By BRETT MARSHALL
In an all too familiar scene at the Newton Invitational, Garden City’s Lady Buffaloes got off to a strong start, then hit a cold spell and couldn’t recover, falling on Thursday to Bishop Carroll, 50-42, in an opening-round contest at Newton High School’s gym.
The Lady Buffs have had similar experiences at the Newton tourney, and despite getting off to a hot start, it was a third-quarter disaster that doomed them to the consolation bracket and a 3 p.m. game today against the loser of the Bishop Miege-Olathe Northwest game played on Thursday night.
It was, in the words of head coach David Upton, a tough way to start the tournament once again.
“It seems like we always come out strong here, and I thought we did a lot of good things in the first half,” Upton said. “In the second half, we just had a lot of turnovers. We got out of sync it seemed like when we got down five points, and you can’t panic when you are in that position. I’m happy with the effort of the girls. Carroll’s a really good team, they’ve got some big girls who caused us a lot of problems inside.”
With the score tied at 23 at intermission, the Lady Buffs were in a good position against the No. 6-ranked Class 5A Lady Golden Eagles entering the third quarter.
But an 11-2 stretch to begin the third quarter by Carroll proved to be the defining moment in determining the outcome of the game. Another 6-2 mini-run to close out the third made it 17-6 Carroll in that stretch, giving the Golden Eagles a 40-29 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Carroll built its biggest lead to 15 points, 48-33, with just under three minutes remaining, and only a 9-2 finish by the Lady Buffs got the score under double-digits.
The Lady Buffs didn’t seem to have an answer for Carroll’s inside 1-2 punch of Jordan Miller (19 points) and Shelby Lopez (14 points), as the 6-foot center and 5-11 forward dominated the offensive boards and got numerous easy buckets.
Taryn Tempel was the only double-figure scorer for the Lady Buffs, finishing with 14 points, including one 3-pointer, while the team’s leading scorer for the season, junior Jaymie Bernbeck, finished with nine points, eight of those in the first half. It was the first time all season that Bernbeck was unable to get to double-digit scoring.
“We were trying to get her the ball down low, but it seemed like we were just a little late getting it to her, and their people did a good job defending her,” Upton said.
The Lady Buffs opened strong with a 6-0 start in the opening two minutes. They led the entire first quarter, finishing with a 12-8 advantage thanks in part to Tempel’s 3-point basket with just under 30 seconds left.
In the second quarter, it was a case of teams putting together short mini-runs — the Lady Golden Eagles went 9-4 to go ahead 17-16 before the Lady Buffs responded with a 7-4 surge to finish out the half tied at 23.
Tempel and Bernbeck led the Lady Buffs in the opening half with nine and eight points, respectively.
In the tournament’s opening upper-bracket game, top-seeded Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel rolled by Dodge City 56-27. In later games, it was Bishop Miege facing Olathe Northwest to determine Garden City’s opponent for today.
In the other top bracket game, host Newton defeated Andover Central 52-46.
Garden City 12 11 6 13 — 42
Bishop Carroll 8 15 17 10 — 50
Garden City (8-4) —Dart 0 1-2 1, Tornero 2 3-4 8, Tempel 5 3-7 14, McKee 2 1-2 5, Dreiling 2 0-0 4, Bernbeck 3 3-4 9, Carrillo 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 12-21 42.
Bishop Carroll (9-2) — Youngers 1 0-0 2, Lopez 6 2-2 14, Maul 3 1-4 7, Hogan 2 2-4 6, Miller 7 1-3 15, Doerneman 2 0-0 4, Bockover 1 0-1 2. Totals 22 6-14 50.
3-point goals—Garden City 2 (Tornero 1, Tempel 1), Bishop Carroll 0. Fouled out—Garden City (Dreiling).