Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-After back-to-back postseason failures, Garden City men’s coach Brady Trenkle might have looked cool, calm and collected on the outside. But on the inside it was killing him.
“We got the No. 3 seed a couple of years ago and had to go on the road,” he explained. “Then last year we lost in a game where we had the lead late. That’s how it’s gone.”
On Thursday night, the third-year coach finally got that elusive tournament win.
Josh Fleming scored 33 points, Aaron Ray added 25, and the Broncbusters won their first Region VI opening-round game since 2011 with a 116-93 victory over Seward County at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
“We played really well,” Trenkle said with a smile on his face. “We shot the ball well. When we shoot well, we can play with anyone. And, for the most part, we defended.”
Garden City (18-13, 9-10) was 19-for-33 (57.5 percent) from the floor in the second half, and scored 69 points, building their lead to as many as 24.
But the final score was not indicative of how close the game was midway through the second half.
After building a 60-47 lead following Antorian Moore’s basket with 15:15 to go, Seward County (18-13, 8-11) punched back. Niem Stevenson, who recorded his eighth 30-point game of the season with 34 on 10-of-21 shooting, hit two free throws, James Byrd followed with two freebies of his own before Stevenson’s layup pulled the Saints to within five 62-57.
But Jabar Ray’s stick back and Zach Beard’s three-point play quickly pushed the advantage back to double digits 67-57.
“Our guys answered the bell every time,” Trenkle said. “Seward made a couple of runs at us, but we stood tall.”
The Saints sliced the deficit in half once more. Stevenson buried two more charity shots and Charles Beauregard completed an uncontested and-1 that brought Seward County back to within five 67-62 with 10:41 to play. They wouldn’t get any closer
Garden City ripped off a 16-3 run, punctuated with 3-pointers by (Aaron) and (Jabar) Ray and a two-handed slam by Moore in transition that gave Garden City an 18-point edge with 7:30 to go.
Seward County was hampered by foul trouble, evident when Beauregard, who torched the Broncbusters for 26 points and seven rebounds in a 92-87 victory back on Jan. 27, fouled out with 10:20 left in the second half. He was held to just nine points.
The only anxious moments provided down the stretch came thanks to Saints Coach Bryan Zollinger, who got his money’s worth arguing a call late in the second half. The veteran skipper was hit with two technical fouls and tossed. (Aaron) Ray hit two of the four free throws to make it 107-88 with 2:08 to play.
“It’s was an emotional and physical game,” Trenkle added. “But we knew that coming in. Things got a little chippie. But let’s be honest, that’s basketball. That’s how it’s played.”
The Broncbusters set the tempo from the start, jumping out to an 11-2 lead following Fleming’s trey from the wing. Bennet added a 3-pointer and a transition layup, and Garden City had a 14-point edge.
Bennett scored 16 for Garden City. Gage Loy posted his first double-double of the year with 13 points and 16 rebounds. (Jabar) Ray and Moore each added 10.
Mitchell Packard scored 13 points for the Saints, who lost a first-round game for the first time since 2006. Marcus Mathieu added 12, and Byrd had 11.
Tip ins: Delano Jones was issued two technical fouls-it was his 10th technical foul in the last nine games
Next up: Garden City vs. No. 7 Hutchinson (Region VI quarterfinals)-Sunday, February 28-12:45 p.m. pregame; 1 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR
Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Nick Salazar’s message to his team was clear and concise:
“We need to get back to being efficient on both ends of the floor,” he said. “When we do that, we are hard to beat.”
In the opening round of the Region VI tournament on Thursday, the Broncbusters epitomized just that.
Jenna Classen and DeRae Lewis scored 26 points on a combined 10-of-13 shooting, Jaymie Bernbeck grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds, and the Broncbusters squashed Colby 70-54 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
The win moves Garden City into the quarterfinals Tuesday vs. Cloud County at Hartman Arena in Wichita.
“I told these girls that if we shoot 10 3’s, we better hit three of them,” Salazar said. “For the most part we did that.”
Garden City (21-10, 14-5) buried seven triples, including 5 of their first 12-helping them dig out of an early four-point hole to build an 11-point lead late in the first half. Jenna Classen’s second 3-pointer of the second quarter gave the Broncbusters a 34-23 edge.
“This was the first time in a few weeks where I felt we played well as a complete team,” Salazar said. “We got back to what we do, and I feel very confident moving forward.”
Colby (5-26, 1-18) did their best to stay close, pulling to within five following Kenzie Curry’s 3-pointer with 5:52 to go in the first half. But Bernbeck drilled a jumper, and Kavita Akula connected on a long 3-pointer, and the Broncbuster lead was back to 10.
In the fourth, the Trojans used an 8-0 run to cut Garden City’s 14-point lead down to six. Aubrey Thomas, who scored all 13 of her points in the final 11 minutes, hit a layup to pull Colby to within 56-50.
That was close enough for Garden City’s blood.
The Broncbusters responded with nine straight points including Lewis’s big 3-point play, and Garden City opened up their largest lead of the night 67-51. They wouldn’t look back.
Akula finished with nine points for the Broncbusters, who punched their ticket to Wichita after a year absence. Dominique Maxwell finished with eight.
Amber Perryman scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half but was 0-for-4 shooting in the second half. Janea Dennis had 11 and Clara Schwartz had 10.
Tip ins: Colby lost their 10th straight postseason game…Garden City advanced to Region VI quarterfinals for the fourth time in the last five years; it’s sets up a third meeting between the Broncbusters and Cloud County-the two teams split the regular-season series with each program winning on their home floor
Next up: Garden City vs. Cloud County (Region VI Quarterfinals)-Tuesday, March 1-2:45 p.m. pregame; 3 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR