Garden City, KS (WesternKansasNews.com) – One game down four to go. That is Garden City’s mentality as they try to capture their second state title in program history.
“When we started 12-0 and then lost to Heights I told the guys we will learn from this but hey let’s go on another 12-game winning streak, knowing that if we won 12 straight games that would end with a State Championship,” said Jeff Williamson after his team took care of Topeka High School 81-61 on Tuesday night.
Despite the lopsided result in the end the game took many turns throughout the night, especially in the first half. Topeka made the trip to Garden City with nothing to lose after finishing their regular season 3-17 with nine of their losses coming by less than 10 points.
The Trojans started the game hot knocking down triple after triple and holding off every wave that the Buffaloes would send their way to knock down the #16 team. Eight of the total 21 makes for Topeka were from beyond the arc which made the Trojans tough to shake all night.
Good thing for Garden City that they have Emilio Zundt.
The junior came out on fire in the first half knocking down 6 triples to carry the Buffalo’s offense and help them take a 36-33 lead into halftime. The rest of the offense caught up shortly after Garden City ran Topeka out of the gym in the 2nd half as they have done many times to teams in the 2nd half this season.
The 2nd half score was 45-28 in favor of the Buffaloes as Zundt finished the game with a career-high 25 points and 7 made triples. Caleb Wiese finished with 18 points, Jake Underwood was behind him with a new career-high 15 points, and Jace Steinmetz had 14 points.
“In the first half they had a lot of catch-and-shoot threes, those are always easier to make we did a good job in the 2nd half closing that down and the offense did the rest,” Jeff Williamson added on the postgame show.
The Buffaloes will now try to stamp their first ticket to state since 2017 as they host 12-9 Junction City after they picked up a win over Lawrence Free-State 65-42. The game will start at 6 pm from “The Garden” and can be heard on 99.9 The Rock.