By KEVIN THOMPSON
The Garden City Lady Buffaloes won their fourth straight game, including three in a row at the New Garden, 50-46, over the Dumas, Texas, Demonettes Saturday night.
But maybe playing three straight nights in the Clarion Inn Southwest Classic took its toll in this young season as Garden City had to overcome an early deficit and hold off a late charge to move to 4-1 for the season and remain undefeated at home.
Down 22-21 at halftime, the Buffs' Taryn Tempel and Jaymie Bernbeck scored 15 of Garden City's 17 third-quarter points while the defense came alive to hold Dumas to just eight points.
Jack senile Tornero's three to end the period put the Buffaloes up 38-30, and they would need every bit of that lead down the stretch.
Midway in the fourth quarter, Garden City had its largest lead at 12, 45-33, before the Demonettes mounted a comeback.
Dumas went on a 9-1 run, ending at 2:08 when Haleigh Valenzuela converted a turnover into a basket.
Garden City coach David Upton picked up a technical foul at 1:53 for arguing what should have been a 30-second timeout earlier in the quarter but what the officials had charged as a full.
Valenzuela made one of those free throws then another pair following a foul to cut the deficit to four.
Following a Garden City turnover after a missed free throw, Dumas' Ashley Swaim made it 48-46 with 1:03 left.
But free throws by Johna McClelland and Bernbeck helped the Lady Buffs secure the win.
Going 3-0 at home was great, Upton said.
"The girls came into this wanting to win every game here on their home court and open up this beautiful facility that way, and they did," he said. "They made it look scary at times, but they did their job."
Upton said he wasn't sure what to expect on day three, especially after playing a tough Denver South team one night earlier.
Tempel led the Buffaloes with 16 points, and Bernbeck added 10.
One area of improvement, Upton said, was committing just 19 turnovers, an improvement after being in the 20s in each of their first four games.
But Upton was concered with the low rebounding total for his team (30) after grabbing 45 and 48 in the first two games of the Classic.
Garden City will be idle this week before starting play in the Western Athletic Conference on Dec. 18, with a home game against rival Dodge City.
Dumas 13 9 8 16 -- 46
Garden City 7 14 17 12 -- 50
Dumas (46) — Gerber 2 0-0 5, Valenzuela 3 6-8 13, Swaim 2 2-2 6, Henderson 2 0-2 5, Hoffman 1 1-2 3, Campbell 2 1-3 5, Ward 4 1-3 9. Totals 16-46 11-20 46.
Garden City (50) — McClelland 3 2-2 8, Linenberger 0 0-2 0, Tornero 1 1-2 4, Tempel 7 2-5 16, McKee 4 1-4 9, Bernbeck 4 3-6 11, Schmale 1 0-0 2. Totals 20-49 9-21 50.