second half.

“This is another big win our guys,” Trenkle said. “But that’s just how this conference is this season. Look, Barton has lost three in a row; we lost four in a row. Every team in this league is good.”

The game looked all too familiar to Trenkle in the early going as the Trojans scored the first five points on Attia’s breakaway dunk followed by Layton Leydig’s three throws. In fact, twice in the first four minutes, Leydig was fouled shooting 3-pointers. He hit all six free throws and Colby led bed 8-3. Back-to-back triples by Leydig and Starr stretched that advantage to 24-14 with 7:10 to go in the half.

But the Broncbusters responded with a 16-6 run, including James McNeal’s magnificent reverse layup that put Garden City in front 30-28.

Attia’s follow-up jam tied the game at 30 going into the intermission.

Tip ins: There were four technical fouls called in a span of 10 minutes-Moore and Attia were both issued technical following a small altercation in the second half…It was only the fifth time this season that Garden City shot more free throws than their opponent…It was the second time in the last three games that Colby shot less than 40 percent from the field…Colby missed 13 free throws (20-of-33)…Garden City turned it over a season-high 22 times

Next up: Garden City at Seward County-Wednesday, January 27-8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR




Box Score

Listen to the complete game in our archives section

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Nick Salazar’s Broncbuster women have made a living of crushing teams in the second quarter of games this season.

During Wednesday’s win in Dodge City, Garden City utilized a 27-0 run to put the game away early.

On Sunday though, the third-year coach watched as his team put together their shakiest eight-minute stretch in conference play. Fortunately they woke up in time to finally put Colby away.

Shala Dobbins scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half, Jenna Classen buried five 3-pointers, and Garden City overcame a sluggish first half to blow away the Trojans 71-55 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

Dobbins Cover Colby Home

“You turn it over 15 times, 11 of those were in the first half-it’s tough to pull away,” Salazar explained afterwards. “We want to win, and to do that we need to be efficient. We were not efficient in the first half.”

Garden City (15-6, 9-1) turned it over six times in the first quarter and five in the second. Couple that with Colby’s hot hand from downtown, and the Broncbuster’s eight-point lead disintegrated early in the second quarter.

Kyra Tucker hit a 3-pointer and a tough foul-line jumper to begin the second. That was followed up by Amber Perryman’s steal and layup and Aubrey Thomas’s trey that gave Colby (4-18, 0-11) a four-point lead with 6:53 to go in the first half. After Dobbins hit two free throws, Kenzie Curry buried a 3-pointer from the wing, giving the Trojans their largest advantage of the game 28-23.  

“We let them stay in it,” Salazar said. “And once you give a team confidence, strange things happen. That’s what happened.”

The Broncbusters woke up in time to close the half on a 10-4 run to take a 33-32 lead into the locker room.

But it wasn’t until Dobbins driving layup around Clara Schwartz 20 seconds into the third quarter that Garden City finally took the lead for good. An 11-4 spurt to begin the fourth created separation, and the Broncbusters won for the sixth straight time.

“We outscored them 38-23 in the second half-that’s why we won,” Salazar said.

That total included a fourth quarter where Garden City outscored the Trojans 23-11.

Dominique Maxwell had another good all-around game, scoring 11 points and pulling down four rebounds. Jaymie Bernbeck added nine and 10 boards.

Busters vs Colby 3

Tucker scored 14 points for Colby, who lost their 13th straight game. Curry hit four 3-pointers to finish with 12, and Aubrey Thomas had 10.

Classen got the Broncbusters going early, knocking down a 3-pointer while she was fouled 20 seconds into the contest. She added two more treys in the first four minutes, staking Garden City an 11-3 advantage early on. Dobbins scored back-to-back baskets and Maxwell canned a triple to give the Broncbusters an 18-10 lead with 2:08 remaining in the first.

Tip ins: Garden City is now a half game behind Hutchinson for first place in the conference…Garden City was without DaRae Lewis, who missed the game because of an illness-she is expected to play Wednesday…After going 13-of-18 from downtown in her previous two games, Kavita Akula came back down to earth finishing 1-of-8 from beyond the arc

Next up: Garden City at Seward County-Wednesday, January 27-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR