Bustin' loose: Lady Busters move on to Wichita in Region 6 tourney.
Lady Busters move on to Wichita in Region 6 tourney.
By ADAM HOLT
As the clock wound down in Garden City's 68-45 win over Coffeyville on Tuesday, the Lady Broncbusters played the last 70 seconds or so to the sound of applause and cheering from an appreciative home crowd.
That crowd saw the Busters finish off what is believed to be the first undefeated home season in Garden City women's basketball history, at 16-0 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
The crowd also cheered on as Garden City advanced to the Region VI semifinals for the second straight year.
"What a cool thing to do," GCCC head coach Alaura Sharp said of the perfect home record. "Just another thing that this special team has done."
The No. 12 Busters (29-3) started sloppily against the Lady Ravens' zone defense and press, but like they had in so many other games this season, they cleaned up and finished in a rout.
Garden City's Tamara Jones had a double-double at the half, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Tahlia Pope added 16, Deni Jacobs had 10, and all eight Busters scored for the second straight game.
It was a fitting sendoff for a very successful group of sophomores who played their last game at Perryman, going 26-5 at home over the last two seasons.
"Going without any losses this year, it's our home, in front of our crowd, it was great," Jacobs said. "The atmosphere was awesome. We're definitely going to all miss this place, and miss playing with each other after the year."
A 36-24 halftime lead expanded in the second as Garden City was more active in attacking Coffeyville's zone.
"We definitely were trying to be more aggressive, try to take the ball more to the hoop," Jacobs said. "Just thinking about playing basketball, not so much letting them affect our game."
Almost nine minutes into the game, Garden City had just a 12-5 lead, as both teams were sloppy with the ball and struggling to hit shots. The offense picked up after the media timeout, en route to a 12-point Busters lead at half. By the 12:13 mark of the second, GCCC had a 55-37 lead after a 3-pointer by Jones.
"I thought we were really back on our heels," Sharp said of Garden City's start. "You saw it against Seward, you saw it against Butler back in the beginning of February, that sometimes we just have to be a little more aggressive against a zone."
Tonisha Wilson had 20 points to lead Coffeyville, and Jessica Anderson added 10. No other Raven scored more than five points, though, and CCC shot 31.9 percent from the field.
The win sends the Busters to the region semifinals, where they will play No. 2 overall seed and top seed in the east Cowley (28-4) at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Hartman Arena in Park City. Cowley defeated Cloud County 68-53 in its quarterfinal game Tuesday.
In the other two quarterfinal games, Hutchinson beat Seward County 67-52, while Butler won at Independence, 76-62. The Lady Dragons will play the Grizzlies at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Against Cowley, and potentially Butler or Hutchinson, avoiding the kind of slow start on offense that Garden City had against Coffeyville will be key.
"If we have any slumps, a team that's good, like Hutch, they're definitely going to take advantage of that," Jacobs said. "So we need to work on not having any slow starts."
Coffeyville (45) — Wilson 7-14 4-4 20, Cook 2-6 1-4 5, Keys 1-5 0-0 2, Edwards 0-3 0-0 0, Anderson 4-11 2-2 10, Green 0-1 1-2 1, Washington 0-1 0-0 0, Carpenter 0-1 3-4 3, Coursey 1-5 2-6 4. Totals 15-47 13-22 45.
Garden City (68) — Jacobs 3-8 4-4 10, Chisom 4-7 0-1 8, Jones 8-18 5-8 22, Pope 6-12 4-6 16, Chinn 1-4 2-2 4, Green 2-5 0-0 5, Maxwell 1-1 0-0 2, Young 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 25-56 16-23 68.
Halftime — Garden City 36-24. 3-point goals — Coffeyville 2-7 (Wilson 2-3, Edwards 0-2, Keys 0-1, Coursey 0-1), Garden City 2-9 (Jones 1-5, Green 1-2, Chinn 0-2). Fouled out — Coffeyville (Anderson). Rebounds — Coffeyville 30 (Keys 6), Garden City 37 (Jones 13). Assists — Coffeyville 8 (Cook 5), Garden City 12 (Chinn 5). Turnovers — Coffeyville 21, Garden City 17. Total fouls — Coffeyville 16, Garden City 15.