Final games of 2013 present measuring sticks for Buster hoops
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Heading into the final weekend of games before the winter break, both Garden City Community College basketball teams are looking to find out how far they have come in the non-conference portion of their schedules, all the while hoping to continue to improve before the three-week layoff and conference games begin in January.
Starting tonight and finishing tomorrow, the Perryman Athletic Complex will host the Buster Shootout.
Games will begin at 1:30 p.m. each day, starting with the first women's game, and then the first men's game will begin at 3:30. The Lady Busters will play at 5:30 and the men's team will tip off at 7:30 each night.
The men's team will play two similar teams each day, both prep school teams, as the Busters take on Raleigh's Finest Prep out of Oklahoma City today, and then God's Academy Prep (Lake Dallas, Texas) on Saturday.
Both teams are very similar, according to Buster head coach Brady Trenkle.
"They're both guard oriented, play very fast ... and they're going to shoot a lot of threes," Trenkle said.
He noted that most of the game both teams will play with five guards, try to dribble-drive and then kick out to shooters. That will present problems for a big Buster front court that is not necessarily used to defending guards out at the three-point line.
When the Busters are on offense, Trenkle is expecting a lot of zone defenses to try to mask the prep school's height disadvantage, which will help the Busters moving forward.
"I think the more variety of defenses you see early (in the season), the more your guys are going to be prepared," Trenkle said.
The Busters also have the added aspect of playing a third game on Sunday vs. Adams State JV. The game was added to the schedule after the cancellation of Monday's home game against York College.
So for Trenkle and his players, that means playing three games in three days, something they have not done yet this season.
But Trenkle said it's also something he wanted to prepare for.
"If you want to win a regional title, you have to win three games in three days at some point," the first-year coach said.
Note: Today's men's schedule will begin at 3:30 p.m. with Seward County Community College taking on God's Academy. On Saturday at the same time, Seward County will play Raleigh's Finest ... The Busters' home game against Adams State JV will be at 4 p.m.
For the Lady Broncbusters, these next two games (against Clarendon, Texas, College today and vs. No. 15-ranked and 9-1 Northeastern Oklahoma A M Saturday) are good chances to play at home for only the fifth and sixth time this season.
But these games also will serve as a measuring stick for the progress head coach Nick Salazar's squad has made so far since the Lady Busters have met both opponents on the hardwood earlier this season.
The Lady Busters took on Clarendon in a scrimmage in the preseason, and then played NEO in the second game of the year on Nov. 2 in Liberal.
"I've said all along consistently that I'm really excited about this weekend," Salazar said. "It's a good barometer for how far we've come."
The Lady Busters held a lead against NEO in the first half of their previous matchup, but were downed easily in the second half for the 88-71 loss. Salazar is hoping for a different result this time around.
"Hopefully we can build a lead like that again," the first-year coach said, "and this time close the deal."
Note: Today's women's games opens with Colby Community College taking on NEO at 1:30. Colby will then turn around on Saturday at the same time to play Clarendon.