May 26, 2024

Hays boys get hot from downtown; turnovers plague GCHS girls

Photos by Adam Shrimplin


Garden City, KS-On Thursday night, Garden City sophomore Jarrod Springston emphasized how important perimeter defense would be in their showdown with Hays.

24 hours later, no defense on the planet could stop the Indians 3-point arsenal.

Hays drilled a season-high 11 3’s, Shane Berens poured in a season-best 17 points, and the Indians held off a late rally to defeat Garden City for the third time this season 63-57 at the Garden.

“The difference was the 3-point shot,” Buffaloes Coach Jacy Holloway said afterwards. “We tried different defenses, but they were in a groove.”

It was the fourth time this season that Hays (11-6, 4-2) connected on nine or more treys. For Garden City’s (9-10, 5-2) sake, their hot shooting came at the worst possible time.

After the teams traded the lead four times over the first 12 minutes, Claiborne Kyles stretched a one-point Indian advantage to four at the break, splashing home a triple with 1:27 to go in the second. Neither team scored the rest of the way.

Hays blew the game open with a red-hot shooting third quarter, connecting on 6-of-11 shots, sparking a 16-2 run for a 42-27 edge with 4:24 to play in the period. The Indians hit three more 3’s in the frame and led 44-29 going into the fourth.


“It’s hard when you’re switching defenses and they continue to hit shots,” Holloway said. “But even trailing big, we knew the game wasn’t over.”

Holloway was accurate with his assessment. On Tuesday night, Hays blew a nine-point second-half lead in a four-point loss to No. 9 Abilene. Earlier in the season they surrendered a 10-point cushion in an overtime defeat vs. Scott City. On Friday, Rick Keltner’s team found themselves up 57-37 with 4:10 left in the fourth following Peyton Kiefer’s trey from the left corner. It was all too familiar territory.

“This is no disrespect to Hays,” Holloway added. “But we knew they had been vulnerable to giving up big leads. So we knew we had a chance.”

Garrett Doll, who missed his first four shots on the night, finished by connecting on 7 of his final 9, including a 14-point fourth-quarter that saw him hit 4-of-5 from downtown. His final trey capped a 13-3 run that pulled the Buffaloes to within 10 with 1:36 to go. Garden City had a chance to cut it to seven with 37 seconds but Tye Davis’s triple attempt from the right wing sailed wide left.  

They eventually cut it to nine on Springston’s layup and trimmed it to six in the final seconds when the sophomore nailed a 30-foot 3-pointer. But the clock finally struck midnight on the Buffaloes comeback bid.

“We gave ourselves a chance,” Holloway said. “But their shooting was the difference in this game.”

Doll led the Buffaloes with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Springston and Griff Brunson each added 10. Demarcus Elliot had eight points and eight boards.


Kyles scored 13 for Hays, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Cole Murphy hit three 3-pointers and finished with 10. Tyrese Hill, who torched the Buffaloes for 18 points and 12 rebounds back in January, tallied 10 points and four rebounds.

Next up: Garden City vs. Liberal-Tuesday, Feb. 21-8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; and KWKR mobile app




Garden City, KS-Garden City girls coach Matt Pfeifer called Tuesday’s loss to Dodge City one of his team’s worst performances of the season.

“There was no effort,” he said. “It was tough to watch and very frustrating.”

Although his team’s effort was much better on Friday, the end result was exactly the same.

Savannah Schneider scored 12 points, Mattie Hutchison added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Hays completed the season sweep of the Buffaloes with a 51-42 win at the Garden.

“We turned the ball over way too many times and couldn’t hit free throws,” Pfeifer said. “It’s not really hard to see where we lost this game.”

The Buffaloes missed 11 of their first 12 freebies. They finished the game 4-of-17.

“Those numbers speak for themselves.”


As for turnovers, the Buffaloes committed nine of their 19 in the first eight minutes. It allowed Hays (10-8, 3-3) to make their move, igniting a 12-0 run that put the Indians up 18-7. They led 18-9 after one.

“We made mistakes against their press that we didn’t make in practice,” Pfeifer said. “I don’t understand it.”

Garden City (5-14, 1-6) cleaned things up in the second. Alyssa Long and Josie Calzonetti hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Annie Gerbrer’s reverse layup pulled the Buffaloes to within one with 1:45 to go in the half. Hays countered with six consecutive points, and only Kyra Bellows layup with two seconds left stymied a big Indians run. Hays led 30-25 at the intermission.

Things fell apart in the second half for the Buffaloes. They were just 6-of-23 from the field (26 percent) and added six more turnovers to their tally.

Brooke Denning’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run that put Hays up 39-28 with 5:22 to go in the third. And despite a 5:00 scoring drought from the Indians to close the quarter, the Buffaloes never got any closer than six the rest of the way.

The Indians led by as many as 12 in the fourth before the Buffaloes made one more push in the final two minutes. Bellows hit a layup and Calzonetti drained two free throws to pull Garden City to within six 45-39. But Hays scored the final six points and the Buffaloes went scoreless the final 1:59.


Bellows scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds for Garden City, who lost for the 11th time in their last 13 games. Calzonetti added 10 points and nine boards.

Maddie Keller tallied eight points for Hays, who snapped a season-long four-game losing streak.

Next up: Garden City vs. Liberal-Tuesday, Feb. 21-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; and KWKR mobile app