February 1, 2023

1st quarter slows down Lady Buffs, Salinas catches fire to lead boys to first win in Hays since 2019

Photo Courtesy of Adam Shrimplin (Shrimplin Photography)

Hays, KS (WesternKansasNews.com) – One quarter can really make a difference, Garden City Girls Basketball saw that happen in their 52-43 loss to Hays High School on Friday. At the same time, the boys saw the inverse of that effect vs. Hays in their 60-54 win in game two. 

Girls Basketball | Garden City 43 Hays 52

The Lady Buffs had a really challenging stretch in store this past week with #3 6A Liberal at home and then a 2-hour trip north to play a really good Hays High team. After an emotional loss to liberal on Tuesday Garden City came out flat against Hays. In the first quarter vs. the Indians, Garden City was only able to score 2 points, that bucket came in the final seconds of the quarter as they stared down a 17-2 deficit after one quarter.

“We didn’t shoot very well in practice and walkthrough after the Liberal game, I was worried we might come out flat but I wasn’t sure how flat and I think we saw that effect in that quarter.” Said Jacob Miller who is navigating his first season in the WAC as head coach. 

The Lady Buffs would battle throughout the night but had to fight the early deficit and a good bit of foul trouble to two starters, Amaya Gallegos and Mackenzie Lucas. 

There were a few bright spots for Garden City Freshman KJ Pinchon was just short of a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds, Amaya Gallegos had 10 points as well but the top performance for the Buffs was from Kamdyn Carr who had a career-high 12 points on 4 made threes. 

“We have 11 days off, we will get back to the gym with the main goal in mind of playing our best basketball in February we have a much-needed break ahead of us and we will be ready to go in our next game,” Miller added. 

Garden City (4-6) (1-2 WAC) is back in action on January 24th at The Garden vs. the Goodland Cowgirls. 

Boys Basketball | Garden City 60 Hays 54

This game will be remembered thanks to the hot shooting of Iziah Salinas. He came alive when Garden City needed him most. In the 2nd quarter, both Salinas and Garden City’s leading scorer Jace Steinmetz was on the bench with 2 fouls a piece. At half that led to the Buffs trailing to Hays 22-25.

A lot would change in the second half to push Garden City to their 10th win of the year. Salinas caught fire scoring a career-high 20 points, and knocking down 4 threes all in the 2nd half to guide Garden City to a 3-0 start in conference play. 

“We fought and grinded throughout the whole game, I’m so proud of our guys for doing what they did tonight in a very tough place to play,” said coach Jeff Williamson.

Garden City picked up their first win at Hays since 2019 and matched their entire win total from last season with 10 wins.

“I’m really happy for Iziah to see him come through in that moment just meant everything to me, He is one of the guys that I ride super hard and I expect a lot from him and he responded in the biggest moment of the year,” Williamson added as he got choked up talking about his senior point guard.

Garden City (10-0) (3-0 WAC)  matches up with Sunrise Christan Academy on Thursday at the Valley Center tourney. The Buffs will play 3 games in 3 days this coming weekend. You can hear all of the games on 99.9 The Rock.