Lady Busters outlast Butler in 3 OT thriller.
By ADAM HOLT
The Garden City-Butler women's matchup on Feb. 2 is now must-see basketball.
For one, it's the last guaranteed contest between the squads for the foreseeable future, as the Grizzlies move to the Jayhawk East next season. Which makes it the last chance for Butler to avenge a series of heartbreaking losses to the Lady Broncbusters — the latest an 86-84 triple-overtime Garden City win on Saturday at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
The last three regular season games between the two teams: GCCC's recent marathon win, a 49-48 Busters triumph last February, and a 57-53 overtime win in El Dorado to start the 2012 conference season. Tucked in there was a 73-57 Region VI quarterfinal win that ended Butler's season in March.
Topping those 2012 games seemed like it would be hard. Not so much, apparently.
So what is it with these two teams?
"I don't have any idea," GCCC head coach Alaura Sharp said. "Everyone says Dodge City is the rival, but I really believe it's Butler. We have games like that every time that we see them."
"Right now, I don't know," BCC head coach Mike Helmer said. "The rivalry with Garden City is a fun one. They've got my number right now, so we're gonna have to work on that. But they do a great job. They've got great players and they made more plays tonight than we did."
Jessica Goble got the eventual winning bucket on a layup with 2 minutes, 11 seconds to play in the third overtime, making it 85-81. Butler's Jamillah Bonner got a floater and went 1-of-2 on a pair of free throws with 5.2 seconds left to make it 85-84, the last of her game-high 31 points. GCCC's Shicole Watts went 1-of-2 at the line in response, and Bonner's half-court heave at the buzzer was off-target.
It was a game Butler (12-3, 0-1 Jayhawk West) should have won in regulation — then one that No. 11 Garden City (15-0, 1-0) should have taken after both the first and second overtimes. But both teams made a full season's worth of clutch plays to extend the contest.
"We've been back to school since the 27th," Watts said. "We had to come back early. We had two-a-days — they stopped today. So we were tough. We weren't losing that game. We were tough — I mean, six days of two-a-days until your game? You're tired, but it's all mental. It's all mental. We had to come out and play. I believe we were well prepared. We watched a lot of film, we worked hard. So I feel like we were prepared for that."
Garden City was down as much as nine early in the second half, a position the Busters haven't been in all season. But down the stretch, Watts, who had a team-high 23 points, and Allegria Chisom, who had a breakout performance with 16 points, got GCCC back in the game. All of Chisom's points came after halftime, drawing praise from Sharp.
"The first semester, I was a little bit nervous, I didn't know my role on the team," Chisom said. "Coach just told me to calm down, go out there and play my game, and that's what I did tonight."
With a minute to play, the Busters were down, 62-58. Watts got a layup to close the gap with 52.9 seconds to play, then after a defensive stop, Chisom took a pass in the corner and drove baseline for an easy bucket to tie the game with 15.4 seconds to play.
Butler had the last possession, and had the ball in Bonner's hands. The sophomore guard missed a floater in the lane, resulting in overtime.
Throughout the comeback, Garden City was able to feed the ball to the low post, with a number of nifty passes. Twenty-four of the team's 34 field goals were with the aid of an assist, with Mikell Chinn leading the way with seven.
"After we got through the first half, we were able to find those seams," Sharp said. "We just begged and begged all week to just get the ball reversed two times, and something ridiculous would pop open. We finally trusted our offense, we got the ball swung from side to side, and we were able to make some easy plays late in the game."
Butler knew what Garden City wanted to do, but the Busters' patience and passing let them find post players inside for easy buckets. Helmer at times implored his players to take away the inside, but the Grizzlies couldn't completely shut it down.
Garden City struck first in overtime, and had a 68-65 lead with a minute to play. Ashley Ivy scored on a layup to cut it to 68-67, then Tysia Manuel stole the GCCC inbounds pass and scored to give the Grizzlies a 69-68 lead. Tahlia Pope drove to the lane and was fouled by Ivy with 1.8 seconds remaining. Pope missed her first free-throw, but made the second to tie it at 69.
GCCC took an 80-75 lead in the second overtime on a baseline jumper and 3-pointer by Chisom with 26 seconds to play. Butler's Katie Anderson responded with a three of her own with 12 seconds left. GCCC's Tamara Jones drew a foul and made 1-of-2 free throws to make it 81-78 with 10.3 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Butler's Bonner found Samantha Satterlee in the far corner, and she hit her first 3-pointer of the season to tie the game at 81.
Foul trouble late hampered the Grizzlies. Manual and Ivy fouled out before the third overtime, and Bonner played with four fouls for most of the extra time.
"I think Tysia Manuel, especially losing her," Helmer said. "She only had four points and four rebounds tonight, but what people don't realize, she's the greatest defensive player I've ever had. And she does some good things. Really losing her hurt us."
Ivy added 16 points, and Satterlee and Andersen had 10 apiece. Jones added in 20 for GCCC and Deni Jacobs finished with 11.
Watts grabbed 15 rebounds, which was key, as Butler had 12 offensive boards in the first half, but only eight more the rest of the way. Of course, part of the reason the Grizzlies had so many second chances was that they missed easy layups to begin with.
"You'll go back and see a two-point game. I'm scared to death about watching the film because we don't know for sure, but our coaches are estimating that we probably missed 12 to 15 inside shots," Helmer said. "You make two of those, the game's another way."
For Garden City, it was a big-time win to open conference play, especially with a trip to No. 2 Hutchinson coming up today (5:30 p.m. tipoff).
"Now we've been in every situation possible," Sharp said. "I thought we showed a lot of fight. I thought we had some quit on our faces a couple times. I don't know how we send it into overtime that first time around. I think we had a little luck on our side, and we stepped up and made some plays."
And for Butler, the Grizzlies have one more game with the Busters as Jayhawk West rivals.
"That's a sad thing," Helmer said. "I'm an old-school, traditional guy, and we've been playing Garden City for years and years and years. You don't want to go out on a situation where the last thing you remember is getting swept by Garden."
Butler (84) — Williams 3-10 0-0 6, Bonner 11-33 7-11 31, Manual 2-3 0-0 4, Ivy 6-14 3-5 16, Satterlee 4-9 1-2 10, Hodison 0-1 0-2 0, Rutledge 0-2 0-0 0, Bettencourt 2-6 0-0 4, Howard 1-2 0-0 3, Andersen 4-5 1-2 10. Totals 33-85 12-22 84.
Garden City (86) — Jacobs 4-9 2-4 11, Chisom 7-12 0-2 16, Jones 7-23 4-6 20, Pope 2-4 1-4 5, Chinn 1-4 0-0 2, Green 1-4 0-0 2, Goble 2-8 0-2 5, Watts 9-19 5-7 23, Young 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 34-84 12-25 86.
Halftime--Butler 29-28. 3-point goals--B 6-18 (Bonner 2-5, Ivy 1-2, Satterlee 1-2, Andersen 1-2, Howard 1-2, Bettencout 0-2, Williams 0-3), GC 6-21 (Chisom 2-4, Jones 2-5, Jacobs 1-1, Goble 1-5, Pope 0-1, Chinn 0-2, Green 0-3). Fouled out--Manual, Ivy, Jones. Rebounds--B 55 (Bonner 12), GC 54 (Watts 15). Assists--B 10 (Bonner 5), GC 24 (Chinn 7). Turnovers B 26, GC 27. Total fouls--B25, GC20.