February 8, 2023

No Werth, no problem; Hays still beats Garden City

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Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-After three masterful seasons at Hays, Garden City could not wait for two-time conference player of the year Brady Werth to graduate.

Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, Werth’s replacement was just as lethal.

Shane Berens scored 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds, Fort-Hays State commit Isaiah Nunnery added 14, and No. 4 Hays handed Garden City their fifth straight loss with a 48-34 victory Friday night at the Garden.

“We passed up way too many shots tonight,” Buffaloes Head Coach Jacy Holloway said afterwards. “They would step up to the 3-point line and think that they were standing at half court. It was that kind of night.”

It also didn’t help that Keith Dryden did a masterful defensive job on Holloway’s best player Jared Koster, who finished with just five points on 2-of-6 shooting. In fact, in two games vs. Hays this season, Koster is a combined 2-of-15 from the field.

“We knew Hays was going to be very active on defense,” the sixth-year head man said. “But we still have to make plays, and we didn’t.”

For the first 16 minutes, the game played out just like it did back in December with Garden City taking an early three-point lead following Koster’s elbow jumper and Garrett Doll’s triple from the left corner. Berens responded by scoring the first six points for the Indians, who eventually surged in front for good on Nunnery’s offensive rebound and stick back right as the first-quarter buzzer sounded.

But the story of this game was Garden City’s (3-7, 0-3) inability to do anything offensively. Case in point: Erwin Leal’s layup gave the Buffaloes a 9-8 lead with 2:20 remaining in the opening quarter. That was the last time they scored for the next 4:45 as the Indians built a five-point advantage.

They stretched that to eight following Drew Young’s 3-point play and then 11 after Laken Jacobs buried a 3-pointer from the left wing.

Garden City stayed close-thanks to Zac Karlin, who scored five points in the final 45 seconds of the first half; then stole the ball from Drew Young and found a wide-open Doll, whose breakaway layup pulled the Buffaloes to within six at the break. That’s as close as they would get the rest of the night.

“Hays did a good job of taking away what we do,” Holloway said. “But we still had our opportunities.”

Garden City connected on only five field goals over the final 16 minutes, misfiring on 10 of their 12 shots in the third quarter as Hays (8-1, 3-0) pushed the lead to double digits for good when Berens sank two free throws to give the Indians a 32-21 cushion heading into the fourth.

“I thought if it was a low scoring game it would favor us,” Holloway explained. “But we couldn’t score either, so that was that.”

An 8-0 run by Hays to begin the final frame, pushed the lead to 17, and seemingly put the game out of reach.

Garden City was 13-of-39 from the field (33 percent), their third straight game shooting under 40 percent.

Doll paced the Buffaloes with seven points but misfired on 10 of his 13 shots. Leal chipped in six while Koster, Karlin and Edgar Aguilar scored five points apiece. Scott Schmidt grabbed a team-best six rebounds.

Young netted seven points for the Indians, who beat the Buffaloes for a third straight time and won their seventh consecutive game overall.

Next up: Garden City vs. Maize South (Valley Center Tournament)-Thursday, January 21-6 p.m. pregame; 6:15 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR

 

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Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-In 2012, Kirk Manska guided Hays to a 17-5 record and a berth in the 5A state tournament. For his efforts, the Indian alum was named coach of the year.

Since then Hays has gone just 17-51 including six straight losses to Garden City.

On Friday night, all those numbers meant absolutely nothing.

Talyn Kleweno scored 13 points, and the Indians held the Buffaloes under 40 points for the third straight game in a 45-37 victory at the Garden.

It was Hays’ first victory over the brown and white since 2012.

“We’re not executing the stuff that we’ve been working on in practice,” Garden City Coach David Upton said afterwards. “That’s the most frustrating thing about all of this.”

What’s even worse is how much Garden City (4-6, 0-3) dominated the first three minutes, hitting three of their first four shots en route to a 9-1 lead. But Hays (4-5, 1-2) slowly chipped away, pulling to within two at the end of the first quarter.

In the second, the Indians took the lead for good when Audra Schmeidler buried her lone triple of the night to give Hays a 16-13 edge. They took a seven-point cushion into the locker room.

“With Jesse (Carillo) out, we don’t have a consistent post presence,” Upton said. “That is really hurting us.”

That was evident by the numbers, as Hays outrebounded Garden City 29-21 and grabbed 11 offensive boards.

“Opposing teams are getting way too many second chances,” Upton said. “But there are other things going on as well.”

The other area of concern continues to be turnovers as the Buffaloes gave it away 20 times. It’s the sixth time this season that Garden City has had 20 or more. They’re 2-4 in those games.

Despite all of that, Garden City was within five with 41 seconds left following Tiffany Butler’s two free throws. But the Buffaloes never scored again as the Indians handed Upton’s squad their third straight loss.

Abbie Dart led all scorers with 17 points but had just six in the second half. She was 6-of-10 from the field while the rest of the team was a combined 8-of-30 (27 percent).

Mattie Hutchison scored seven points for the Indians. Haley George and Schmeidler each tallied six.

Tip ins: Hays won the game despite missing 12 free throws (12-of-24)…11 of Garden City’s 20 turnovers came over the final 16 minutes

Next up: Garden City vs. Ulysses-Tuesday, January 19-TBA on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR