Lady Busters out-muscled, out-shot
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
The Perryman Athletic Complex at Garden City Community College was filled to the brim with bricks on Friday night as the Lady Busters hosted Howard (Big Spring, Texas) College in the home opener.
Some home opener nerves could have played a part in a sloppy game from both teams as the Lady Busters fell 59-51.
The early minutes of the game were especially ugly as the Lady Busters came up empty in their first eight possessions, going 0 for 5 with three turnovers.
The offense would eventually get going as the tempo picked up late in the half, going into the locker room with a 19-18 lead after taking their first lead with less than 20 seconds to go.
The momentum continued into the second half. The Lady Busters took their biggest lead of the game — six points — with 13 minutes to play. But the Lady Hawks, coached by former GCCC men’s basketball coach Earl Diddle, began to heat up from the outside.
Bailey Wipff hit a pair of threes down the stretch, which opened up the middle for 6-foot-4 freshman Brianan Kentwell, who scored three-straight buckets in the paint in the waning minutes to pull the Lady Hawks away.
“We just made a few errors,” sophomore forward Zantaya Davis-Jackson said after the loss. “They made us make a few errors on defense, and we just couldn’t catch back up.”
Those errors were numerous, according to head coach Nick Salazar.
“We’re young, and we haven’t learned our lesson, yet,” the first-year coach said. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re concentrating, and when we’re told something that we do what we’re told.”
What the Lady Busters were told was to watch for the Lady Hawks’ shooters, whom Salazar said he knew were potent.
“We knew that they shot the ball incredibly well, and in the second half we told everyone that we wanted them locked onto shooters,” he said. “We didn’t want to give up open looks at three and we did.”
Though, if the Lady Busters did stay outside on the four shooters, Kentwell would out-muscle whichever center the Lady Busters had in for an easy two points.
“We had our two biggest kids out there,” Salazar said. “We just don’t have someone that big.”
To begin and end the game, it was the Lady Buster offense that was having the most difficulty. In between, they were able to move the ball easily between different shooters for easy looks or earn a foul and go to the free-throw line, where the Lady Busters were 16 of 18.
Four players ended the game with at least eight points. But the inconsistency did them in.
“I think that sometimes for us, it’s kind of all or nothing, because our youth definitely shows,” Salazar said. “When things are going well, we’re making shots. When things are not going so well, we really struggle, and we’ve got to have somebody step up and hit a big shot like they did.”
The Lady Busters finished 16 of 51 from the field after a 4-for-23 showing in the first half.
Davis-Jackson was the team leader in points with 12 on 5-of-11 shooting, followed by Allegria Chisom’s nine (4 of 8), and Sandra Davis’ and Tori Spann’s eight. Davis-Jackson also added eight rebounds.
The Lady Busters return to action today at 5:30 against Eastern Wyoming, who fell to Dodge City earlier on Friday 85-70.
Howard 18 41 — 59
GCCC 19 32 — 51
HOW—Sarah Stinnett 7-9 5-14 20; Gabby Gonzales 0-0 0-4 0; Brianan Kentwell 4-7 8-13 20; Bailey Wipff 1-2 4-13 12; Erisha Talley 0-1 1-5 2; LaTanya McMaryion 0-1 2-3 4; Jade Jones 1-2 0-2 1; Jericka Smith 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 16-18 16-51 51.
GCCC—Davis Jackson 4-4 4-11 12; Chisom 0-0 4-8 9; Davis 2-2 3-8 8; Spann 6-8 1-8 8; Kate Inchun 0-0 2-8 6; Loysha Morris 2-2 1-3 4; Kimberly Carbonell 0-0 1-1 2; Jasmine Christmas 2-2 0-1 2; Shontera Williams 0-0 0-2 0; Taleah Williams 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 13-22 20-56 59.
3-point goals—HOW 6 (Stinnett 3, Wipff 3); GCCC 3 (Inchun 2, Chisom 1).