February 8, 2023

Seward County knocks off Garden City women; men coast to blowout win

Highlights

Box Score

Listen to the complete game in our archives section

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-In 10 seasons on the Seward County bench, Toby Wynn has always had a few tricks up his sleeve.

On Wednesday night in a must-win situation for Garden City, Wynn added a new wrinkle: “Utah”-a simple high screen that freed up one of his best players.

It worked to perfection.

Daniella Galindo scored 15 points, Tiania White hit a backbreaking triple down the stretch, and Seward County beat Garden City 54-47 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

The loss drops the Broncbusters into a first-place tie with Hutchinson.

“We haven’t played very well the last few weeks,” Garden City Coach Nick Salazar said after the game. “Really since the Cloud game, we have been a little off. And it cost us tonight.”

Garden City’s defense, which has been a calming influence for Salazar all season long finally cracked, and it did so at the most inopportune time.

With the game tied at 44 with 5:53 to go, Wynn yelled out a subtle command to White: Utah, run Utah.

Axelle Bernard spun out to the high post, set an off-the ball screen, which Galindo slipped behind, made the catch on a perfect pass from White and laid it in to put Seward County up 46-44. They never relinquished that lead.

“Our defense let us down tonight,” Salazar explained. “Couple that with our mistakes on the other end, and that’s why we lost this game.”

The numbers tell a different story.

Seward County (20-7, 12-5) shot just 28 percent and was just 6-for-26 from the floor in the second half (23 percent). Garden City also won the rebounding war 39-36. It was only the eighth time this year that the Saints lost the battle on the glass.

Still the Saints found themselves up by as many as nine points in the second half, mainly because Garden City’s (20-8, 14-3) ineptitude on offense.

“We missed a lot of shots that we normally make,” Salazar said. “We just seemed out of sync.”

Besides Donasja Scott, who finished with 17 points on 7-for-14 shooting, the rest of the team combined for a futile 30 points on 8-for-43 (19 percent).

And yet, the Broncbusters were only down one when Jenna Classen buried a deep 3-pointer with 8:15 to go in the game. Garden City did not hit another shot the rest of the night.

With a chance to take the lead with less than eight minutes to play, Dominique Maxwell split two free throws to tie it at 44. The Broncbusters mustered just three points the rest of the way.

Joanna Grymek, Wynn’s 6-7 post, finished with eight points and seven rebounds while Bernard grabbed a season-high 18 boards.

Scott notched her third double-double of the year with 16 rebounds, and Kavita Akula scored eight points. She missed her final six shot attempts.

“We have to get our stuff together,” Salazar said. “We still control our own destiny, but at the end of the day, these girls have to want it. These next two games will show a lot.”

Akula appeared to be on track for one of those nights after she connected on her first three shots from the field: an elbow jumper coupled with back-to-back triples, and Garden City had an 8-6 edge with 5:43 to play in the first quarter.

But the Saints took command shortly after, and when Galindo splashed home a tray from the top of the key, Seward County grabbed the lead 11-10. Garden City never pushed in front again.

Seward County built their first-half margin to as many as seven before taking a five-point lead into the intermission.

Tip ins: Garden City has already clinched home court for the first round of the conference tournament and still control their own destiny to win the Jayhawk title-they need to beat Cloud County and Hutchinson to claim their first conference championship since 2003

Next up: Garden City at Cloud County-Saturday, February 20-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR

Men

Highlights

Box Score

Listen to the complete game in our archives section

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-It’s hard to fathom that three weeks ago in Liberal, Garden City trailed Seward County by 18 late in the second half.

Fast forward to February 17, and the roles were completely reversed.

It’s the landscape of the Jayhawk Conference in 2016. Go figure.

Josh Fleming hit all 16 of his free throws and finished with 31 points, James McNeal added 17 points on 6-for-8 from the field, and Garden City enacted some revenge with a 91-77 victory over Seward County at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

“My guys are buying in,” Broncbuster Coach Brady Trenkle said afterwards. “The region is so wide open. It gives us a chance. I know it, and so do these players.”

After nearly blowing an 11-point lead in Colby on Saturday night, Garden City (16-12, 8-9) made sure there was no letdown in their home gym.

McNeal hit a tough reverse layup, J.T. Bennett, Aaron Ray and Jabar Ray splashed home 3-pointers igniting a 12-0 run that put the Broncbusters up 25-11 with 9:18 to play in the first half.

“We stayed in our offense and everything worked out well,” Trenkle said. “It was only when we got out of what we were doing that we struggled. But it goes to show that if they run what we’re telling them, good things will happen.”

Only once during the first 20 minutes did Seward County (18-10, 8-9) cut the lead to single digits. That happened when Mitchell Packard buried a tray to make it 31-23 with 2:45 to go in the period.

The Broncbusters calmly responded by with a 12-5 run to close the half. They led 43-28 at the break.

“I feel good about this team,” Trenkle said. “It was big having Diontae (Jones) back out there. Just him being in uniform boosts this team’s spirit.”

Jones missed the Colby game with an injured hamstring.

Garden City built their lead to as many as 19 points in the second half before Seward County cut it to 10 twice in the final 3:54. But the Broncbusters iced the game by going 11-for-12 at the line over the final three minutes. They were 37-for-41 on the night including 27-for-31 in the final 20 minutes.

(Aaron) Ray scored 15 points for the Broncbusters, who won a game on their home floor for the first time since beating Cloud County on January 30. Bennett chipped in seven and Brandon Jones had two emphatic dunks, six rebounds and three blocks.

Packard paced the Saints with 20 points and was 10-for-12 at the line. Conference leading scorer Niem Stevenson, who was questionable coming into the game with an injured hip, tallied 19 but missed 12 shots. Charles Beauregard added 17.

Tip ins: Oregon Coach Dana Altman was in attendance on Wednesday-he was there to watch Stevenson who was doubtful earlier in the day after falling awkwardly on his hip during a two-point loss to Colby on Monday night…Altman’s son Jordan is the assistant coach for the Garden City men

Next up: Garden City at Cloud County-Saturday, February 20-8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR