By BRETT MARSHALL
They may well be making a case for an emergency room visit, but needless to say, the Garden City Buffaloes have provided heart-attack moments for two consecutive nights at the New Garden.
Friday night, the Buffs used Austin Terpstra's 15-foot baseline jumper with 22.7 seconds left to lift his team to a dramatic 57-55 victory over Denver South on the second night of the Clarion Inn Southwest Classic.
Thursday night, Garden City went to overtime, surviving Wichita Trinity, 73-69. The twin victories improve the Buffs to 3-1 as they conclude the three-day Classic today at 7 p.m. against Dumas, Texas, which has lost both of its Classic games.
South, which lost 85-74 to Scott City on Thursday night, used its lightning-quick, athletic talent to force the Buffs into 18 turnovers, yet at crunch time, Garden City came up with big plays.
The last big play, by Terpstra, came after South's Ibrahim Sylla, the Rebels' 6-6 junior center, had scored on another short putback to tie the game at 55 with 41.8 seconds left. The Buffs' Tristan Nanninga went down 10 seconds earlier on a hard drive to the basket, and before play could be stopped, South had knotted the score on Sylla's bucket.
For Terpstra, it was perhaps the biggest shot of his three-year varsity career.
"This is huge for us, considering how big they were, especially getting the first two here at home," Terpstra said. "It's very special."
Terpstra, who had gone scoreless through the first half, scored all 19 of his points in the final 16 minutes, hitting 6-of-9 field goals and 7-of-8 free throws.
"I was upset at halftime, and coach (Jacy Holloway) challenged us to be more aggressive, so I took that to heart," Terpstra said. "We love our new gym, this is a new start, a new place to make a name for ourselves."
Holloway said that it was just simply a combination of running the offense down the stretch to provide the Buffs with good scoring opportunities over the final two quarters, when they outscored South 33-28 in that stretch.
"We were able to make a lot of things happen, and getting two in a row at home is big for us," Holloway said. "I told our guys that we've gotta find him (Terpstra) if he's gonna be able to help us."
Holloway said that the team will need to improve taking care of the ball if it wants to have continued success.
"We didn't handle their pressure very well, and most teams are gonna figure out they can pressure us, so we've got to get better at that," Holloway said. "We've still got a lot to learn."
Holloway singled out virtually every player who got on the floor for contributing to the big win.
"I could name each one who went in, they all did something good to help us get the win," Holloway said.
Hunter Delgado got the Buffs off to an impressive start by scoring six of the first Garden City points to help the Buffs jump out to an 11-4 lead that eventually finished off at 14-9 at the end of the opening quarter.
South, however, which had seen itself fall way behind Scott City after three quarters on Thursday night, didn't wait as long to play catch-up.
A 13-6 start to the second quarter put the Rebels up 22-20, and they went into intermission up by three, 27-24.
The third quarter was tight all the way, with neither team up by more than four points. South held a slender 44-42 lead heading into the pivotal fourth quarter.
There were nine lead changes and seven ties in the last eight minutes, with Terpstra's game-winner providing the last advantage — and the most important.
"It's a big confidence boost for these kids, to win a game in overtime and then win one at the end," Holloway said. "It's the kind of win that gets things going in the right direction for us."
In addition to Terpstra's 19, Nanninga finished with 16. South was led by Sylla, who had a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Antonio Garcia added 12 for the Rebels. Delgado had eight rebounds to help the Buffs to a 36-33 edge on the boards. South had just 11 turnovers.
The Buffs shot 44.6 from the field (21-of-47) to South's 35.7 (21-of-57).
South, now 3-2, travels to Holcomb today for a 7 p.m. game to conclude its Classic schedule.
Denver South 9 18 17 11 -- 55
Garden City 14 10 18 15 -- 57
Denver South (55) — Tollerson 0-1 0-0 0, Purifoy 2-7 0-0 6, Garcia 4-9 2-2 12, Sylla 9-18 5-6 23, French 1-1 0-0 2, Hopkins 1-5 0-0 2, Johnson 1-2 1-3 3, Dean 0-1 0-0 0, Chavez 3-8 0-0 7, Moore 0-4 0-0 0, Wariner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-57 8-11 55.
Garden City (57) — Delgado 3-7 0-0 6, Riggs 0-1 0-0 0, Nanninga 7-15 0-0 16, Banner 1-2 1-2 4, Keller 0-4 0-0 0, Terpstra 6-9 7-8 19, Parr 1-2 2-6 4, Love 0-3 1-2 1, Tramp 3-4 1-2 7. Totals 21-47 12-20 57.
3-point goals--South 5-12 (Purifoy 2-5, Garcia 2-2, Chavez 1-3, Moore 0-2), Garden City 3-10 (Nanninga 2-3, Banner 1-2, Keller 0-3, Terpstra 0-1, Love 0-1). Rebounds--South 33 (Sylla 12), Garden City 36 (Delgado 8). Turnovers--South 11, Garden City 18. Fouls--South 16, Garden City 11. Fouled out--none.