May 27, 2024

Shorthanded Buffaloes Flatline at Hays

Garden City High School boys basketball team hosted Hays High School on Friday, January 12, 2024 at The Garden in Garden City, Kan. The Buffalos lost to the Indians 64 - 66. Photo Credits; Adam Shrimplin, Shrimplin Photography

HAYS, Kan. – The road travelled has been difficult for Garden City this season. It’s puzzling, especially when watching how complete the Buffaloes have been in some of their victories at The Garden.

The Buffaloes’ shots dried up in the second half, for the third straight road game.

A shorthanded Garden City Buffaloes squad came up on the losing end against the Hays Indians, 63-44. GCHS was without forwards Maliek Kinney and Kolten Davis in the game, leaving just four forwards available on Friday night.

Garden City (8-10, 3-3 WAC) took the game straight at Hays to open up. 10 of the Buffaloes’ 11 first-quarter points came in the paint, hitting tough layups and including and-one. Brody Burns led the Buffaloes with three first-quarter points, reaching seven by the end of the first half.

“I thought Brody was patient, he didn’t try and overdo it,” Luke Swedberg, Garden City head coach, said. “I didn’t think he tried to over-extend himself. I thought he did what he was comfortable with.”

The quarter was highlighted by Corbin West, who rose over the top of a Hays defender for a putback dunk.

West continued his scoring into the second quarter. The senior scored off a setup by Raul Munoz to set his new career-high in points.

West finished with six points in the losing effort.

“I thought we did a great job, at the start of the game, at getting to the spots we wanted to get to,” Swedberg analyzed. “We just had to keep working the basketball until we got a breakdown somewhere, and I thought we did that well at the start of the game.”

Hays (11-6, 5-0 WAC) big man Dawson Ruder has been a big reason for his team’s recent resurgence, and he proved why in the second quarter. Ruder had eight points in the frame, including a couple of nice setups to Jack Weimer. 

Ruder and Weimer combined for 23 of their team’s 32 first-half points.

Hays swung momentum at pivotal points in the contest; the end of quarters. Garden City failed to secure a defensive rebound in the second quarter, with Ruder profiting off a loose ball to sink a mid-range jumper.

Towards the end of a back-and-forth third quarter, the Buffaloes collapsed defensively, leaving Indians forward Edwin Muller wide open for a right corner three.

“Sometimes, you have to live with some other guys making shots. That one, at the end of the third quarter, is on me,” Swedberg admitted. “The one at the end of the second quarter is more on us, as an entire group.”

Garden City travels to Liberal for its final game of the regular season against the Redskins. Coverage begins on 99.9 ‘The Rock’ immediately after girl’s basketball’s 6:00 P.M. tipoff.

Audio Recap

Luke Swedberg interview