GCCC women back in rankings at No. 14





A 5-0 start to the season has the Garden City Community College women's basketball team back in the national rankings, checking in at No. 14 in the latest NJCAA poll.

The rankings were released Wednesday, but GCCC head coach Alaura Sharp wanted to wait until today to let her team know the Lady Broncbusters were a top-15 team.

"I think that, hopefully, it sets the tone for practice," Sharp said. "I think they're smart enough to take it as a compliment, but also use it as motivation instead of just hitting the cruise control button."

Garden City's first game as a ranked team this season comes against 6-0 Trinidad State (Colo.), in the first game of the Dodge City Classic, at 2 p.m. Friday. The Busters also play Allen County (2-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"It's a good one to start with Friday for sure, especially after your team becomes ranked," Sharp said "They also have a player in the top-50 in scoring. So they have a really good post player. There's some motivation techniques we can use to get our team ready to go."

This week in practice, Sharp had the Busters work on getting to the free-throw line, and once there, converting. Garden City is just 43-of-78 on free throws this season.

GCCC has also worked on setting and reading screens better, as well as putting forth a consistent effort on defense.

And so far, so good.

"I feel like they are legitimately trying to make the changes that we need to be successful," Sharp said. "I think that shows their buy-in, and helps you know that you're somewhat on the same page as your team."

Against Allen on Saturday, Garden City will face a different challenge.

"Allen is a really athletic team and probably the best transition team that we've seen this year," Sharp said. "So that could cause some problems for us. Obviously, their bigs may be a little bit quicker up and down the floor than our bigs, so we've got to make sure that we get good ball containment, and everybody gets back and helps."

GCCC tries to get out in transition on offense itself, and that approach has helped the Busters to an average of 84.8 points per game. As a team, the Busters are shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from 3-point range.

Tamara Jones leads GCCC in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per game. Shicole Watts averages 16.6, while Deni Jacobs is at 13.4 per game.

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