July 12, 2024

Ricks and Jennings too much for Buffaloes in Valley Center opener


Box Score

Valley Center, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Garden City did something on Thursday night that they hadn’t done in nearly 10 years.

It was by no means an accomplishment.

Seth Jennings scored 11 of his 23 points in the third quarter, Payten Ricks added 19, and Maize South handed Garden City their sixth straight loss 70-49 Thursday night in the opening round of the 33rd annual January Jam at Hornets Field House.

It’s the first time the Buffaloes have dropped six in a row since 2006.

“The game got away from us in the third quarter,” Garden City Coach Jacy Holloway said afterwards. “We couldn’t hit shots, and we turned the ball over. That was a recipe for disaster.”

It was indeed. And while the Buffaloes went stone cold in the third, the Mavericks heated up, hitting 8-of-13 shots, outscoring Garden City (3-8, 0-4) 20-11 in the period to open up a 52-34 lead going into the final quarter.

“We just got out of our element again,” Holloway explained. “We went a few minutes without scoring again, and they hit shots.”

The Buffaloes went the first 1:30 of the third scoreless and then answered with another three-minute drought. The damage was significant, and Garden City was staring at a 26-point deficit three minutes into the fourth.

“It’s hard to get anything going when you’re not scoring,” Holloway said. “And right now, we’re not scoring.”

That was not the case early on as Jared Koster and Garrett Doll combined to score the first 14 points for Holloway’s squad. Garden City trailed by a single point at the end of the first quarter.

The Buffaloes took the lead briefly 16-15 on Edgar Aguilar’s jumper with 7:07 left in the half. Then after Maize South (5-3, 3-2) answered with five straight points, the Buffaloes pulled back to within one 24-23 on Parker Tanner’s follow with 1:21. It was the last time they scored before the break.

The Mavericks, last year’s 5A state runner-up, scored eight straight points to close the period, the last five coming from Ricks, who capped the run by burying a 3-pointer from the left wing while being fouled by Scott Schmidt. The senior missed the ensuing free throw, and Maize South led 32-23 heading into the locker room.

“We have to do a better job of scoring points,” Holloway said. “Because when we are not scoring, you can see that our defensive effort is not there. It’s frustrating going back on defense when you can’t do anything on the other end of the floor.”

Koster led the Buffaloes with 20 points, but missed 11 shots. Doll scored seven of his 12 in the first quarter, and Zac Karlin chipped in five.

Tyler Caldwell tallied nine for the Mavericks, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Wiedemann added nine points and a season-high 11 rebounds.

Tip ins: There were four lead changes and one tie-Garden City’s largest lead was 3-0 with 7:22 left in the first…Garden City had just eight assists on 19 made field goalsIt was Garden City’s third straight, opening-round loss in the January Jam…Maize South leads the all-time series with the Buffaloes 2-0…It was the first meeting between the two schools since January, 2010…Garden City was outrebounded for the ninth time this season (30-21)

Next up: Garden City vs. Valley Center (Consolation semifinals)-Friday, January 22 4:45 p.m. pregame; 5 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR