June 15, 2024

Buffaloes Basketball Downed by Coronado in Opening Game

Garden City High School Boys basketball team hosted Coronado High School during the Roundball Classic on Friday December 9, 2022 at The Garden in Garden City, Kan. The Buffalos the Cougars 83 - 60. Photo credits; Adam Shrimplin, Shrimplin Photography

Coronado, CO. – It was a total role reversal from last season. Garden City, who won 20 games in 2022-23, were held in check.

Coronado, who won just four games in 2022-23, shot the lights out from downtown.

The Garden City Buffaloes were dealt defeat on night one of the Coronado Tip-Off, losing to the Coronado High School Cougars, 58-52, on Thursday Night. Coronado held GCHS to just seven points over the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter to pull away.

The game would start with an explosion from Cougars’ center Realiti Smith. The senior, who averaged over 20 points per game last season, scored the first 11 points of the game, giving CHS an 11-4 lead.

“He’s the real deal. He is a really talented player who put in a lot of time,” first-year head coach Luke Swedberg said. “He made a couple of shots that were tough, and sometimes you just have to shake people’s hands when they do that.”

Swedberg stressed playing selfless team basketball over the course of this three-day invitational, and some of their best runs came when they shared the rock.

Garden City did a great job to adjust, ending the quarter on an 8-0 run to take the lead. Emilio Zundt and Eddy Rodriguez knocked down the first three pointers of the season for the Buffs, who hit three from downtown in the opening half.

“We spaced the floor and moved it, then our opportunity to attack was there,” Swedberg said. “Throughout those stretches, I thought that’s what we did really well.”

The second quarter saw both teams fall to a standstill until the midway mark. The teams traded buckets back and forth for the final two minutes, with Bradley Morrow sinking five straight points, equalled out by a Zundt triple and a Maliek Kinney, bringing the game to a 26-26 halftime score.

Coronado put their offense in cruise control out of half. Smith scored another six points on a few midrange jump shots, with forwards Smith, Jalyn Jarboe, and, Seth Enoch combining for 10 points. 

Faced with adversity, Garden City put on their best run of the game. The Buffaloes would score nine points on three straight assists, with Kinney’s layup tying the game at 39. 

With 5:10 to go in the game, Smith reached in against Brody Burns for his 5th personal foul. He checked out with a game-high 22 points in the victory.

Rodriguez paced GCHS with 16 points, hitting four triples.

“He’s got a great temperament about him. He’s got great body language, and he’s a fighter,” Swedberg described Rodgriguez. “I’m really excited to keep battling with these guys. In the locker room, they had their chins up. I think they’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

The Buffs face their second opponent of three on Friday, as Garden City will face the Lakewood High School Tigers. Coverage on 99.9 ‘The Rock’ will begin immediately following the conclusion of GCHS’ girls game against Fairfield, which tips off at 3:30 P.M.