February 3, 2023

Garden City’s opening win streak ends vs. Wichita Heights, Buffs finish 2nd in January Jam

Photo Courtesy of Adam Shrimplin (Shrimplin Photography)

Valley Center, KS (WesternKansasNews.com) – Garden City’s (12-1) opening season win streak ended on Saturday at the hands of the reining 6A State Champions Wichita Heights (11-1) 60-47. 

The teams entered the day after both cruising through the January Jam tournament in valley center each winning their two prior games.  The weekend though for Garden City was a weekend of many firsts. The Buffaloes snapped a 72-year school record on Friday night, won their first two games in the valley center tournament for the first time ever, and were trying to beat Heights a top-ten 6A squad for the first time this season. They just fell short of their final goal.

The game started with back-and-forth play with each team grinding on the defensive end. Caleb Wiese would initiate the offense for the Buffs time and time again. The one blemish for the Buffaloes in the 1st quarter was leading scorer Jace Steinmetz picking up his 2nd foul. This would lead to Steimentz sitting on the bench for the rest of the half. 

Point guard Emilio Zundt and Caleb Wiese would do the heavy lifting on offense as Garden City was right with Wichita Heights at the end of the 1st half trailing 30-22. Then in the 3rd, the Buffs would make a run to go up 38-35 but it would come at a cost as senior Caleb Wiese’s ankle was rolled up and he exited the game with 13 points. After that Heights would go on a run that they would keep out in front for the rest of the game. At the end of the 3rd Heights led 43-38.

“We had a ton of adversity coming into the game and throughout, I’m just proud of our guys and the effort they show with this tournament, are there things I’d like to have back? Absolutely but that was a great fight in a great game,” said coach Jeff Williamson after the loss.

The Buffaloes have a quick turnaround as they face Goodland (6-5) on Tuesday at Garden City before 7 days off. You can listen to that game live on 99.9 The rock at 7:30 PM.