April 15, 2024

Pinchon’s 25 Not Enough for Lady Buffaloes in Substate Semifinals

Garden City High School girls basketball team hosted Hays High School on Friday, January 12, 2024 at The Garden in Garden City, Kan. The Lady Buffaloes lost to the Indians 26 - 57. Photo credits; Adam Shrimplin, Shrimplin Photography

WICHITA, Kan. – The best players shone brightest when the lights were on. Garden City’s K.J. Pinchon and Wichita Southeast’s Alana Webb, their teams’ respective leading scorers, traded blow-for-blow throughout Tuesday night’s substrate semifinal.

Eventually, the wear proved too much for a young Lady Buffaloes squad, who took too many early fourth-quarter jabs to complete a comeback.

The season ended for the ninth-seeded Garden City Lady Buffaloes in Wichita, falling shy of the No. 8 seed, Wichita Southeast Golden Buffaloes, 51-46. The two stars showed up in big ways, with Southeast’s Webb scoring a team-high 21.

Pinchon put together a career night to match it, pouring in a career-high 25 points in the loss.

“That’s what we expect out of her, every game,” head coach Jacob Miller said. “That’s what we’re going to expect out of her, for the next two years.”

It was Pinchon’s scoring that got Garden City (9-12) back into the game. Southeast jumped out to an early seven-point lead, but the sophomore sparked a run of five straight points to end the first quarter.

The game came easy for the Lady Buffs’ forward, who made seven straight free throws to put her team ahead in the second. She got to work down low, scoring six of the final eight points for Garden City in the second quarter.

GCHS out-scored Southeast, 17-7, to close the first half, taking a 22-19 halftime lead.

“I’m just extremely proud of the way our girls came out to play,” Miller said. “[They] battled, never gave up.”

The game got better for the Buffaloes out of the break. Miraya Martinez knocked in a triple, Hailey Brown had a crucial putback, and in a flash, Garden City led, 27-19.

Wichita Southeast (11-10) looked to their stars to get them back in the game, and Webb delivered, The junior scored nine consecutive points in the third to swing the momentum back Southeast’s way. The Golden Buffalo retook the lead, 38-33, heading into the final eight.

At this point in the game, Webb and Pinchon had done everything their respective coaches could’ve asked from them. Somebody else had to step up, and Southeast found their secondary scorer.

Senior Ma’Khiyah Jones made sure Tuesday wouldn’t be her last game at Southeast. The forward scored seven of her team’s 13 fourth-quarter points, helping her team over the line.

Jones closed with 13 second-half points, scoring 17. No other Garden City player scored more than six.

Garden City has increased its win totals in each of Miller’s first two seasons, going from three wins to six in year one. This season, the Lady Buffaloes improved to nine wins, earning a much higher seed in these substrate playoffs.

“We’re going to be a tough matchup next year,” Miller posed.

The Lady Buffaloes end its season with a record of nine wins and 12 losses. Southeast faces top-seeded Wichita Heights on Friday.

Jacob Miller interview