There was one clear objective for the Garden City Lady Buffaloes basketball team when it took the floor for Thursday night's opening game of the 2012 Clarion Inn Southwest Classic at The New Garden.

Win, and win convincingly.

And the Lady Buffs took their direction from coach David Upton and did just that, rolling to a 57-35 triumph over the Wichita Trinity Academy Lady Knights in the first ever game at the new GCHS school.

"I thought it important to tell the girls just how big it was to be playing the first basketball game here," Upton said. "Maybe it was just a little too much pressure, but I felt they could deal with it. We wanted to win this first one."

The Lady Buffs stormed out early, scoring the first 12 points en route to a 14-1 first quarter lead, and then expanded it to 30-13 by halftime.

That came despite an unsightly 18 turnovers, only to be balanced out by 20 miscues from the Lady Knights.

"It wasn't really pretty at times, and I wish we would have maintained the early momentum we had," Upton said. "I liked our effort, and I thought the girls worked hard."

At the same time, Upton said the team wasn't in the right place at the right time on many occasions.

"We're not always in the right position, and that's something we'll need to correct," Upton said.

The Lady Buffs were dominant on the boards against the smaller Knights, owning a commanding 45-18 rebounding advantage, as 6-2 Johna McClelland grabbed nine, and 5-11 freshman Jessica Carillo added seven.

The Lady Buffs built their lead to 34-13 early in the third, and led 47-25 heading to the fourth.

Junior Taryn Tempel, who got off to a slow start, eventually warmed up, too, and finished with a game-high 21 points — the third consecutive 20-point outing for the 5-7 guard.

She had double-figure help from Carillo with 12 and McClelland with 10.

"These girls are fun to watch when they're out in the open floor," Upton said. "It's too bad there wasn't more fans here to watch. I'm a bit disappointed in that. We've got a great new gym, a good group and hardly anybody showed up. We need and want the home support."

The Lady Buffs finished the night by hitting 42.8 percent of their field goals (21-of-49) and 15-of-20 free throws. The Lady Knights, who got 10 points from Kristin Miller, were just 15-of-47 for 31.9 percent. They were a chilly 4-of-15 from the charity stripe.

"We got the first one of three games, now we just go back and get ready for the next one," Upton said.

The Lady Buffs will face Denver South, 69-51 winners over Scott City on Thursday, at 6 p.m. today again at the New Garden. Wichita Trinity heads to Holcomb to face the Lady Longhorns at 6 p.m. today.


Wichita Trinity 1 12 12 10 -- 35

Garden City 14 16 17 12 -- 59

Wichita Trinity (35) — Zielke 0-5 1-4 1, Guetersloh 3-5 0-0 6, S. Miller 4-7 0-1 8, Burns 1-4 1-3 3, Shrimp 2-11 0-2 5, K. Miller 4-8 2-5 10, Clinton 0-2 0-0 0, Henderson 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 15-47 4-15 35.

Garden City (59) — McClelland 4-8 2-2 10, Padilla 0-1 0-0 0, Linenberger 0-3 0-1 0, Brunson 0-2 2-2 2, Tempel 8-10 5-6 21, McKee 0-6 0-2 0, Bernbeck 3-8 2-2 8, Schmale 0-0 0-0 0, Carillo 4-5 4-5 12. Totals 21-49 15-20 57.

3-point field goals--Trinity 1-9 (Zielke 0-3, Guetersloh 0-1, S. Miller 0-1, Shrimp 1-3, Henderson 0-1); Garden City 0-4 (Torner 0-1, Brunson 0-2, Tempel 0-1). Fouls--Trinity 18, Garden City 17. Fouled out--none. Rebounds--Trinity 18 (Shrimp, Henderson 3 each), Garden City 45 (McClelland 9). Turnovers--Trinity 24, Garden City 28.