June 21, 2024

Buffaloes finish off sweep of Dodge

Dodge City, KS-Two weeks ago, the Buffaloes suffered a heartbreaking loss to Dodge City on their home floor. 14 Days later, Garden City returned the favor.

Kyler Lamb hit three 3’s in the second half and finished with 13 points, Jackson Dirks scored 10, including the game-tying bucket in the final seconds of regulation, and Garden City held on to beat the Red Demons 63-62 Tuesday night at the Field House.

“We made things a little exciting,” Head Coach Jacy Holloway said with big a smile on his face. “But we had five guys in double figures. That was impressive.”

Leading by three at the break, Garden City came out hot to begin the third quarter. Lamb drilled a triple, Dirks hit back-to-back baskets, and Kelvon Bennett knocked down a baseline jumper to put the Buffaloes up 40-34. Lamb followed with two free throws before splashing home consecutive 3’s to give Garden City their largest lead 48-37.

“Kyler really got going in the second half,” Holloway said. “He started a little slower tonight, but he got things going in that third quarter.”

The Buffaloes were up nine after three and took a 52-41 advantage after Azavier Williams hit two free throws with 7:40 to play. That’s when Dodge City came sprinting back.

Matt Friess canned a long ball, John Johnson finished at the rim, and Adrian Mendzona, who had hit 14 3’s over his last two games, swished a triple from the left corner to cut the Buffalo lead to 52-49. That was followed by two freebies by Ramses Vela, who capped a 10-0 Dodge City run and made it a one-point game.

“Our defense was a little questionable in that fourth quarter,” Holloway said.

Down by one with less than two minutes remaining, Mendoza cashed in on his fourth triple of the game-a wide-open look from the right corner that gave the Red Demons their first lead since late in the second quarter, 60-58 with 1:52 left.

“We have to be better closing games on the defensive end,” Holloway said.

On Garden City’s next possession, Dirks grabbed Acosta’s missed layup and put it in softly off the glass to tie the game.

“Jackson was really good tonight,” Holloway said. “He saved us a couple of times.”

The senior post saved his best for last.

After Noah Sowers put the Red Demons back up by two with a pair of free throws with 27 seconds on the clock, it was Dirks again, grabbing his seventh rebound of the night, and sticking back an Acosta missed runner, knotting the game at 62 with 10 seconds.

“I thought Carlos got fouled, but that’s exactly how we drew it up,” Holloway said. “We ran our sets very well tonight; maybe the best we have in a while.”

Dodge City still had a chance to win the game, but Acosta stole the ball at half court and was fouled going to the basket. He hit 1-of-2 at the line, Sowers misfired on a half-court shot at the buzzer, and Garden City survived to win their fifth straight game.

“It’s not always pretty,” Holloway said. “But we have to be better defensively. We were up 11. We need to pay more attention to detail. And I thought we fouled way too much tonight.”

Springston scored 12 points and grabbed seven boards for Garden City, who’s won five out of the last six vs. Dodge City. Acosta chipped in 12.

Sowers recorded his second double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Dodge City, who missed their first nine shots to begin the game. Johnson added his second double-double with 14 and 11, and Mendoza tallied 12 but was just 4-of-14 from the field.

Next up: Garden City vs. Hays-Friday, Feb. 15-7:30 p.m. CDT on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app

Girls

Dodge City, KS-Matt Pfiefer continues to stress patience with his team. And on Tuesday night, it paid off in a big way.

Felicity Rodriguez scored 12 points, Nateara Beasley and Keyhana Turner each chipped in 10, and Garden City served up a little payback with a 46-40 victory over rival Dodge City at the Field House.

“This was much better than two weeks ago when we played them,” Pfeifer said. “We found a way to get things done, and took care of the ball.”

The Buffaloes turned the ball over only three times in the first 16 minutes, taking a three-point lead into the locker room. Meantime their defense put the clamps down, holding Dodge City without a 3-pointer (0-for-12) for the first time all season.

“I thought we competed on the defensive end,” Pfeifer said. “I thought our girls did a really good job of following the scouting report.”

After a sluggish first half on the offensive end, Garden City found some rhythm in the third period. Elyssa Salazar drilled a step back from the left elbow, Beasley completed and and-1 layup and hit a 3, and Rodriguez finished off a three-point play to put the Buffaloes up 31-21 going to the fourth. They stretched the lead to 11 once Beasley converted her second and-1 of the night, polishing off an 11-2 surge that had the brown and white on top 34-23 with 7:10 remaining.

“We need to find a way to finish teams off better,” Pfeifer said. “I thought we had a chance to do that tonight and against Great Bend on Friday.”

But the Red Demons didn’t allow it. Camree Johnson hit a couple of layups, Kisa Unruh, who finished just 1-of-11 from the field, splashed home two freebies, and Chidera Okoro hit a floater, cutting Garden City’s lead to 36-34 with 1:46 on the clock.

But unlike Friday night when the Buffaloes went 5-of-12 at the line in the final period, Garden City put the game away at the line. Julie Calzonetti, Rodriguez, Turner and Salazar combined to go 10-of-11 from the stripe over the final 1:12, giving the Buffaloes their first three-game winning streak since December.

Garden City finished the night 20-of-26 from the line (77 percent). They were 12-of-34 from the field (35 percent) and 2-of-10 from 3.

Johnson paced the Red Demons with 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Okoro chipped in nine while the rest of the team combined for 20 points on 8-of-31 shooting (26 percent).

Next up: Garden City vs. Hays-Friday, Feb. 15-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app