The Garden City Community College women’s basketball team suffered its second consecutive loss Saturday evening in El Dorado, falling to Butler, 77-53, in the KJCCC opener.
The Busters continued their early season struggles on offense, shooting just 30.8 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from deep as they fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the Jayhawk.
And yet, its the defensive struggles that has head coach Charinee Mitchell concerned.
“Everything starts with defense,” she said. “If we could find rhythm on defense, then it would just flow into offense.”
The Grizzlies (4-0, 1-0) shot 51 percent from the field and hit two of their four three-pointers, while going to the line 44 times. They were led by Ericka Mattingly’s 15 points.
“Butler runs one play — one play,” Mitchell said. “I can’t tell you how many times we prepped our kids for that one play, and it still tore us apart.”
Some of that could be expected for a young team gelling with a first-year head coach.
“The biggest thing, I believe, even as a staff, we’re still trying to figure out that starting five that’s going to give us that energy, that boost.” Mitchell said.
The Busters went with a starting five of Jada Washington, Talia Roberts, Jessica Carrillo, Das Johnson and Shakendra Tilley, with Carrillo and Roberts getting their first starts.
“We made a couple of changes, and that still didn’t give us what we want,” Mitchell said.
The Busters did get a boost from Monica Barefield off the bench in her debut, coming off a knee surgery. She scored a game-high 17 points in 24 minutes, but on 6-of-18 shooting.
“She got to score a little bit,” Mitchell said of the sophomore returner. “She still needs to work on the defensive end, but she came in with the big heart she has and the little bitty body, and she gave us some life.”
But even with Barefield’s contributions, the Busters never led, were out-rebounded 42-32 and had 25 turnovers. Their next action comes at home, though, when they host Barton at 6 p.m. Wednesday.