The Garden City Community College women’s basketball team was in position to secure an upset win on the road over Cloud County on Wednesday evening in Concordia.
The Broncbusters had pulled within a single point, and Cloud was at the line for two free throws with 10 seconds left, which should have given the Busters at least a chance at a tie at the buzzer.
Instead, the Thunderbirds’ Kennedy Gay got an offensive board after Scout Frame missed her second free throw.
The Busters had to foul, and Cloud put the game out of reach with two more free throws to win the game 65-61, sending the Busters to their second straight loss at 5-6 overall and 3-5 in the KJCCC.
“It’s just a freshman learning opportunity, if you will. It was one of our freshman that missed a huge box out,” GCCC head coach Charinee Mitchell said, without naming the player. “It was one of those where we couldn’t label it a win if we get the rebound, but we had a chance.”
Cloud County improved to 10-1 and 7-1.
The Busters held a 31-26 lead at halftime, and extended that to 34-26 on Abi Green’s three-pointer to begin the second half, but were out-scored 19-6 over the next nine minutes. Then they fell behind by as many as 10 (59-49) with three minutes to play, before rallying to get within striking distance, forcing turnovers from Cloud County on three consecutive possessions to cut the deficit to 61-55.
A Talia Roberts’ three-pointer made it 62-58, and then she hit another on the next possession to make it 62-61.
The Busters fouled Frame to send her to the line, where she made the first one, before missing the second. But that’s where Gay got the offensive board to stop the Busters’ late rally.
“It was a great opportunity to advance the ball and hopefully you get a good look at a shot,” Mitchell said of the situation. “So it’s a good learning opportunity, and you want to make sure it never happens again.”
Shakendra Tilley led the Busters with 14 points and Daz Johnson had 11 points and 10 rebounds — her second double-double of the season. Jada Washington had 13 points, seven assists and six boards. Roberts finished with 12 points, and was 3 of 11 from deep.
Cloud’s Frame led all scorers with 19, adding in 14 rebounds. Carrie Davis also had 16 points off the bench, while Moscow product Kelsi Mueller got the start and had nine points, coming on three three-pointers.
In the 2017 finale, the Busters host Pratt at 6 p.m. Saturday, before entering the December break.
Note: The Busters were still without sophomore returners Jessica Carrillo (concussion) and Monica Barefield (knee).