By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City Buffaloes boys basketball team would have had any number of reasons to have an off night in a 70-38 win over visiting Guymon, Okla.'s Tigers on Friday at the New Garden.
First, it was homecoming, and the distractions that go along that with are historically noted for any team.
Second, the Buffaloes were coming off a tough 70-59 home loss to cross-county rival Holcomb on Tuesday night.
Third, the Buffs were without junior starting forward Emilio Parr for the second straight game due to a suspension for violation of school and team policy.
Fourth, the Buffs also were without senior starting forward Austin Terpstra, serving a one-game suspension which was determined by coach Jacy Holloway.
Terpstra was assessed with his third technical foul of the season in the Tuesday loss to Holcomb. Parr was cited and released Sunday at 2:07 p.m. in the 2600 block of Fleming Street on allegations of possession of a hallucinogenic, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of tobacco by a minor.
But as Holloway said in the moments after Friday's thumping of the Tigers, many good things happened on the floor as the team improved to 11-5.
"I'm happy with our ability to play some offenses and defenses with lineups that we hadn't even tried in practice," Holloway said with a smile. "We had some different lineups, for sure. There were positions they were asked to play, and I'm sure they normally wouldn't want to. But they stepped up and just went out and did it. They stepped in, tried it and some good things happened."
But the game didn't start out on such a positive note, as the Buffs were whistled for a pre-game technical foul when one of their players was caught grabbing the rim, a rules violation that resulted in two free throws for Guymon and the ball inbounds before the clock even started.
"Well, it wasn't exactly what you were looking for at the start," Holloway said. "But we managed to work our way through it."
After falling behind 6-2 early, the Buffs finished off the quarter with a 14-4 run to take the lead for good.
With Bo Banner and Caleb Tramp each picking up their second fouls early in the second quarter, Holloway was forced to go to nearly an all-guard lineup, and the group responded with a 19-14 advantage.
That surge was sparked by 5-9 junior Mitchell Hernandez, who drained all four of his 3-point attempts to push the Buffs from a 22-18 lead into a 35-24 halftime advantage.
"He played well and the timing of his shots was huge for us," Holloway said of Hernandez. "He's been doing a good job in practice, and he got a defensive rebound, came down and was open and made the shot. A lot of times when you're doing something good on the defensive end, something good happens to you on the offensive end, too."
In the third quarter, the Buffs broke the game open, going on an 11-2 run before closing it out with another spurt of 13-0 to put the game out of reach at 59-28 heading to the fourth.
"I thought we had a lot of energy in that quarter and we ran the floor well," Holloway said. "Guymon had been shooting a lot of three's and we just wanted to make sure they didn't get good looks."
Tramp, a 6-5 sophomore had one of his best nights of the season, scoring 15 points off 7-of-8 field goal shooting and 1-of-1 free throws. He led the Buffs in rebounds with eight, as they held a 31-22 advantage on the boards. Hernandez finished the game with 14 points, also his best output, while Banner added 12. Hunter Delgado added nine, while Tristan Nanninga and Jared Koster contributed eight each. Evan Riggs rounded out the scoring with three points.
The Buffs were red-hot in their shooting, hitting 25-of-43 field goals (58.1 percent) while limiting the Tigers (6-13) to just 16-of-45 attempts (35.5 percent). The Buffs' defense forced Guymon into 19 turnovers while committing 15 of their own, still a bit of a sore spot with Holloway.
"We're still turning the ball over too many times, and many of those are just careless ones, not forced," Holloway said. "But this was a big night for us to get back on the winning track. We sure didn't want to go back-to-back losses at home. It's great to get a win in front the kind of crowd we had tonight."
The Buffs are idle until they travel on Friday to Great Bend, where they resume Western Athletic Conference action against the Panthers. In the first meeting in Garden City on Jan. 4, the Buffs won, 41-32. The Buffs currently sit at 2-2 in the WAC.
Guymon, Okla. 10 14 4 10 -- 38
Garden City 16 19 24 11 -- 70
Guymon (38) — Moncada 3-8 0-0 6, Portillo 2-9 2-2 6, Hinojos 1-1 0-0 3, Kate 2-7 0-1 5, Carrasco 0-1 1-2 1, Rodriguez 3-7 0-0 6, Vega 2-5 0-0 4, Santillan 0-1 0-0 0, Noland 3-6 1-3 7. Totals 16-45 4-8 38.
Garden City (70) — Delgado 3-7 2-2 9, Riggs 1-3 1-2 3, Hernandez 5-6 0-0 14, Nanninga 3-6 1-2 8, Banner 3-7 4-6 12, Keller 0-1 0-0 0, Koster 3-5 2-4 8, Tramp 7-8 1-1 15. Totals 25-43 11-17 70.
3-point goals--Guymon 2-14 (Moncada 0-2, Portillo 0-5, Hinojos 1-1, Kate 1-5, Vega 0-1), Garden City 7-13 (Delgado 1-2, Riggs 0-1, Hernandez 4-4, Nanninga 1-2, Banner 1-3, Keller 0-1). Rebounds--Guymon 22 (Noland 6), Garden City 31 (Tramp 8). Turnovers--Guymon 19, Garden City 15. Fouls--Guymon 14, Garden City 11. Technical fouls--Garden City (bench).