May 28, 2024

Buffalo boys down rival Dodge; girls do the same

Photos by Adam Shrimplin

Highlights

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Zac Karlin had been waiting all season long to find his touch. And on the final day of January, the senior finally did.

Karlin dropped a career-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, Garrett Doll added 15, and Garden City handed Dodge City their seventh straight loss with a 54-43 victory Tuesday night at the Garden.

“Zac was tremendous,” Buffaloes Coach Jacy Holloway said afterwards. “He was in a really good rhythm.”

That rhythm saved Garden City (7-8, 3-1) when it appeared the game was getting away from the brown and white early on.  

After scoring the first four points, the Buffaloes watched helplessly as Dodge roared back with a 10 unanswered fueled by Hunter Heath’s own personal 8-0 run. That spurt eventually reached 15-2, and Garden City was staring up at a 15-6 deficit 30 seconds into the second period.

“We’ve responded this entire month,” Holloway said. “We’ve fallen behind before. This team never quits, and they proved that again tonight.”

Garden City countered by outscoring the Red Demons 18-5 over the final 7:30 of the first half, thanks in large part to Karlin, who scored the Buffaloes final seven points of the half. In all he tallied nine points in the frame, and helped turn a nine-point hole into a 24-19 halftime edge.

doll

“We were taking good shots,” Holloway said. “That was the key. There for a while, we were forcing it. But for the most part, we took the shots we needed to.”

After Dodge City (2-11, 1-3) cut the Garden City lead to two midway through the third, it was Karlin nailing a 3-pointer to stretch it back to five. Eventually they pushed it to nine early in the fourth before the Red Demons made one last ditch effort to salvage the game.

Noah Sowers drained two free throws and a connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing, Heath added a put back followed by Chris Baker’s trey that pulled Dodge City to within one 41-40 with 2:28 to go in the game.

Timeout Dodge City.

“We just had to stick to what we do,” Holloway said. “Teams are going to make runs. They made one, and we responded.”

Despite going the final 6:01 without a field goal, the Buffaloes salted the game away at the line as Garrett Doll, Griff Brunson, Karlin and Jarrod Springston combined to go 13-of-16 in the fourth period. The Buffaloes finished 14-of-20 (70 percent) from the stripe for the game.

Demarcus Elliott scored six points including playing a little bully-ball on the block when he powered through Sowers for a deuce with 3:20 left in the third quarter. Springston added four for the Buffaloes, who shot near 50 percent for the second straight game.

Heath scored 10 of his team-high 15 points in the first quarter for Dodge City, who is off to their worst start since 1981. Baker added nine points while Sowers chipped in eight.

springston

Notes: After Baker’s 3-pointer cut the Garden City lead to one, Dodge City managed just two points over the final 2:28…Garden City has won three out of the last 5 meetings between the two teams at home

Next up: vs. Guymon-Friday, Feb. 3-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app

Girls

Highlights

Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-It had been nearly two years since Garden City last won a conference game.

“I stopped mentioning it to the girls,” first-year Head Coach Matt Pfeifer said. “We just needed to stop talking about it and go out there and do something about it.”

Well talk is cheap; that much Pfeifer acknowledged. Instead, the Buffaloes let the scoreboard do the talking, even if the end result was not a work of art.

Josie Calzonetti scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half, Alyssa Long hit the go-ahead layup with 1:04 remaining, and Garden City ended an 11-game, Western Athletic Conference losing streak with a 35-33 victory over Dodge City Tuesday night at the Garden.

bellows

“I probably aged about 20 years in that fourth quarter,” Pfeifer said. “But we got it done.”

Yes they did, but the years added onto Pfeifer’s age came after Garden City coughed up an eight-point fourth-quarter lead.

Abbie Dart’s layup to beat the third-quarter buzzer gave the Buffaloes a 30-22 lead heading into the final period. They would not score again for the next 5:30.

While Garden City (4-11, 1-3) went stone cold, the Red Demons finally heated up. Tia Bradshaw’s bucket made it a six-point contest with 5:40 to play before Ezinne Okoro added two free throws and Bradshaw sank two of her own to make it a two-point game with 4:02 left.

After Kyra Bellows ended the Buffaloes scoring drought by splitting a pair of freebies, Lexi Ontiberos answered with two from the line for the Red Demons. On Dodge City’s next trip down the floor, Ontiberos found Chidera Okoro for a layup on the right block that gave her team their first lead of the night 32-31 with 2:00 remaining.  

“I’m so proud of how our girls didn’t put their heads down after they lost the lead,” Pfeifer said. “They could have easily done that.”

dart

Instead, Aerianna Stinemetz made the biggest defensive play of the game, stealing the ball away from Bradshaw before lacing perfect pass to Long who laid the ball in while she was fouled. The senior missed the ensuring free throw, but the Buffaloes had the lead back with just over a minute to go.

“That was a heads up play on both ends,” Pfeifer acknowledged. “That’s the type of stuff we’ve been looking for.”

After Stinemetz’s layup pushed the lead to three with 15 seconds to play, Dodge City had one final chance to force overtime.

Red Demons Coach Kelly Snodgrass put the ball in Bradshaw’s hands, and with time winding down, the senior leaned into a 3-pointer at the top of the key. The shot was blocked by long at the buzzer, but after a short delay the officials called a foul.

“I was telling our girls to foul before she shot it,” Pfeifer said.

Bradshaw swished the first free throw before having the second pop out, rendering the third one meaningless, and giving Garden City their first win in 2017.

Dart scored nine points for Garden City, who ended a six-game losing streak to Dodge City. Stinemetz chipped in six.

guymon

Bradshaw sparked the Red Demons with 14 points and nine rebounds. (Ezinne) Okoro added 10 points but was just 3-of-9 from the floor.

“I’m just happy we finally got that out of the way,” Pfeifer said. “Now we build up for the next one.”

Even though they never led by double digits, Garden City seemed to be in control from the start. The Buffaloes scored the first seven points of the game and led 14-9 after one. Calzonetti’s three-point play two minutes into the second quarter pushed the lead back to seven. The Buffaloes led 19-15 at the half.

Garden City limited Dodge City to just three field goals over the first 10:20 of the second half, enabling them to build that eight-point cushion.

Notes: Dodge City played without Ashley Nelson (ankle) and Kaylyn Maple (concussion)

Next up: Vs. Guymon-Friday, Feb. 3-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app