Veleta's 3's spark Lady Busters by Colby, 63-47
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
COLBY — It would be understandable for a team to overlook another team, especially one that was winless in conference play,.
So perhaps it wasn't surprising that the Garden City Community College Lady Broncbusters found themselves in a tougher battle than expected in the first half of Saturday's Jayhawk Conference West road game against the Colby Lady Trojans.
Holding a slender 20-15 lead with five minutes to play in the first half, the Lady Busters had been lackadaisical in their play to open the game.
But rarely-used freshman Monica Veleta came off the bench to spark the Lady Busters, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the final two and a half minutes, including a dagger right before the buzzer to finish off a Busters' 13-3 run and lift Garden City to an eventual easy 63-47 win.
All's well that ends well.
"It's definitely a confidence booster," Veleta, a 5-foot-7-inch said after the game. "I know my role on the bench is important, but I'm also happy to get a couple minutes and have my shot going during the game."
With usual dead-eye shooter Kate Inchun struggling from deep, going 0 for 4, Veleta's ability to stretch the Trojans' defense was vital as the Busters improved their record to 13-10 and 5-3 in the Jayhawk West.
"I read (saw) that (Inchun) wasn't having a good night, so it was time for me to step up and I'm happy that I did so," the Tribune product said.
Veleta finished with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
"I really give a lot of credit to Monica," Busters' head coach Nick Salazar said. "Monica doesn't always get to play a whole lot, but ... I said in the locker room, 'I think that we've got to thank Monica because I think she put the game out of reach.'"
The Lady Busters led 35-20 at halftime after the 13-3 run before the break, and the Trojans (2-19, 0-9) never pulled closer than that for the rest of the game.
"Any time you play on the road in this conference, you're going to have a fight," Salazar said. "And I actually feel like they've gotten a lot better. I know, bless their hearts, it hasn't really shown in the win column too much, or even the stats, but they're (Colby) clearly better than they were at the beginning of the year."
The Busters only had two players score in double digits as Salazar used his entire bench with every player accumulating at least eight minutes of playing time. Loysha Morris had a team-high 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Tori Spann had 10. Shauqunna Collins had nine points and a team-high six boards.
"At the end of the day, we found a way to beat an improving team on the road, on their floor by 16, where essentially the second team played out the second half," Salazar said. "I think you've got to be happy with that."
Dee Dee William had a double-double to lead the Trojans with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Sierra Green added 16 points. The Trojans were out-rebounded by the Busters 53-37.
The third-ranked team in the country, the Hutchinson Lady Blue Dragons, fresh off an 81-71 win over No. 9 Seward County on Saturday, comes to the Perryman Athletic Complex at 5:30 p.m. today to take on the Busters in a re-scheduled game from Wednesday due to weather.
The Blue Dragons are also the Trojans' next opponent on Wednesday in Colby.
GCCC (13-10, 5-3)--Morris 6-10 0-1 12, Chisom 2-5 0-0 4, Collins 3-7 3-4 9, S Davis 0-1 1-2 1, Z Davis 1-1 0-0 2, Veleta 3-4 0-0 8, Horton 0-3 0-0 0, S Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Carbonell 1-2 0-0 2, Spann 3-6 4-7 10, Inchun 0-4 0-0 0, Christmas 3-6 1-2 7, T Williams 2-6 2-2 6. Totals 25-57 11-18 63.
CCC (2-19, 0-9)--Hutchinson 1-5 2-2 4, Cato 2-14 1-2 5, Biddle 0-4 0-0 0, Miller 1-8 1-2 3, Williams 7-19 3-3 17, Green 6-19 1-2 16, Evans 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-70 8-11 47.
Halftime--Garden City 35-20. 3-point goals--GCCC 2-9 (Collins 0-1, Veleta 2-3, Horton 0-3, Inchun 0-2), Colby 3-18 (Hutchinson 0-2, Cato 0-1, Biddle 0-4, Miller 0-2, Green 3-9). Rebounds--GCCC 53 (T Williams 8), Colby 37 (Williams 11). Technican fouls--none. Fouled out--none. Total fouls--GCCC 12, Colby 15.