May 28, 2022

Buffalo boys lose first game; girls bounce back

Junction City, KS-At 5-0, Garden City was feeling pretty good about themselves; that was until a doctor’s visit on Wednesday changed Jacy Holloway’s game plan going into the final contest of the first semester.

Leading rebounder Kyler Lamb was ruled out after surgery to repair a broken nose, forcing Mason Shaddix into the starting lineup. The results were mixed.

Shaddix found himself in foul trouble all night while AJ Dickerson and Kody Westerhaus combined for 26 points, as Junction City handed the Buffaloes their first loss of the season, 54-39 Friday night at Shenk Gym.

“That was the most athletic team we’ve played so far,” Holloway said.

Dickerson, who was coming off a 37-point showing vs. Highland Park, was off for most of the night. But when it counted most, the senior delivered.

Garden City (5-1, 0-0) was trailing by seven with three minutes to go in the third. That’s when James Hall hit a free throw followed by back-to-back jumpers by Dickerson, one of which was a hanging, off-balance shot from the elbow that put the Blue Jays up 38-26 going into the fourth.

“We just couldn’t find any type of rhythm tonight,” Holloway said.

In the final period, Dickerson was in the middle of a run that put the game away. The senior hit two free throws, Westerhaus drilled a long 3, and Dickerson threw down a ferocious one-handed slam that had the gym rocking and the Blue Jays up 49-32.

“We hung around for a while,” Holloway said. “But that last run was hard to withstand.”

The Buffaloes never led but tied the game twice in the first four minutes of the first. That’s when Aaron Hamilton buried a corner 3 and Westerhaus hit one from the hashmark. The Blue Jays led by five after one and 10 at half after closing on a 6-0 run, capped off with another Westerhaus 3. Garden City went scoreless the final 4:47 of the second.

Dickerson finished with 14 points and nine boards for Junction City, who is 4-1 for the first time since 2008. Westerhaus was 4-fo-5 from downtown, and Anthony Twiggs tallied nine off the bench.

Jarrod Springston scored a season-high 14 points for the Buffaloes, who is off to their best start in nearly 50 years. Carlos Acosta had 11 on 5-of-13 shooting.

 

Girls

Junction City, KS-Even in defeat, Matt Pfeifer like what he saw at the end of the game vs. Bear Creek seven days earlier.

Riding the momentum from that strong fourth quarter, Elyssa Salazar, coming off a six 3 performance, finished with 15 points on 6-of-12 from the field, Felicity Rodriguez added 11, and Garden City blasted Junction City 64-41 Friday night at Shenk Gym.

“The first half wasn’t pretty, but the second half sure was,” Head Coach Maff Pfeifer said.”

The Buffaloes scored the first six points of the game and led by nine at the end of one. The Blue Jays stayed in it with an 8-0 run in the second quarter that cut the Garden City lead to four with 4:09 to play. But the road squad closed the half strong, and Keyhana Turner spearheaded a mini 6-0 spurt that helped put the Buffaloes up 10 at the break.

In the second half, Garden City slammed the door shut.

The Buffaloes began the third by scoring the first 16 points, holding Junction City scoreless for nearly five minutes while building a 44-20 advantage. Keyhana Turner scored eight of her 10 points in the frame, and Garden City had a 21-point advantage, 48-27 going to the fourth.

Julie Calzonetti had eight points for Garden City, but she was just 2-of-12 from the floor. Symon Simmons added seven.

Lucy Ramirez was the only Junction City player in double figures with 20 points and nine rebounds. She was 7-of-12 from the field while the rest of her team was a combined 8-of-22 (36 percent).