Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Hutchinson, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-In three years of coaching at Garden City, Brady Trenkle’s teams have always been competitive. But on Monday night, the third-year coach watched his team get thoroughly beaten on the road.
Akbar Hoffman scored 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting, Bashir Ahmed added 16, and No. 15 Hutchinson strolled to an 83-64 victory at the Sports Arena.
And the final score wasn’t even that close.
The Blue Dragons built their lead to as many as 24 in the second half before J.T. Bennet scored the final five points for Garden City.
But truth be told, neither team appeared right in the early going.
Garden City (14-10, 6-7) held Hutchinson (21-3, 10-3) at bay in the first few minutes. Jabar Ray scored four of the first six points, Aaron Ray hit a jumper, and the Broncbusters had an 8-4 advantage. But the Blue Dragons countered with nine straight points, capped off with Keanu Pinder’s three-point play that gave the home team the lead for good 13-8.
Bennett’s 3-pointer with 10:11 left in the first half pulled the brown and gold to within three, but that’s as close as they would get as the Blue Dragons closed the period on a 21-13 spurt. Bashir Ahmed scored 12 straight points, and Shakur Juiston’s knocked down a fallaway jumper at the buzzer. Hutchinson led 39-28 at the break.
Despite a sluggish start to the second half, Garden City closed the gap to seven with (Aaron) Ray’s and-1 layup with 13:20 to play. But the freshman missed the free throw. Hoffman answered with a 3-pointer for Hutchinson, Samajae Jones completed a 3-point play, and the Broncbusters never got the deficit under 10 points again.
Juiston tallied 15 points on 5-of-8 from the floor for the Blue Dragons, who beat Garden City for the ninth time in their last 10 meetings. Pinder recorded his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Bennett scored 18 points for the Broncbusters, who lost for the seventh straight time at the Sports Arena. Fleming added 12 points after missing Saturday’s game following a one-game suspension for picking up two technical fouls last week at Seward County.
Next up: Garden City vs. Barton County-Wednesday, February 3-7:30 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
Hutchinson, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Back in July, the Hutchinson’s women’s program faced serious allegations of players receiving improper benefits.
The end result was that the team had to vacate all regular-season wins from last year and give up four scholarships.
But that didn’t stop John Onjtes from building up another super power. They proved that again on Monday night.
Inja Butina scored a season-high 28 points, Taylor Stahly hit two backbreaking triples in the final quarter, and No. 8 Hutchinson beat Garden City 77-70 at the Sports Arena.
“I’m disappointed at the end result, but our kids didn’t quit,” Garden City Coach Nick Salazar said afterwards. “Hutch is a really good team, and they can shoot. But we still had our chances; we just didn’t take advantage of them.”
Things looked pretty bleak for Garden City (17-7, 11-2) when Kirea Rodgers bucket put the Lady Dragons up 60-45 with 4:37 to go in the third quarter. But a 10-3 run by the Broncbusters to end the period made it an eight-point game going into the fourth.
“We were right there,” Salazar added. “But let’s be honest, we still have a long way to go to be able to beat this team. We have to get better.”
Shala Dobbins three-point play one minute into the final frame, cut the deficit to four at 64-60. But Stahly countered with a cold-blooded trey from the top of the key, spearheading a quick 5-0 run to stretch the lead back to nine.
“The difference in this game is that every time they (Hutch) had a chance to make a bucket they did; we couldn’t match that,” Salazar said. “We had several open looks that we couldn’t get to fall.”
It didn’t help that Dobbins, who finished with 19 points, fouled out early in the fourth. Kavita Akula joined her a few minutes later.
Still Garden City stayed alive, thanks to DeRae Lewis, who led one more comeback effort in the final few minutes. Her free throw with 3:03 to go pulled the Broncbusters to within three 71-68. But they managed just two points the rest of the way, and Hutchinson (22-1, 12-1) capped off their 11th straight win.
“I knew they wouldn’t blow us out,” Salazar said. “But we didn’t make enough plays to win. And anytime your two big guns foul out, that spells trouble for anyone.”
Akula finished with only three points on 1-of-5 shooting. Lewis scored a season-high 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Dominique Maxwell chipped in 10, and Jaymie Bernbeck had nine and seven boards.
Rogers scored 19 points for Hutchinson, who beat Garden City for the 10th straight time at the Sports Arena. Stahly added 15 points.
But Garden City’s biggest problem on Monday night was that they couldn’t stop Butina, who scored 18 of her 28 points in a dazzling first half. Her back-to-back 3-pointers late in the second quarter gave the Blue Dragons a 40-26 advantage. She closed the half with a brilliant 3-point play before Maxwell’s coast-to-coast layup cut the Hutchinson lead to 10 at the intermission.
Garden City led for a grand total of 23 seconds when Berbeck’s bucket put them in front 4-2 with 7:40 remaining in the first quarter. But Hutchinson answered with 10 straight points to take an eight-point edge, and never trailed again.
Next up: Garden City vs. Barton County-Wednesday, February 3-5:15 p.m. pregame; 5:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR