Lady Busters flattened at Pratt

2/20/2014

By J. LEVI BURNFIN

By J. LEVI BURNFIN

lburnfin@gctelegram.com

PRATT — In the final 10 minutes of the Garden City Community College women's Jayhawk Conference West Division contest at Pratt on Wednesday night, head coach Nick Salazar was slumped over in his chair with very little to say.

That's because his Lady Broncbusters had effectively lost the pivotal match-up in the first eight minutes of the game as the Lady Beavers harassed and overwhelmed the Busters to score 17-straight points before Salazar's squad got on the scoreboard.

And the Lady Busters never got back to within 15 points for the rest of the game en route to a 72-49 loss, dropping the Busters to 15-12 overall and 7-5 in the Jayhawk West.

"We just looked awful," a stoic Salazar said after the loss. "We weren't ready to play from the start. The first 10 minutes was pretty telling, and I don't think it ever got better."

The Beavers took advantage of six Buster turnovers to begin the game as the Beavers pulled away on the early run. In a one and a half minute stretch, starting with 16:17 on the clock, Shauqunna Collins traveled, Zantaya Davis was called for a charge, Collins carried the ball, and Loysha Morris' errant pass sailed out of bounds on four straight possessions.

The Beavers turned that into five points on a short jumper from Elle Stein and a trey from Tatiana Grant from the left wing to make it 11-0. Grant put the finishing touches on the 17-0 run by sinking two free throws after yet another Buster possession turned into a turnover as Jasmine Christmas was called for a charge.

Eight minutes into the game, the Busters were down 17-0, Salazar had already called two timeouts and there was little to no flow in the offense.

Even the Busters' go-to, the "double-fist" defense — an all-out full-court press — did not seem to work. Salazar deployed it with 7:30 left in the half and forced an immediate Beavers' turnover, but it only resulted in one point off a free throw from Tori Spann, and then the Beavers scored on a 3-pointer and a right hook in the lane from Maddie Pendry, followed by a long jumper from Nina Spense with 3:40 on the clock to make it 31-8 as the Lady Beavers built their lead to 37-15 at halftime.

"I thought anytime we went to (the press), it was a very desperate move, trying to get some life into this team," Salazar said. "That press is much better when we have a little bit of momentum. We never had any momentum. It never felt like we were in the game."

The Busters, led by Morris' 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting, finished with 12 turnovers, and were only 17 of 51 from the field. No other Buster scored in double digits.

Meanwhile, the Beavers were red hot, especially early, hitting 16-of-28 field goals in the first half and finishing 26 of 52 and 6 of 14 from beyond the arc. They were led by Pendry's 22 points on 8 of 16 from the field, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range.

The Beavers also dominated the glass, despite 6-foot Elle Stein fouling out midway through the second period, out-rebounding the Busters 44-29.

"I just don't think we were ready to play," Salazar said. "We never got out of the gate."

The Busters will try to get off to a better start at home for a 5:30 p.m. matchup Saturday against Dodge City (15-13, 2-10), which won, 70-56, in Colby on Wednesday night. The Beavers host the Colby Trojans on Saturday.

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Garden City (15-12, 7-5)--Morris 5-11 2-2 12, Chisom 2-6 0-0 4, Collins 2-9 0-1 4, S Davis 1-7 4-6 6, Z Davis 1-3 1-2 3, Horton 0-3 0-0 0, Williams 1-2 3-6 5, Carbonell 1-1 0-0 2, Spann 2-3 3-6 7, Inchun 0-1 1-2 1, Christmas 2-5 1-7 5. Totals 17-51 15-32 49.

Pratt (19-9, 6-6)--Devlin 2-5 0-0 5, Grant 5-14 7-10 18, Pendry 8-16 2-2 22, Spense 4-5 0-0 8, Stein 3-5 2-2 8, Dedrick 0-1 3-4 3, Luckett 0-2 0-0 0, Pena 2-2 0-0 4, Calhoun 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 26-52 14-18 72.

Halftime--Pratt 37-15. 3-point goals--GCCC 0-6 (Horton 0-1, Morris 0-1, Chisom 0-1, Collins 0-2, Inchun 0-1), Pratt 6-14 (Devlin 1-3, Grant 1-2, Pendry 4-9). Rebounds--GCCC 29, Pratt 44. Assists--GCCC 17, Pratt 24. Turnovers--GCCC 12 (Collins 5), Pratt 15 (Pendry, Spense 3). Technical fouls--Pratt (Grant), GCCC (Morris). Fouled out--Pratt (Stein), GCCC (Z Davis). Total Fouls--GCCC 16, Pratt 26.

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