Talia Roberts first hit a buzzer-beater, banking in a three as time expired on the first quarter to draw the Garden City Community College women’s basketball even with host Dodge City.
Then, Jada Washington sank another three as the buzzer marked the end of the half, that one giving the Broncbusters a two-point advantage into the break Wednesday night at the Student Activities Center in Dodge City.
The Busters wouldn’t need any late-game dramatics, though, instead settling for systematically pulling away from the Conquistadors for a 66-57 win.
“During half, our coach (Charinee Mitchell) told us to pick it up on defense, drew some things on the board for us to run,” freshman guard Abi Green said of the difference between the first and second halves. “She made some adjustments, and we executed.”
Those adjustments were going to a 2-3 zone — partly because of foul trouble — and then attacking the paint against the Conqs’ defense, which also went to a 2-3 zone for the second half.
“We had trouble going inside (in the first half), so we had to show the kids exactly where it would be open,” Mitchell said.
It worked, and the win separated the Busters from the Conqs in the KJCCC standings, with the Busters improving to 3-3 (5-4 overall) and the Conqs falling to 2-4 (4-4 overall).
In the deciding third quarter, the Buster defense turned suffocating and the offense got out on the break, resulting in easy buckets, free throws and a separation-creating three-pointer from Green, who hit two in the period. Green’s second was assisted by Washington, who drove into the middle of the lane on the break, collapsing both Dodge defenders, and then pitched it back to the trailing Green beyond the arc.
Washington hit a pair of her own three-pointers later in the quarter, including one off an assist from Roberts on a baseline drive that made it 53-37 — one point shy of the Busters’ largest lead. The Busters out-scored Dodge City 25-11 in the period.
“We got stops on defense, and then we were executing on offense against the 2-3 zone, using skip passes to get things going,” Mitchell said, “and the threes were falling for us.”
For the game, the Busters had 22 points off turnovers and 18 second-chance points. They also held Dodge City to 1 of 8 from behind the arc.
Green finished with a game-high 16 points — tied with Dodge City’s Makaela Ewing — while Washington, Roberts and Daz Johnson each had 12. Johnson also had a season- and game-high 17 rebounds for her first double-double of the year. The Busters were 8 of 18 from deep, both a season-high in made three-pointers for the Busters and percentage made (44.4 percent). Their previous season highs were six and 31.3 percent (twice).
“We’re not the best shooting team, but we trust each other to make those shots,” Green said. “We’ve been working on that. On and off the court, we’ve started to trust each other.”
The Busters return home from the quick two-game road trip to host 12th-ranked Hutchinson at 6 p.m. Saturday.