April 15, 2024

Lady Busters Start Strong, Conquer Coffeyville

Photo credits; Adam Shrimplin, Shrimplin Photography

GARDEN CITY, Kan. – Finding ways to win has been something that head coach Greg Franklin’s team has wrestled with throughout his first season. It came naturally at first, but conference play taught some tough lessons to open up 2024.

His team has continued to learn, and are now reaping the benefits. Wednesday night was a perfect example, even with their three leading scorers unavailable down the stretch.

The Garden City Lady Broncbusters upset the Coffeyville Red Ravens at Conestoga Arena, 65-57.
The Broncbusters’ win over Seward County was highlighted by great team defense, holding the Lady Saints to just 48 points. Wednesday night saw the same fortitude to open the game.

“Defense, that set the tone for everything,” Franklin praised. “We really helped each other on the backside lobs, I think we frustrated them a little bit.”

Garden City (15-11, 10-11 KJCCC) held Coffeyville to just one of nine in the first quarter, ballooning to a 17-6 lead. The Red Ravens’ lone field goal came just 2:30 into the game, a three-pointer from Kyleigh Ortiz.

The Broncbusters used triples to grow their lead early. Freshman Maya Nieto took advantage of her first career start, netting 12 first-half points. Nieto had another good feeling about Wednesday’s game, right after her first shot fell.

“Once I get my first shot off, period, every [sense of] nervousness goes out of my body goes away,” Nieto said. “But, seeing it go in feels a lot better.”

Nieto nailed her first three shots of the ballgame, pushing the Broncbusters in front. She drilled four of her six three-point attempts in the first half, maintaining GCCC’s 11-point cushion.

Nieto finished with a team-high 20 points in the win.

“I think my confidence has been getting up there,” Nieto said. “My teammates are finding me everywhere. If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it, so, and they’ve been going in.”

Coffeyville (17-9, 12-8 KJCCC) found a way through Garden City fouls. Freshmen C.C. Driessen and Ana Ramos Pires took their fourth fouls within a few possessions, taking the Broncbusters down to just five available players.

GCCC’s offense slowed from there, only shooting three-of-nine in the fourth quarter. The Red Ravens churned within four points in the final three minutes, forcing Garden City into its final timeout.

Franklin trusted Conley with the ball in her hands, and Boxer delivered. The freshman went on to nail 12 straight free throws, scoring the final 15 points of the game for her team, to hold off Coffeyville’s late rally.

“You could not ask for a player to step up better than Boxer Conley. She did a fantastic job controlling the game,” Franklin raved. “She was getting double-teamed, she didn’t turn it over… 13-of-14 from the free throw line. She showed a lot of leadership, right there.”

Garden City improved to 5-1 during February with the win.

The Broncbusters travel to Great Bend for their final road contest of the season against the Barton Cougars. Coverage on 99.9 ‘The Rock’ opens at 1:40 P.M. Saturday, tipoff at 2:00.

Audio recap

Greg Franklin interview

Maya Nieto interview