Ulysses girls hold off Lady Buffaloes comeback effors

Ulysses, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Playing in their first games in a week, it was girls night Tuesday night at Ulysses High School, as the No. 8 ranked team in Class 4A hosted Garden City. In a tightly-contested game, it was the Lady Tigers who never trailed, and held off several Lady Buffalo runs to pick up a 49-42 victory on their home floor.

Ulysses got off to a hot start, knocking down five of their first eight shots, and took a 12-12 lead with 3:04 left in the opening quarter. The Lady Buffs fought back to pull to within 13-6 after the first quarter. Garden City scored the first points of the second period early on with a Taryn Tabor three pointer to pull to within 13-9, but six straight Lady Tiger points gave Ulysses (8-1) a 19-9 lead with 4:52 left before halftime. That matched their largest lead of the night. The Lady Buffaloes would go over four and a half minutes without a basket in the second period, but when they did, they were able to end the final three minutes of the half on a 9-2 run to pull to within 21-18 at the break.

In the third quarter, the Lady Tigers scored the first points of the half, only to see Garden City (6-3) use a 5-0 run to tie the game at 23 with 6:28 remaining in the third frame. Ulysses responded with a 12-5 run over the last 5:42 of the period, and took a 35-28 lead into the fourth quarter. In the final period, the Lady Buffs pulled to within two on four separate occasions, with the last at 42-40 with 2:42 left. They had an opportunity to tie the game, but a costly turnover prevented them from doing that. Ulysses responded with a Luz Gomez three-point play, and the Lady Tigers ended the game on a 7-2 run in the final two minutes to pick up the 49-42 win.

Leading the way for Ulysses was Gina Ballesteros with 12 points, while Madison Haney added 11. The Lady Tigers were 18-38 from the floor, and finished 10-15 at the line. Garden City got eight points apiece from Taryn Tabor and Keyhana Turner. They shot 41.7% for the game from the field at 15-36, and  were 8-10 at the free throw line. Ulysses had the rebounding edge 25-22.

Ulysses has won two of the last three games against Garden City, with both wins coming in Ulysses.

Garden City will next compete in the Newton Invitational Tournament January 24-26, while Ulysses heads to the McPherson Tournament those same three days.

Head Coach Matt Pfeifer Postgame