Great Bend, KS-The 2018-2019 version of the Garden City boys has made Head Coach Jacy Holloway age more than he would like this season. But sometimes living on the edge makes victory even more exhilarating.
Jarrod Springston scored 12 points, including the go-ahead free throws with six seconds to play, Kyler Lamb ripped down a game-high nine rebounds, and Garden City overcame a six-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Great Bend 39-38 Friday night at Panthers Field House.
“I thought we played pretty well; we didn’t do anything that was out of character,” Holloway said. “Great Bend just played a really good game.”
Stifled for most of the second half by the Panthers 3-2 zone, the Buffaloes found themselves down 38-32 once Alex Schremmer nailed a baseline jumper with 4:43 remaining.
“I like how our guys responded,” Holloway said. “We just grinded and created a lot of opportunities.”
Garden City (6-1, 1-0) answered with Jackson Dirks’ three-point play that sliced the deficit in half. It was the Buffaloes lone field goal over the final four minutes.
“We just needed something to fall,” Holloway explained.
Springston, Carlos Acosta, Lamb and Mason Shaddix combined to miss four consecutive 3’s down the stretch that would have tied the game. That last of those misfires glanced off the back of the rim before Lamb snatched his eighth rebound of the night and was fouled by Trent Steuder. The senior drained both free throws making it a one-point game.
“We kept possessions alive,” Holloway said. “That’s what this came down to.”
With 20 seconds to go, Great Bend (1-7, 0-1) had a chance to stretch their cushion. But Dalton Miller was short on the front end of a 1-and-1. Lamb pulled down the rebound for Garden City and pushed ahead. With time winding down, Springston forced his way into the paint, and with one subtle head fake, induced Steuder to foul him in the act. The senior, who was shooting just 53 percent from the line on the season, swished two freebies, giving the Buffaleos a 39-38 edge.
“Those were big free throws,” Holloway said. “Especially for a guy who was struggling from the line.”
Great Bend had another chance to win the game when Steuder was fouled with seconds on the clock. But the senior missed the free throw, and the Buffaloes completed a wild four-minute stretch where they outscored the Panthers 7-0.
“I thought our defense played really well at the end of the game,” Holloway said. “I didn’t think we shot it that great, but we found a way.”
Garden City finished 15-of-35 from the field (43 percent) but were just 3-of-15 from 3. Lamb scored eight points, and Acosta and Devon McKee added seven.
Miller scored 10 points for the Panthers, who are off to their worst start in nearly 30 years. Schremmer added 10 on 4-of-10 shooting and Steuder scored nine.
Next up: Garden City vs. Liberal-Tuesday, Jan. 8-7:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app
Great Bend, KS-Keyhana Turner is probably the most unselfish player on Matt Pfeifer’s team. But there’s a time where the third-year coach wants his post player to be more aggressive.
On Friday night, the sophomore obliged, turning in her best performance of the season.
Turner scored 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds, Taryn Tabor chipped in 11 points and 12 boards, and the Buffaloes blew past Great Bend 47-29, earning their first win at Panthers’ Field House since 2013.
“I thought Keyhana was fantastic,” Pfeifer said. “She did everything that we asked of her tonight.”
Turner was at the forefront of a stretch that put Garden City (6-1, 1-0) in complete control. After the Panthers scored the first two points of the game, the Buffaloes responded with 11 straight points, which included Turner’s fabulous right-handed finish that resulted in a three-point play. Moments later, she added two free throws, Elyssa Salazar splashed home a triple, and Garden City was up 15-5. They led 15-9 at the end of one.
“I know we struggled shooting the ball in this game,” Pfeifer said. “But we played good defense and got to the line.”
The Buffaloes attempted a season-high 24 free throws, knocking down 18 of them, offsetting a night where they shot just 30 percent from the floor, their second worst outing of the year.
“I thought we played really well collectively,” Pfeifer said. “We were just looking for some consistency.”
Salazar buried her second 3-pointer of the half in the second quarter, and Turner connected on two free throws, giving Garden City a 24-11 advantage with 2:27 to go in the period. They were up 12 at the break. In the second half, the Buffaloes stretched their lead to as many as 23 when Julie Calzonetti swished two freebies right after she converted an off-balance transition layup that had the road team on top 47-24.
Tabor recorded her first double-double of the season for Garden City, who are 6-1 for the first time since 2012. Salazar scored eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, and Calzonetti tallied seven points.
Sydney Unruh scored eight points for Great Bend, who is off to their worst start in seven years.