Busters earn 2nd straight triumph
Busters earn 2nd straight triumph
By ADAM HOLT
COLBY — Two months ago âï-- a week ago, even âï-- the Garden City Community College men's basketball team might not have won the kind of game it played on the road against Colby on Sunday.
Up by 12 points at halftime, the Broncbusters saw the Trojans roar back and knot the game up, eventually taking a late lead.
But in what was a choppy final seven minutes, the Busters knocked down free throws and got one big field goal to post a 71-68 win over the Trojans at the Community Building.
"We just had to pull together to get the win," freshman Reuben King said. "We were up 12 at half, so we kept saying in the huddles, we gotta pull together, because we can't blow that lead. We just gotta buckle down. I mean, it's a good test for us, on the road, to come back, down by four, maybe five, last couple minutes, had to get the win. We came through."
The Busters (10-8, 2-2 KJCCC) haven't played well from behind for much of the season, so to see them maintain composure after blowing a lead and going down was an encouraging sign for a young team, said head coach Rand Chappell.
"Give our guys credit. It's easy on the road to let a lead get away," he said. "We fell four behind, it would have been easy to lose our composure, but I thought they hung together and made enough plays to win the game."
With Garden City down four points, King hit a 3-pointer with 7:14 to play to pull the Busters to within 57-56. That was the last field goal by either team until Chris Hall hit a trey with 42.7 seconds to play to put GCCC up 69-65 and basically seal the game for the Busters.
In the six-plus minutes in between, three Busters and one Trojan fouled out, and the teams traded free throws as the game ground to a halt.
Terry Starks hit a free throw to put Colby up, 65-64, with 1:44 to play. Frank Agholor followed by drawing a foul, and hitting both free throws to make it 66-65, Garden City. Colby turned it over, and Agholor found Hall in the corner for his big 3-pointer.
Garden City went 23-of-28 from the free-throw line, an 82.1 percent clip, well above their season average of 65.8 percent. Meanwhile, the Trojans were 24-of-36 at the stripe.
Garden City was 12-of-14 on free throws in the final seven minutes and made its last eight in a row, while Colby went 9-of-14 in that same stretch.
"At the end of the day, making five in a row four times, and that kind of stuff was big," Chappell said. "I was hoping that they feel very confident going up there. It seemed like to me, we made one out of two a few times in the first half, but down the stretch, we went up there and really cashed in."
Meanwhile, neither team could seem to make a bucket in the final 10 minutes, whether missing on attempts or getting fouled before them. Garden City got flustered by a Colby (9-9, 0-4) defense that switched between man-to-man and zone looks in the second half.
"They switched a lot on defense, that kinda threw us off a little bit," King said. "That's a little bit why we were a little timid. They came down in man, they switched it to a zone."
Jade Cathey led Garden City with 19 points, going 5-of-6 at the line. Hall had 17 and went 4-of-5 on free throws, while King added 15 (3-of-5 free throws) before fouling out.
Jeremiah Ingram had 20 points to lead Colby and was 8-of-8 at the line, and got help from Starks and Cody Sluder, who had 15 apiece.
Maybe the best job the Busters did was limiting the nation's leading rebounder, in Kris Rolle. Rolle averaged 14.1 total rebounds and 5.9 offensive rebounds per game coming in, and came up with just 10, including one offensive board.
After an 0-2 start to conference play, the Busters have two straight wins, and host Pratt (11-6, 1-2) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
Garden City (71)-- Jones 1-5 4-4 6, Hall 5-18 4-5 17, Joseph 2-4 1-2 5, Cathey 7-10 5-6 19, Agholor 1-4 2-2 5, Webb 0-0 4-4 4, Ebondo 0-2 0-0 0, King 5-14 3-5 15. Totals 21-57 23-28 71.
Colby (68) — Williams 1-6 0-2 3, Kracun 0-3 1-2 1, Clarke 3-7 1-2 9, Rolle 1-3 3-6 5, Ingram 5-11 8-8 20, Sluder 5-8 3-4 15, Starks 3-11 8-12 15. Totals 18-49 24-36 68.
Halftime--Garden City 37-25. 3-point goals--Garden City 6-19 (Hall 3-9, King 2-7, Agholor 1-2, Jones 0-1), Colby--10-30 (Sluder 3-3, Ingram 3-8, Starks 2-10, Clarke 1-1, Rolle 1-3, Williams 0-5, Kracun 0-3). Fouled out--Garden City (King, Ebondo, Joseph), Colby (Ingram). Fouls--Garden City 26, Colby 24. Technical fouls--Garden City (Jones). Rebounds--Garden City 24 (Cathey 8), Colby 28 (Rolle 10). Assists--Garden City 3 (Hall, Agholor, Ebondo 1), Colby 6 (Starks 3). Turnovers--Garden City 12, Colby 18.