Lady Busters battle, but fall short
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
The Garden City Community College women's basketball team played a near-perfect opening six minutes of its Jayhawk Conference West schedule on Saturday night.
Playing in front of their home crowd at the Perryman Athletic Complex, the Lady Broncbusters did anything they wanted to against No. 9 Seward County to begin the conference opener. Point guard Shauqunna Collins was wreaking havoc on both ends of the floor, causing Lady Saints turnovers, then streaking the other way for points in transition.
The 5-foot-5 sophomore scored eight of the first 10 points in leading the Lady Busters to an early 12-0 lead.
But the experienced Seward County squad did not panic, took the early blow and then delivered their own, finishing out the first half on a 36-15 run en route to a 71-59 win, dropping the Lady Busters to 8-8 overall and 0-1 in the KJCCC.
"I thought (the Lady Saints) did a good job of, first of all, weathering the storm," a frustrated Lady Buster head coach Nick Salazar said after the game. "I think they knew coming in that we had a tremendous amount of athleticism and speed. I don't think they ever really handled it, but I do feel like they certainly had the wherewithal to sort of get up and just stay the course and stick to their game plan and find ways to make plays."
After weathering that first stretch, the Lady Saints (16-1, 1-0) were finally able to take their first lead, 22-21, with 4:30 left to play in the first. Just two minutes later, they had a seven-point lead, 31-24, and stretched that all the way to 36-24 before Kate Inchun's 3-pointer right before half made it 36-27 at the break.
After scoring eight quick points, and assisting on another bucket in the 12-0 run to begin the game, Collins was held to just eight for the rest of the game, finishing with 16 on 3-of-13 shooting. She did, however, have a double-double with 11 rebounds.
"They certainly had a concerted effort to get the ball out of her hands early," Salazar said about his diminutive star. "We made the adjust (sic) by moving her to the two, and I thought it actually was effective."
But Collins could never get a tough layup to fall again, drowning out any chance at gaining momentum and mounting a comeback.
"That was our plan," Seward coach Toby Wynn said. "We felt like she's the straw that stirs the drink for them, and gets them going in everything they do."
Sandra Davis complemented Collins' double-double with one of her own, dropping in 11 points and grabbing 10 boards. Loysha Morris chipped in 10 points. But the Lady Saints countered with four players in double figures, led by Alana Simon and Korina Chapman with 14 each. Kyndal Davis chipped in with 10 points and seven boards, and Shanise Brooks had 10 points.
The Lady Busters again made a run to begin the second half, scoring the first eight points to pull within 36-35, but then the Lady Saints pulled back away to 50-37. The Lady Busters never got within 10 the rest of the game.
"They just made plays and we didn't," a despondent Collins said about the loss.
Her coach agreed.
"I mean, look at our starting five ... Zantaya (Davis-Jackson), at this point, we're just challenging her, 'you've got to finish.' I mean, it's ridiculous," Salazar said. "There's several people in that same boat."
The starting five of Davis, Davis-Jackson, Morris, Collins and Allegria Chisom were a combined 18-of-54 (33 percent) shooting.
That will have to improve quickly for the Lady Busters, as their next game is at 6 p.m. Wednesday at third-ranked Hutchinson. The Lady Blue Dragons, who won their 92nd straight home game on Saturday against Colby, are 15-0.
Seward County (16-1, 1-0) -- Simon 6-14 2-4 14, Chapman 4-9 6-8 14, Monte 0-4 4-4 4, Scott 4-9 1-2 9, Brooks 3-5 4-5 10, Davis 4-9 0-0 10, Fleming 3-8 2-4 8, Tammen 1-2 0-0 2, Hatchard 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 25-65 19-27 71.
Garden City (8-8, 0-1) -- Davis 5-10 0-0, 11, Davis-Jackson 2-10 3-6 7, Morris 4-11 2-2 10, Chisom 3-10 2-2 8, Collins 3-13 10-11 16, S Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Carbonell 0-0 0-0 0, Spann 0-3 1-2 1, Inchun 1-2 0-0 3, Christmas 0-1 1-2 1, T Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-62 19-25 59.
Halftime--Seward County 71-59. 3-point goals--SCCC 2-11 (Simon 0-1, Chapman 0-1, Scott 0-2, Davis 2-4, Fleming 0-2, Hatchard 0-1), GCCC 2-11 (Davis 1-3, Davis-Jackson 0-1, Morris 0-1, Chisom 0-2, Collins 0-2, Inchun 1-2). Rebounds--SCCC 37 (Davis 7), GCCC 39 (Collins 11). Assists--SCCC 10 (Davis 3), GCCC 8 (Morris, Chisom, Collins 2). Technical fouls--none. Fouled out--GCCC (Collins). Total fouls--SCCC 18, GCCC 24.