Buffs' tennis 3rd at regional
By BRETT MARSHALL
By BRETT MARSHALL
The Buffaloes' boys tennis team qualified both of its singles players and one doubles team for the Class 6A state tournament in regional action on Saturday.
In the process, that performance led the Buffs to a third-place finish in the team standings with 11 points. Maize and Hutchinson took the top two spots with 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Dozie Ekweariri placed third for the team's highest finish, ending the day with a 3-1 record. Sebastian Kyaw earned a trip to state by placing fifth, and in the process the teammates faced each other in the quarterfinal round, with Ekweariri winning 6-4, 6-3.
"It's always tough to watch your own two players have to compete, especially at a regional tournament," GCHS coach Rod Robinson said. "I expected both of them to qualify, so it's nice that it worked out that way. They know each other so well, and I told both of them they're friends before and friends after."
Ekweariri then lost a 6-0, 6-1 match to eventual champion Miles Medaris of Maize. The Buffs' senior, though, bounced back with a hard-fought 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 win for third over Yannick Thelen of Campus. Kyaw came through the back side of the bracket with two wins, including his fifth-place match, a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Jordan Nichols of Maize.
On the doubles side, Dylan Victor and Esteban Neave squeaked in with the sixth and final qualifying spot, finishing their tourney with a 2-2 record. They opened with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Wichita South's duo before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual doubles champion Ethan Williams and Cody Teichmann of Hutchinson, 6-4, 5-7, 10-2.
"They were the biggest surprise, going in," Robinson said of his top doubles team. "Those two played the best tennis they've played all year and I think they wanted it so bad, and were relieved. They used everything they had learned in practice."
Jose Depaz and Joe Basilio was the lone non-qualifying group, going 1-2 for the tournament.
The state tournament will begin on Friday at Riverside Tennis Club in Wichita.
Saturday morning was a tough ending to a two-day trip to the Emporia Spartan Classic for the Garden City Lady Buffaloes softball team.
Coming off a 4-1 Friday loss to Andover Central, the Lady Buffs didn't have anything to challenge powerhouse Mill Valley, falling to the Lady Jaguars 16-0 in a five-inning shortened contest.
The loss dropped the Lady Buffs to 11-6 overall as they get ready to host Western Athletic Conference rival Hays High at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Tangeman Sports Complex. The final home game of the regular season will be Senior Day for the Lady Buffs, and a sweep of the Lady Indians would provide them with a share of the WAC title with Great Bend.
On Saturday, though, the Buffs could muster only five hits off two Lady Jags' pitchers, and all of those were singles. In the two games of the Classic, the Lady Buffs were unable to account for any extra base hits.
Mill Valley got off to a strong start against freshman pitcher Abbie Dart, scoring three runs in the first. The Lady Jags added five more in the second, three in the third and another five-spot in the fifth. Four errors contributed to six of the Mill Valley runs being unearned.
"I knew they're a good team," GCHS coach Trina Moquett said of Mill Valley. "But we didn't come out and play or compete on any level. We played a lot better competition here these two days than we see normally, but we didn't rise to the occasion. There's still something to learn from this, and it's about how you're gonna react. There's two ways to go — go down the same road or change and get a couple of wins (Tuesday at home vs. Hays) and share the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) title."
The Lady Buffs saw their season record slip to 11-6.
Mill Valley 353 05 -- 16 11 0
Garden City 000 00 -- 0 5 4
Schriner, Parker (3), Dart and Saldana. WP--Parker, LP--Dart. 2B--MV (Kelly 2, Schriner 2, Meyers, Jackman).
After being no-hit by Andover Central on Friday night at the Emporia Spartan Classic, the Buffaloes' baseball team unloaded its offensive attack and held off a furious rally by Winfield for a 16-15 victory on Saturday morning.
The Buffs fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, but countered with three runs in the top of the second. A 7-run uprising in the third put the Buffs in control 10-3. In the fifth frame, the Buffs added four runs only to have Winfield come back with two runs of its own. The teams traded two-run sixth innings, leaving the score at 16-7 heading to the bottom of the seventh.
Winfield knocked out reliever Mitchell Hernandez in the rally that just came up short. Freshman Griffin Brunson came in to get the final outs as the Buffs hung on for the win.
"Well, it wasn't exactly the way you'd want to win a game, but we'll take the win," said GCHS coach Bill Wilson. "We played well early on, but then missed some balls again that led to runs for Winfield."
Ivan Gutierrez was the starter on the mound for the Buffs, and he went four and one-third innings before giving way to Hernandez.
The Buffs pounded out 16 hits, including four for extra bases. Daven Acker, Brunson and Mario Montoya had doubles, and Marcus Zapata added a triple.
"To tell you the truth, all but a couple of the hits were legitimate hits that the defense couldn't touch," Wilson said. "To build on our strength of hitting, if we're gonna win games, we're gonna have to outscore the other teams. So we've got to be prepared to be more aggressive at the plate."
Acker and Zapata led the way with three hits each, Hernandez, Montoya and Brunson each had two hits.
The Buffs will host Wichita Word of Life at 4 p.m. Thursday at Clint Lightner Stadium in a doubleheader that was postponed earlier in the season. They close out their regular season with a 4 p.m. game on Friday against Wichita Southeast in a single game to be played at Derby.
Garden City 037 042 0 -- 16 16 3
Winfield 300 022 8 -- 15 12 4
Gutierrez, M. Hernandez (5), Brunson (7) and Solorio; Woods, Boline, Mays. WP--Gutierrez; LP--Boline. 2B--GC (Acker, Montoya, Brunson), W (Bauer 2, Adler). 3B--GC (Zapata), W (Mays). HR--W (Mays). RBI--GC (Acker 2, Zapata 2, Montoya, M. Hernandez 2, Brunson 2); W (Mays 5, Bauer 2, Adler 2, Boline, Roark 2).
Despite out-shooting the Wichita Heights Lady Falcons soccer team, the Garden City Lady Buffs couldn't overcome a tough time of scoring, falling in Saturday's Wichita North Cup championship game, 3-1.
The Lady Buffs came up with 12 shots on goal to 10 for the Falcons, but the only goal came from Cecilia Alvarez in the 55th minute when they were already down 3-0.
They trailed 1-0 at halftime as Heights scored in the 19th minute on a goal by Victoria Padilla, with an assist from Colleen Howland. Heights went up 2-0 in the 42nd minute when Howland scored with an assist from Lorie Theis. It became 3-0 in the 53rd minute when Tori Bone scored on an assist from Theis.
"We've been looking for more consistency, and I thought the girls played well," said GCHS coach Joaquin Padilla. "We came close on several of our shots, but they just missed."
The Falcons had rolled into the title game with 10-0 and 9-0 routs of Wichita Independent and Wichita North while the Lady Buffs had beaten Wichita West (5-0) and Liberal (2-0).
"I think that the way Heights had dominated the first two games, that we held them to three goals says how good the girls played defensively," Padilla said.
Ashlee Richman recorded seven saves in goal for the Lady Buffs. They are now 8-6 overall with just two home games remaining on the regular season schedule. They were scheduled to play at 5:30 p.m. today against Dodge City at Buffalo Stadium, and then will play host on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Liberal.
Wichita Heights 1 2 -- 3
Garden City 0 1 -- 1
WH--Victoria Padilla, assist Colleen Howland, 19th minute.
WH--Colleen Howland, assist Lorie Theis, 42nd minute.
WH--Tori Bone, assist Lorie Theis, 53rd minute.
GC--Cecila Alvarez, unassisted, 55th minute.
Shots--Wichita Heights 10, Garden City 12. Saves--Wichita Heights (Lorena De La O 5), Garden City (Ashlee Richman 7).