May 27, 2024

Dukes hits the glass in Broncbusters rout of Pratt


Pratt, KS-In High School, Victor Dukes was known for a dunk that went viral and made Sportscenter’s top 10.

And while that jam was more ridiculous than anything Zack LaVine has done in the NBA’s slam dunk contest the last couple of years, Dukes may very well be best known now for pulling off his best Bill Russell impersonation.

Dukes found his way into the record books on Saturday, scoring 29 points and pulling down 23 rebounds, the most in a single game since Cedrick Taylor had 23 back in 1999 as Garden City roared back from 10 down to destroy Pratt 118-104 at the Beaver Dome.

“I’m not surprised at Victor,” Garden City Coach Brady Trenkle said. “He’s so athletic. That’s another day at the office.”

Dukes made it look that way.

The transfer from Blinn notched his fifth double-double of the season in emphatic fashion, and sparked a lethargic Garden City team that found themselves in a 19-9 hole six minutes into the game.

“We just had to find our rhythm,” Trenkle said. “This team is so talented, and sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.”

They woke up thanks to Dukes, who posted a 12-point, 10 rebound first half that helped propel a 13-2 run that gave Garden City (10-3, 6-3) their first lead 23-22 with 11:19 to play. Ben Howze was also instrumental during the stretch, scoring 7 straight points, including an emphatic driving dunk that pushed the Broncbusters in front.

“We’ve got so many guys that can score,” Trenkle said. “We just have to learn how to defend better.”

The lead changed hands five times in the first half with Pratt taking a four-point edge into the locker room.

Dukes made sure that lead did not stick.

The athletic swingman netted 17 points in the second half, including two free throws that put Garden City up 82-80 with 9:18 to play. They never trailed again.

Howze added two freebies; Jefkins Agyeman-Budu split a pair at the stripe; Anei Anei converted a driving layup before Josh Fleming‘s two charity shots capped a 9-0 run that put the Broncbusters up nine. That lead swelled to as many as 15 after Anei drilled a 3-pointer as the Broncbusters tallied 67 points over the final 20 minutes of action.

Howze scored 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season. Fleming added 21, Budu 16 and Anei 13. Garden City’s bench outscored Pratt’s 39-23.

Victor Dukes had an amazing day, but Josh Fleming changed his game in the second half,” Trenkle explained. “That helped us out in a big way.”

Devon Andrews, who scored 43 points in Pratt’s previous win over Colby, netted 33 on 10-of-22 shooting. Terrell Williams scored 28 and Dawson Gunter chipped in 14.

Next up: Garden City at Coffeyville-Wednesday, January 4-7:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; and mobile app: KWKR