January 29, 2023

Garden City wins first round of January Jam at Valley Center, match best start since 1950

Photo Courtesy of Adam Shrimplin (Shrimplin Photography)

Valley Center, KS (WesternKansasNews.com) – One win away from history is where Garden City now stands after a 60-50 win over Sunrise Christan Academy. 

Despite playing one of the top prep academies in the country the Buffaloes didn’t back down as they made run after run to hold off Sunrise. After six days off junior Emilio Zundt made sure Garden City didn’t come out cold after scoring 13 first-half points and in total a new season high of 15 points. Garden City would trail though after one-quarter of play 15-13. 

Then in the 2nd quarter, Jace Steinmetz got loose. The senior scored 18 first-half points including an and-1 three at the end of the half from 2 feet behind the line and knocked down the free throw to give the Buffaloes a 7-point halftime lead of 36-29.

Sunrise wouldn’t let Garden City leave Valley Center easily though. They would go on a run of their own over the first 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter to take a 37-38 lead after Garden City had been held without a field goal to open up the quarter. 

That would be the last stumble though for the Buffaloes as they withstood one final run and made enough free throws down the stretch to close out the private academy. 

“I feel like we came in with the right amount of confidence but we still left something out there, way too many second-chance opportunities,” said coach Jeff Williamson after his team was out-rebounded 26-22 and 10-3 on the offensive glass. 

“We were fortunate they couldn’t convert but proud of our guy’s ability to get the job done, now we turn around and face another great team,” Williamson added. 

Garden City (11-0) will now face Wichita Northwest in the semifinal round at 8 pm tonight. The game can be heard on 99.9 The Rock from Valley Center High School. Wichita Northwest comes into the matchup (7-3) after knocking off host school Valley Center 63-53 in their first game.