Garden City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–The battle of two Finney County team took place in The Garden Saturday, as Garden City and Holcomb battled for the first time in two years to wrap up the Clarion Inn Roundball Classic. In the end, it would be the homestanding Buffaloes sweeping their nearby neighbors to the west. The Lady Buffs pulled away in the second half with a 43-29 win, while it was a putback at the buzzer for the Buffalo boys in a 48-46 win over the Longhorns.
Garden City Girls 43, Holcomb 29
Garden City was off to their best start in over a decade, but found themselves in a battle for over three quarters. Holcomb would come out string, leading 7-2 with 4:32 left in the first quarter. The Lady Buffs rallied by closing out the final half of the first quarter on a 13-2 run to lead 15-9 after the first quarter. Garden City (4-0) led 19-12 with 5:45 left in the first half. The Lady Longhorns responded with a 7-2 run to pull to within 21-19 with 2:15 left in the half. It would be 23-19 Lady Buffs at the break. Garden City started out the second half with a 10-2 run to lead 33-21 midway through the third period. Holcomb (0-4) would rally to get to within seven at 33-26 to end the third frame. The Lady Longhorns got the first points of the fourth quarter to pull to within 33-28, but that was the closest the got the rest of the night. Garden City closed out the game on a 10-1 run and prevailed 43-29.
Felicity Rodriguez led the way for Garden City with 12 points. The Lady Buffs shot 42% for the game at 13-31, an were 15-18 at the free throw line. They outrebounded the Lady Longhorns 31-19. Holcomb was led by Darien Mader with 10 points. They shot 30% for the game at 9-30, and they were 9-15 at the foul line, while committing 27 turnovers.
Coach Matt Pfeifer Postgame
Garden City Boys 48, Holcomb 46
The final game of the Roundball Classic might have been the best game of the three days. Neither team would lead by more than seven that saw three lead changes and only two ties. Holcomb jumped out 6-2, before the Buffaloes ended the first quarter on an 11-2 run to lead 13-9 after the first quarter. After trailing 15-9, the Longhorns went on a 10-5 run to pull to within 20-19 with 1:20 left in the half. Garden City (4-0) would lead 23-19 at the break. They led 25-19 in the first minute of the second half, only to see Holcomb (2-2) use a 7-0 run to lead 26-25 with 4:22 left in the third quarter. The Buffaloes trailed briefly, as they countered with their own 7-0 run to lead 32-26 with 2:54 left in the third frame. They would lead 36-29 going into the fourth quarter. Holcomb would gradually chip into the deficit in the final quarter. After a 39-32 Buffalo lead with 6:14 left, a 14-7 run by the Longhorns tied the game at 46 with 22 seconds to go on a pair of Zephyn Mason free throws. Ten seconds later, he hit a guarded three to pull them to within one at 45-44. Garden City hit one out of two free throws with 29 seconds left to lead by two. The Buffaloes would have the ball last, as Holcomb was out of timeouts. Garden City burned their final timeout with six seconds left, and it set up the final dramatics of the game.
Carlos Acosta would drive to the right baseline, and miss a runner. Azavier Williams missed the follow up, but on the backside, Jackson Dirks was able to tip it in off the glass literally tenths of a second before the horn sounded, and Garden City was able to snap their losing streak to Holcomb in a 48-46 win. It was Dirks’ only points of the game.
Acosta led Garden City with a game-high 17 points, while Jarrod Springston had 12 and Kyler Lamb added 10, all in the second half. The Buffaloes shot 42.1% for the game at 16-38, and were 10-13 at the foul line. Holcomb would win the rebounding battle 25-22. Jackson Stoppel led Holcomb with 15 points, and Damon Kepley added 12 for the Longhorns. They were 14-31 from the field for 45% and were 14-17 at the free throw line. Neither team missed a free throw in the first three quarters.
Coach Jacy Holloway Postgame
Up next for Garden City is a trip to Bear Creek, CO on Friday, and at Junction City on December 21. Holcomb will be at Goodland on Friday and at Cimarron on Tuesday, December 28.