Coffeyville, KS-When Jay Herkelman constructed his team during the offseason, he envisioned one that had interchangeable parts. Through 13 games, the winningest coach in Jayhawk Conference history is seeing his vision come to light. And for the rest of the league, look out.
Marvin Johnson scored 18 points, Eastern Oklahoma State transfer Tevin Brewer added 17, and No. 3 Coffeyville shot a season-high 62 percent from the field, propelling them to a 92-71 victory over Garden City Wednesday night at Nellis Hall. It was the Red Ravens 15th consecutive home win.
“They are so hard to guard,” Broncbuster Coach Patrick Nee said afterwards. “They’re hard to stay in front of.”
Steve Eck at Hutchinson has seen plenty of talent come through the Sports Arena over the years. But even he would be jealous of the roster that Herkelman put together; one that consists of long-distance shooters, wing defenders, and a post player in Keon Queen, that dominated the interior on both ends of the floor. In the end, the Red Ravens proficient shooting; coupled with their defense (they forced Garden City into a season-high 19 turnovers), was too much to overcome.
“It’s the same thing every game right now,” Nee explained. “We go through a few minutes of adversity, and we don’t know how to respond.”
Early on, his team did, and after Coffeyville (12-1, 5-0) jumped out to a 20-7 first-half lead, Garden City (6-7, 1-3) struck back with their own right cross. Cheikh Kebe nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing, Jakobi Pearson hit two free throws, and Russhard Cruickshank buried a triple over Brewer from the left wing that brought the Broncbusters to within two, 30-28 with 6:05 remaining in the period.
“We shot the ball really well tonight,” Nee said. “But I think, just like the Cowley game, we ran out of gas.”
After Garden City made it a one-possession game, Coffeyville answered with a 7-2 spurt, fueled by Johnson’s pullup 3-pointer. Manny Crump added a steal and slam, and the Red Ravens had a 46-38 halftime advantage.
“I like my team,” Nee said. “I like the way we scratched and clawed through the whole game.”
Things didn’t get much easier in the second half. After Garden City trimmed Coffeyville’s 14-point lead down to eight, the Red Ravens went for the throat. Crump hit a driving hook, Miekkel Murray slashed to the rim, Quawn Marshall added a pullup, and Queen had an offensive rebound and put back that grew the lead to 16.
“This may be the best team Coffeyville has had; I don’t remember them having this many guys that can shoot the ball,” Nee said.
One of those pure shooters was Johnson, who broke Garden City’s back with eight minutes to go when he crossed over Pearson, drove to his left, and hit a fallaway jumper from the baseline while Pearson fouled him. He added the free throw to put the lead at 13. That was the beginning of the end once the Red Ravens ripped off 14 straight points to open up a 24-point lead with 2:46 left.
“Hopefully, we get some guys back for the second semester after the break that are ready to go,” Nee said. “Coffeyville is the best team in the region, but I feel we can be there when March comes around.”
Crump scored 12 points for the Red Ravens, who beat Garden City for the 10th time in their last 12 meetings. Queen chipped in 11 and six rebounds in 15 minutes.
“That team is so deep,” Nee said. “They can go five in and five out all night.”
Pearson and Cruickshank each scored 14 to lead Garden City, who suffered their fourth straight loss (first time that’s happened since 2016). Traylynn Spencer scored 13, and RJ Pair hit three 3’s off the bench and tallied a season-high 11.
Next up: Garden City vs. Independence, Saturday, January 5-4 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app
Coffeyville, KS-It was one quarter of dominant basketball; one that Garden City desperately needed.
Talia Roberts bounced back from her 1-of-13 showing on Saturday at Cowley to finish with 18 points, her team scored 26 points in the first quarter, and Garden City beat Coffeyville 58-47 Wednesday night at Nellis Hall. It was Broncbusters second straight victory in the Red Ravens’ gym.
“We just have to keep building,” Garden City Coach Charinee Mitchell said afterwards. “I told the team that they needed to go into the new year as winners. It wasn’t pretty, but they did it.”
The first period sure was. Garden City scored 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting and was 3-of-5 from deep. The quarter included a 16-0 run where the Broncbusters held Coffeyville (1-12) scoreless for nearly five minutes. They then finished the frame by scoring the final eight, including back-to-back triples from Jaleah Bellany and Talia Roberts that put Garden City up 26-7.
“We did a lot of really good things in that first quarter,” Mitchell said. “After that, not so much.”
The second quarter was a polar opposite. As hot as the Broncbusters were over the first 10 minutes was just how cold they were over the final 10 of the half. After building their largest lead on Sarah Alsabbaheen’s 3-pointer from the corner that gave Garden City a 34-12 cushion, the road team went totally silent. A near six-minute scoring drought ensued while Coffeyville rattled off nine straight points to trim the lead to 13. Alsabbaheen finally ended the dry spell with a layup with two seconds remaining, giving Garden City a 36-21 lead at the intermission.
“We definitely got out to a good start,” Mitchell said. “But it’s just a thing where I guess we’re going to have to build it piece by piece.”
The Broncbusters shooting struggles continued in the third quarter where Coffeyville made it a single-digit contest once Regina Brown hit 1-of-2 free throws to bring the Red Ravens to within nine, 45-36. But in the fourth, one particular sequence put a stamp on this game.
Boyce grabbed two offensive rebounds for the Broncbusters before zipping a pass to the right wing for Roberts, who maneuvered left for a smooth 15-foot pullup that gave Garden City a 13-point edge with 2:21 on the clock. Moments later, Felicity Houston buried two free throws, and Garden City was up 15.
“I think, because the first quarter went so well, we got shell shocked,” Mitchell said. “When we weren’t making shots, we started forcing stuff.”
After starting the game 9-of-15, Garden City finished just 11-of-43 (26 percent). Boyce scored 12 points and dished out three assists, and Daz’Monique Johnson pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Lasheicka Joseph, Coffeyville’s 6-6 post, finished with 12 points and nine boards in 22 minutes.
Notes: Garden City turned it over a season-high 28 times…Coffeyville’s bench outscored Garden City’s 29-13
Next up: Garden City vs. Independence-Saturday, Jan. 5-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app