Trampling the Trojans: Busters unload on Colby men
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
In the first two games of their conference schedule, the Garden City Broncbusters took on reigning Jayhawk West champion Seward County and defending Region VI champion Hutchinson. The Busters lost both games by a combined total of 11 points.
Even so, they still entered Saturday night's contest with Colby at the Perryman Athletic Complex desperately needing a conference win after starting 0-2. They got it in dominating fashion, routing the visiting Trojans 84-48 to increase their overall record to 15-4 and their conference record to 1-2.
"I think they (the Busters) put 40 minutes together, which I've been asking them to do," GCCC head coach Brady Trenkle said afterward. "I told them you've got to sustain 40 minutes if you want a chance to do well in this league. And that's the one thing they did tonight.
"They sustained both ends of the floor for 40 minutes. Everybody, every guy, they all played, and every one of them gave me everything they had for the minutes they were out there."
The Busters established an upper hand early, going on an 18-6 run in the first seven minutes of the game. The Busters and Trojans exchanged points early as the Busters held a slight 7-6 lead with four minutes gone. But the Busters shut out the Trojans on their next four possessions, extending the lead to 18-6 as sophomore Jade Cathey finished off the 11-point run with a slick fadeaway jumper from the lane and the foul, draining the ensuing free throw.
Cathey drew cheers from the sizeable crowd often on Saturday. Cathey took only seven shots, but made the most of it with his ability to attack the weaknesses of Colby's defense, draining five of his shots and drawing several fouls to hit 4-of-5 free throws on his way to a game-high 14 points.
"Jade's just got a knack of being able to get to the rim," Trenkle said of Cathey, praising his returning sophomore.
Cathey wasn't the only returner that had a big night in the victory. The other one, Reuben King, had 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and six boards. But it was his effort on the other end of the floor that perhaps made the biggest difference, guarding Colby's Jeremiah Ingram, who came in averaging 20.7 points per game but was held to just 10 in the loss thanks to a stingy Buster defense headed by King.
"I thought he did a great job," Trenkle said of his 6-foot-3 guard. "I've really been on Reuben. I felt the first two games, Reuben was not playing well. He was not playing as hard, and we challenged him.
"And I thought he came out and really got his confidence early on both ends. I though he hit his stride that he got comfortable with. If we can get him, consistently, to do that, then he's going to be a much better player for us from here on out. I'm hoping he found it."
The Busters seemed to have found "it" in the win. But what does Trenkle want his team to carry with them into Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. contest with Pratt (13-6, 3-0) at home?
"I think just the mentality. I think that's the biggest thing," the first-year coach said. "I think we played with a lot of confidence tonight. I thought at Hutch we played with a lot of confidence. I thought (against) Seward we did not."
The Busters dominated the area of the game where they are the most confident — rebounding. They won the rebounding battle 36-23 despite no single player having more than six rebounds.
"We do it as a team," Trenkle said. "The guys have really bought into it."
While the Trojans never led, they also were never within 10 after the eight-minute mark of the first half.
"Really, I think what helped us get that win tonight was that Hutch game," Cathey said. "We really were devastated after the loss, and we worked so hard to get back into it and we just came focused and ready to play."
The Busters also forced 15 turnovers, while only giving the ball up 10 times. The one area they did struggle was from 3-point range, where they were 3-of-15.
The Trojans were led by Ingram's 10 — who was a rebound away from a double-double — followed by Branden Williams' eight.
Even though the game was not in doubt, there was an intense moment 10 minutes into the second half. Already leading 54-34, D'Shon Taylor drove the lane to attempt a lay up but was clotheslined by Colby's Ramon Johnson.
King immediately confronted Johnson for the cheap shot, but the two were quickly separated by the officials. Johnson was called for a flagrant one foul.
Colby (9-10, 0-3) -- Summers 0-8 0-0 0, Ingram 3-10 4-9 10, Barley 1-3 0-0 3, Meyer 2-2 0-2 4, Tait 3-6 1-3 7, Starks 2-5 3-4 7, Williams 3-4 2-2 8, Talley 1-4 0-0 2, Organ 0-1 0-0 0, Deis 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 1-1 5-8 7. Totals 16-45 15-28 48.
Garden City (15-4, 1-2) -- Wilson 3-7 0-0 6, Whitaker 3-4 0-0 6, King 4-7 1-1 11, Variste 3-5 0-0 6, Johnson 1-4 3-4 6, Bell 2-4 3-4 7, Oyugi 1-3 4-4 6, Taylor 3-6 3-5 9, Cathey 5-7 4-5 14, Pierre 0-4 0-0 0, Banks 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 30-56 21-26 84.
Halftime--Garden City 40-24. 3-point goals--Colby 1-13 (Summers 0-4, Ingram 0-2, Barley 1-3, Starks 0-1, Williams 0-1, Talley 0-1, Organ 0-1), GCCC 3-15 (Wilson 0-3, King 2-4, Johnson 1-4, Bell 0-1, Taylor 0-1, Pierre 0-2). Rebounds--Colby 23 (Ingram 9), GCCC 36 (King 6). Assists--Colby 3 (Summers, Ingram, Starks 1), GCCC 11 (Wilson 4). Technical fouls--none. Fouled out--none. Total fouls--Colby 24, GCCC 21.