By BRETT MARSHALL
HAYS — The Garden City High School boys basketball team found a way to reduce their turnover-plagued offense in Saturday's seventh place game against Colby of the 28th Annual Hays City Shoot-Out at Felten Middle School.
By reducing their miscues by nearly a third, coach Jacy Holloway's Buffaloes captured their first win of the young season with a 52-38 victory over the Colby Eagles. With the victory, the Buffs left the Shoot-Out with a 1-2 record, but more importantly, gained some much-needed confidence.
In their first two losses of the Shoot-Out, the Buffs had committed 25, and 28 turnovers but on Saturday they reduced their turnovers to 19, still more than Holloway would like, but they only had nine in the first half.
"It was really being in the right position defensively and pressuring them that got us going," Holloway said. "They did a better job of communicating with each other and we played together, especially defensively, way better than the first two games."
After a 7-7 first quarter tie the Buffs held a 23-15 halftime lead after a strong second quarter.
Holding a narrow 13-11 lead midway through the second quarter, the Buffs closed out the first half with a 10-4 run that included a 3-pointer by senior guard Freddie Munoz.
When the third quarter began, Colby scored a quick basket to cut the lead to six but then the Buffs hit them with a 14-0 run from which the Eagles never fully recovered.
Strong 3-point shooting from senior guard Gerardo Holguin and junior Jake Curran helped put the Buffaloes up 37-17 which would prove to be the biggest margin of the game. But Colby did not fold and scored the next nine points to slice the lead to 37-26 before Ivan Leal hit a layup to close out the third and gave GCHS a 39-26 advantage.
"I'd still like to see our (post players) touch (the ball) more but we'll go back and work on that," Holloway said.
Another key in the game was the foul situation. Unlike the first two games, the Buffs didn't get into early trouble.
"When we foul and get into trouble, that just makes us tentative on defense," Holloway said. "I though our passing was good but we still aren't doing as good a job in securing the basketball as we need to. We've got to take better care of the ball in tight situations."
The fourth quarter saw the teams battle on near-even terms with the Eagles never getting any closer than eight points. The 14-point margin was the biggest of the quarter for the Buffs.
"We needed to have a game, and play well and I thought we made some strides in that direction," Holloway said. "I told (the team) that we needed a win whether or not we played badly. We improved and I thought we played good defense. Getting that first win is good for our confidence. They can see what they have to do and we'll continue to work on those things to get better."
Holguin's 13 points came on 5-of-9 shooting and a perfect 3-of-3 at the free throw line. Curran shared team-high honors with Holguin by hitting a pair of treys and all five of his free throws.
He reached double figures in all three tournament games. The Buffs hit 12-of-16 free throws in the game compared to 6-of-14 for the Eagles.
Garden also shot 39 percent hitting 18-of-46 field goals while Colby connected on 15-of-37 for 40.5 percent.
The Buffs barely won the rebounding battle, 28-26, as Austin Terpstra, Curran and Braden Taylor each grabbed six.
Corbin Stephens and Clint Goosen led the Eagles with 13 and 12 points, respectively. The defense by the Buffs forced Colby into 26 turnovers.
Next up for the Buffaloes will be the Conestoga Classic in Liberal where they will face Lawton, Okla., at 4 p.m. Friday and Hereford, Texas, at 3 p.m. Saturday. That will be the final game of the 2010 portion of the schedule.
They will open 2011 on Jan. 4 with a home game against Western Athletic Conference rival Dodge City at The Garden.
Hays City Shoot-Out
Seventh Place Game
Colby 7 8 11 12 -- 38
Garden City 7 16 16 13 -- 52
Colby (0-3) — Ketchum 0-0 0-0 0, Winger 2-2 0-0 4, Arnberger 1-5 0-0 3, Wilson 0-1 0-2 0, Goossen 5-6 2-4 12, Stephens 4-12 4-6 13, Kane 1-2 0-0 2, Sager 1-2 0-2 2, Tubbs 1-56 0-0 2, Query 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-37 6-14 38.
Garden City (1-2) — Gomez 1-1 1-2 3, Holguin 5-9 3-3 13, Munoz 2-6 0-0 6, Beck 2-4 1-2 5, Tomlin 0-2 0-0 0, Terpstra 1-3 0-0 2, Curran 3-14 5-5 13, Taylor 3-4 20-4 8, Leal 1-1 0-0 2, Ensz 0-2 0-0 0, Alexander 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 12-16 52.
3-point gols — Colby 2-8 (Arnberger 1-4, Wilson 0-1, Stephens 1-3), Garden City 4-of-13 (Holguin 0-2, Munoz 2-2, Tomlin 0-1, Curran 2-8). Fouls — Colby 17, Garden City 18. Fouled out — Colby (Kane), Garden City (Holguin). Rebounds — Colby 26 (Kane 4, Tubbs 4), Garden City 28 (Terpstra 6, Curran 6, Taylor 6). Turnovers — Colby 26, Garden City 19.