January 30, 2023

Lady Buffs stopped late en route to 2nd place finish at Coronado Cougar Tip-off Gauntlet

Colorado Springs, CO (WesternKansasNews.com) – On Saturday morning the Lady Buffs woke up with an opportunity to do something they didn’t do all season long last year. It was a chance to win 3 straight games and match their win total from last season. One obstacle stood in Garden City’s way and that was Palmer Ridge (CO). The Lady Bears also opened up the Coronado Tip-Off Gauntlet with a 2-0 record, beating both Fairview (CO) and host school Coronado just like Garden City did the two days prior. 

When Garden City arrived in the gym Saturday morning there was a different feeling, a competitive edge that hadn’t been felt by this team in a while. You could see the intensity in warm-ups you could feel a newfound sense of confidence. That confidence led to an 8-2 run to open the game that gave the Buffaloes. Garden City battled tight against a much bigger team physically than Garden City could counter. Someone forgot to tell Makenzie Lucas that though as the senior had 4 of the first 8 Buffs points all down in the paint. Lucas would finish with a game-high 16 pts and 9 rebounds. The Buffs raced to an early lead and held on to that heading into halftime up by 10 points. 

Then came the second half, Garden City’s offense just couldn’t keep the same pace it had in the 1st half despite a 10-point lead with 6 minutes to go before a Palmer Ridge run that saw the Lady Bears take a 53-50 lead with 12.6 seconds left and the Lady Buffs with the basketball.

Garden City would advance the ball and get a timeout with 4 seconds remaining and inbound from their side of the court. The inbound play went to Amaya Gallegos who attempted a left-wing three that was blocked and closed out the game. Garden City would fall 53-50 but despite the loss, perhaps a sense of optimism about what this season could be in The Garden. “I’m so proud of this team, they fought all the way until the end,” said Coach Jacob Miller. In just his 3rd game Coach Miller now has the Lady Buffs with a (2-1) record heading into the Roundball Classic.

Garden City was also aided by the scoring of freshman KJ Pinchon who finished with 11pts and scored double figures in all three games. As well as Senior Aileen Beccerill with 12 pts. “When I go back to that locker room I hope those girls are feeling the same way I am, we can go so far this season and I can’t wait,” Miller said looking ahead to this week and the rest of this season. 

There are still questions heading forward for this Garden City team but now after three games, one thing is clear this will not be an easy team to take down this season. The Lady Buffs are back in action Friday night at 6 pm with a rematch against Coronado in “The Garden”. You can listen to the Lady Buffs all season long on 99.9 “The Rock”.