May 27, 2024

Broncbuster men storm back for win; women fall in overtime


The Garden City Broncbusters overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to beat the Neosho County Panthers 77 – 73 on Saturday.

Garden City led by as many as five points in the first half, but a 10-0 Neosho run late in the half gave the Panthers a six-point lead.

The Broncbusters trimmed it to three, but the Panthers hit a pair of free throws to lead 41 – 36 at halftime.

A couple of runs allowed Neosho to build a 13-point lead, 65 – 52, with just 8:23 left in the game. The Broncbusters then roared back, outscoring the Panthers 22 – 7 to re-take the lead at 74 – 72 with just 35 seconds to play. Jamar Gilbert delivered the trey that put GCCC back up for good. From there, it was just a matter of making free throws and Garden City hung on for the come-from-behind win.

Defense and free throw shooting made the difference down the stretch, as the Broncbusters made several key stops and woud finish hitting 18 of 23 from the charity stripe. The Panthers hit just 4 of 12 free throws in the second half, finishing 10 of 20 for the game. Garden City won the battle on the boards, 37 -29, led by Victor Dukes‘ 15 rebounds to go with 14 points. Four Broncbusters scored in double figures, including Josh Fleming with 14 and Aaron Ray and Jamar Gilbert each adding 13. Travon Bunch, 7-foot sophomore, led Neosho with 17 points.

Neosho County drops to 6-9, 3-8 in the Jayhawk, while Garden City improves to 11-4 and 7-4. Garden City’s next game will against Colby on Wednesday.


The Garden City women led early and came back late, but couldn’t overcome a disastrous second quarter and finish off the Neosho County Panthers, falling 87 – 77 in overtime at Chanute.

The Broncbusters came out firing, hitting five 3-pointers in the opening  eight minutes plus  to build a 17 – 12 lead. But from the 1:45 mark of the 1st quarter until the 6:20 mark of the second, nothing Garden City tried worked, and Neosho used a 16 – 0 run over that 5:25 to build an 11-point lead, 28 – 17. The Panthers would lead by as much as 12 before halftime, before the Broncbusters trimmed the lead to nine at the break, 40 – 31.

With Coach Nick Salazar encouraging his team to “chip away” in the second half, the Busters kept the Panthers within reach, finishing the third quarter on a Monica Barefield trey at the buzzer to draw within four, 51 – 47. Barefield would finish with a game-high 31 points on 11-of-26 shooting, 4-of-11 from three and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.

The Panthers couldn’t shake Garden City in the final period and Garden City finally re-took the lead on a Kavita Akula three to make it 63 – 61 with 3:40 to play. After Neosho tied it at 63, the Broncbusters pushed the lead to five, 68 – 63, with 1:16 to playn on Akula’s fourth trey of the day. But the Panthers would score seven over the next minute to lead 70 – 68 with just 16 seconds to go.

Then DeRae Lewis made the play of the game up to that point, putting back a missed shot at the buzzer to force overtime, tied at 70.

But the Broncbusters went cold again over the first three minutes of overtime, falling behind 77 – 70 before Akula finished off a traditional 3-point play to cut the lead to four at the 1:58 mark in OT. After that, the shots wouldn’t fall easily for Garden City and Neosho iced the game at the free throw line to win it 87 – 77.

The Panthers hit 40 of 57 free throws, while the Broncbusters made good on 20 of 32 from the charity stripe. Five Broncbusters fouled out. Garden City also lost on the boards, 40 – 43, and in turnovers 20 – 16. The Broncbusters shot just 32% from the field, while the Panthers were slightly better at 36%, but just 1 of 13 from beyond the arc.

Ki’Asha Harris led Neosho County with 25 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Brooke Neal with 19, and Bianca Valderrama and Jhanai Felix each with 13 points.

In addition to Barefield’s 31 points, Akula added 15 and Darae Lewis finished with a double-double, 12 points and 13 boards. Neosho improves to 6-9, 3-8 in conference, while the loss drops Garden City to 6-9 and 4-7.

Garden City takes on Colby Wednesday with tipoff at 6:00.