Published 2/7/2013 in Sports
Busters come up short in upset bid of No. 1 Hutch
By ADAM HOLT
Brad Nading/Telegram Garden City Community College's Joe Ebondo, left, reaches over Hutchinson's Tafari Whittingham for a rebound Wednesday at Perryman Athletic Complex.
It was nearly one of the most legendary nights in Garden City Community College basketball history. Almost.
About an hour after the Lady Broncbusters upset the top-ranked Lady Dragons, the Buster men had a five-point halftime lead on their No. 1 Hutchinson counterparts.
It was not to be, though.
Hutchinson took over and built an eight-point lead late, and Garden City couldn't get any closer than three the rest of the way in a 62-57 loss Wednesday at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
"I think obviously our margin for error tonight was not too high," GCCC head coach Rand Chappell said. "I think we graded out better, as far as how we played. But no question, the turnovers right there at about the 16, 15-minute mark, got them back in the game.
Garden City went up 39-31 with 17 minutes, 6 seconds left in the game, but missed twice and turned it over twice in a stretch of four possessions to let Hutchinson back in the game. The Busters still had a two-point lead with about nine minutes to play, but the Blue Dragons (24-0, 10-0) went on a 10-0 run to take a 56-48 lead with 5:35 left.
Reuben King hit a fadeaway 3-pointer with 2:27 to play and cut it to 60-57, but Garden City got no closer. Jade Cathey got blocked on a layup try that would have made it a one-point game, and on the next possession, had his interior dish pass intercepted. Kadeem Allen nailed two free throws for the game's final points, and Garden City couldn't get any good shots in the final 24 seconds.
"We made a lot of mistakes that we shouldn't have made," guard Terry Webb said. "We should have capitalized on some stuff. That's just how the game goes. We just have to be more mature at times like that, and settle down and make college plays. We ain't in high school or nothing like that, so we just gotta buckle down and do what we practiced."
The Busters had trouble dealing with Allen, who had a game-high 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 6-of-6 free throws, to go with five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
"Kadeem Allen, I think is a little bit of a special player," Chappell said. "I told our guys at the half, that he was the kind of guy, that if they needed 12, he'd probably get 12; if they needed 18, he might get 18, if they needed 20 in the second half, he might get that much. We had to really focus on him."
Alex Davis added 13 points and three blocks, and A.J. Spencer had 11 for Hutchinson.
Garden City had one of its better first halves in a long time, hitting three 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the game. A Chris Hall 3-pointer gave the Busters a brief eight-point lead with 40 seconds left in the half, and Frank Agholor's layup with a second to go made it 31-26 at intermission.
King and Webb led the Busters with 12 points each, with Cathey adding 10 and Agholor eight.
Both teams saw the upset in the women's game, and it helped spark the Busters a bit early, although they had plenty of motivation going into the game.
"We talked about the scenario of a double No. 1 upset tonight," Chappell said. "The women held up their end, and it didn't hurt any, that's for sure. If they woulda gotten beat by 30, it woulda been not quite as energetic in here."
Garden City dropped its sixth straight game to fall to 10-14 and 2-8 in KJCCC play. The Busters played the Dragons tough both times, losing 65-58 in Hutchinson on Jan. 7, and HCC's two lowest scoring outputs of the season are against GCCC.
"We knew that we could play with them," Webb said. "We could play with any team. We beat ourselves."
The first lost to Hutch sprung the Busters to a good stretch of play and their two KJCCC wins. Chappell said he hopes the same can happen this time around, as GCCC heads to Barton for a 7:30 p.m. game Saturday.
"It's fairly late in the year, but we need to build off this," he said. "If we can have the energy and focus that we had tonight, there's no reason we can't put a few wins together here down the stretch."
Barton, after beating Dodge City 73-53 on Wednesday, is 20-4 overall and 7-3 in the West Division, and sits in the third spot of the standings.
Box score in Scoreboard, Page B2.
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