May 27, 2024

Taming the Tigers; Career Night for Martinez Leads Lady Buffs Over Laverne (Ok.)

Garden City High School girls basketball team hosted Great Bend High School on Friday, January 5, 2024 at The Garden in Garden City, Kan. The Lady Buffaloes lost to the Panthers 34 - 44. Photo credits; Adam Shrimplin, Shrimplin Photography

GARDEN CITY, Kan. – Home cooking always tastes better, and Thursday was no different for the Garden City Lady Buffaloes.

Garden City dominated defensively in its first home game in 20 days, and a second win in three.

The Lady Buffs handled the Laverne (Ok.) Tigers, 41-24, from Conestoga Arena in a rescheduled affair. GCHS advances to 7-3 this season in out of conference games.

“Our defense is our offense, we’re averaging 12-15 steals per game,” second-year head coach, Jacob Miller, said. “Our goal is to get out early, through our defense, and score in transition.”

Garden City’s successful non-conference record has been largely factored by its patented zone setup. The Buffaloes held opponents like Coronado, La Junta, and Lamar under 30 points during November.

The Lady Buffaloes (6-6) stifled the Tigers in the first 16 minutes. Laverne didn’t manage a single field goal in the first half, only scoring three points at the free throw line.

Garden City’s second quarter was a defensive masterclass, using eight forced turnovers to hold the Tigers scoreless in the second.

“We’re getting where we need to be. We need to start playing above our competition, and I think that we did that,” Miller said.

Miller’s team took a stranglehold of the game in the latter half of the first quarter, using a 9-0 run to go up eight. 

Garden City didn’t give up a field goal until the 5:45 mark of the third, when Laverne forward Mia Ovalle turned it on to score six straight points. Laverne (5-11) played a fine second half, finishing the game scoring 17 points in roughly 14 minutes.

The Buffaloes’ three-point prowess quelled any chance of a comeback. Garden City hit six threes, with four coming from senior Miraya Martinez. The guard closed with a career-high 12 points.

“She’s always had a shot, that’s been her go-to thing,” Miller said about Martinez. “We’re limiting our turnovers, so now we’re getting good looks… that she’s able to knock down the shot.”

It marked the second time in four games Martinez has led GCHS in scoring, also scoring 10 points in their loss at Goodland.

The Lady Buffaloes return to The Garden tomorrow night, as they host the Life Prep Fire. Coverage on 99.9 ‘The Rock’ begins at 5:40 P.M., with tip off scheduled for 6:00.

Audio Recap

Jacob Miller interview