May 24, 2024

Fleming and Dukes lead Broncbusters to win; Allen sweeps season series from women


Garden City, KS-Shortly before Wednesday night’s game against Cowley County, Victor Dukes approached his coach and told him that he was not feeling well.

“He was very sick,” Garden City Head Coach Brady Trenkle said. “I wish I would have known sooner.”

Dukes played, but was nowhere near 100 percent.

“He apologized to me for being sick,” Trenkle said. “He is such a good kid; people don’t really know.”

On Saturday, Dukes was back at full strength, and no defense on the planet could stop him.

Dukes scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half and pulled down 16 rebounds, Josh Fleming netted a game-high 25, and Garden City held on to beat Allen County 95-84 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

“Victor was unstoppable,” Trenkle said. “When he is going like that, it’s unbelievable.”

And he had the entire repertoire on full display.

Entering their showdown with the Red Devils, Dukes had hit only two 3-pointers in Garden City’s first 20 games. On Saturday, he drilled two in the first six minutes, scoring 10 points during a 13-0 run that put the Broncbusters up 20-6 with 13:20 left in the first half.

“He (Dukes) was all over the floor,” Trenkle said.

Dukes was far from finished. His steal and layup with 7:56 remaining in the opening frame gave Garden City (14-7, 10-7) a 29-15 edge. His bucket four minutes later stretched the lead to 15 before Jefkins Agyeman Budu’s layup gave the Broncbusters their largest cushion of the first half 43-26.

“We were so good in that first half,” Trenkle said. “But we knew Allen was going to make a run.”

Before the Red Devils surged back, one had to admire Dukes first-half stat line: 19 points, nine rebounds, one steal and 7-of-11 shooting. Not bad for 17 minutes of work.

“Victor is one of the best players in the league,” Trenkle said. “He can do so many different things.”

Dukes’ sensational first half had the Broncbusters up 12 the break. But the Red Devils, who were torched by 27 on their home floor back in November by Garden City, nearly pulled off a monumental shocker.

The Red Devils, who did not record a single offensive rebound in the first half, finally had one in the first two minutes of the second when Ithello Cross grabbed a miss and stuck it back home. It was a sign of things to come.

Cross kept coming, and his powerful slam four minutes into the period cut the Broncbusters once 17-point lead down to five 49-44. Daron Mims chiseled it down to three.

“I challenged these guys,” Trenkle said. “I told them that this is a must-win game for you. You can’t let this one slip away.”

Fleming responded with a 3-pointer and Ben Howze added a three-point play to push the lead back to nine. But Allen’s push was just beginning.

Eventually the Red Devils tied the game at 61 on Jah-Kobe Womack’s steal and layup with 11 minutes to play in the game. The next time down the floor, Womack was fouled and had a chance to give Allen County their first lead. But the front end of the one-and-one drifted left. Fleming answered with two freebies of his own before Aaron Ray’s three-point play gave Garden City a three-point lead.

“We just had to keep answering,” Trenkle said. “Allen was making everything in that second half.”

Trenkle was not kidding. The Red Devils shot 21-of-38 (56 percent) over the final 20 minutes, and tied the game once more when Quentin Blaue, who came into the night shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, buried a trey from the left corner to even the score at 70 with 6:48 remaining.

“We covered him (Blaue) well in the first half,” Trenkle said. “But it’s hard to stay with him for 40 minutes.”

As they did the first time that the Red Devils tied it, the Broncbusters countered with another haymaker. Howze’s spectacular three-point play followed Naradain James two free throws and Ray’s floater gave Garden City a 77-70 lead. They pushed it to eight with 3:11 to play.

“Every time we thought the game was over, they came right back,” Trenkle said.

Blaue drained another 3-pointer, E.J. Garnes grabbed an offensive rebound before setting up Mims for a layup; then Ahmad Winston split a pair of free throws to pull the Red Devils to within two 83-81 with 1:55 to play. But that’s as close as Allen County (10-11, 7-10) would get.

Ray’s powerful and-1 layup, James two free throws, and Fleming’s coldblooded trey from the top with the shot clock winding down in the final 20 seconds, preserved the Broncbusters 11th home-win of the season.

“Hutchinson is going to win the league,” Trenkle said. “Everybody knows that. We are fighting for second place, and our guys are well aware.”

What Dukes started in the first half, Fleming rightfully finished in the second, scoring 18 of his 25 points after the break for Garden City, who completed the season sweep of the Red Devils. He was 7-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from long range. Howze scored 18 points and pulled down six rebounds and James added 12 and eight boards.

Mims, the conference’s fourth-highest scorer, tallied 13 of his team-best 19 points in the second half for Allen County, who dropped their second straight game. Womack scored 14 while E. J Garnes chipped in 12 and six dimes.

Next up: Garden City at Independence-Wednesday, Feb. 1-8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; and KWKR mobile app




Garden City, KS-In the final two minutes of Wednesday night’s game vs. Cowley County, DeRae Lewis was whistled for a rather benign foul. But it was something that she did not agree with. It ended up costing her two technical fouls and a one-game suspension.

And boy did her team feel her absence on Saturday.

Damonica Franklin scored 13 of her career-high 29 points in the third quarter, Akia Andrews added 15, and Allen County completed a season sweep of Garden City with an 80-72 victory at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

“I’m embarrassed of how we played,” Broncbusters Head Coach Nick Salazar said. “It’s like an architect designing a building; only the building was never completed. Ours is nowhere near finished.”

With Lewis out, Franklin took full advantage. But before she did, her teammates carried the load in the first half.

Allen County (7-14, 6-11) connected on 10 of their first 14 shots, scored a season-best 28 first-quarter points and had two separate 13-point leads early in the second. And they were doing it with a weapon that had been nowhere to be found during their first 20 games: the 3-point shot.

The Red Devils drained three of them in the first 10 minutes; then added one more late in the second as Allen County led by six at the break.

The troubling factor for the Broncbusters: Franklin sat most of the first half with foul trouble. Her return in the third, sent shockwaves throughout the DPAC.

“We could not stop her,” Salazar said. “The personnel that we had on the floor was not capable of stopping her, and that’s my fault.”

Franklin had Angel Muir and Jessica Carillo on ice skates, scoring her team’s first 13 points of the period. Her last bucket came with 4:45 to play in the third to give her team a commanding 55-38 advantage.

“This is an embarrassing loss,” Salazar said. “Not because it’s Allen County, but because we couldn’t stop anything.”

Franklin picked up her fourth foul with 4:30 left in quarter. That’s when Garden City made their push to get back into the game.

Monica Barefield scored five straight followed by Megan Besecker’s deep 3-pointer, Kavita Akula’s two free throws and Besecker’s second triple-helped put the stamp on a 13-0 run that pulled Garden City (7-14, 5-12) to within four 55-51 with 33 seconds remaining in the third. That was the closest they would get.

Franklin returned in the fourth to score nine more, and her three-point play and two free throws in the final 1:30 put the game out of reach.

“I take full responsibility for this team,” Salazar said. “It starts with me, and I have to do a better job recruiting. Yes, we didn’t have DeRae, but that means I need to recruit more post players.”

Akula quietly had one of her most efficient games of the season, scoring 17 points on 5-of-7 from downtown for Garden City, who lost their fifth straight for the first time since 2009. Carrillo added 15, Barefield 14 and Besecker a career-high 13 points.

Summons scored nine of her 12 points in the first half for Allen, who won back-to-back games for only the second time this season.

Next up: Garden City at Indepdnence-Wednesday, Feb. 1-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; and KWKR mobile app