Garden City High School’s boys basketball team weathered a stagnant third-quarter after building its second straight 18-point lead, and then finished off a 54-42 victory over the Guymon (Okla.) Tigers on Friday night in Guymon.
Up 31-13 at the half, the Buffs saw the lead dwindle to six points, 37-31, with 1:50 left in the third period but finished the quarter with a pair of Jarrod Springston buckets to go up by 10, 41-31, heading to the fourth.
But unlike Tuesday’s near loss at Dodge City (64-61 victory), the Buffs regrouped in the fourth, extending its lead to as many as 15 points, 50-35, and was able to run out the clock to finish off the win.
At one point, the Tigers had ripped off a 14-4 run in the third. After rebuilding the lead to 10, the closest Guymon could get was eight, 41-33, but the Buffs responded with a 9-2 spurt of their own.
It was the third straight win for the Buffs after a four-game losing streak that had come on the heels of a four-game winning streak in December and early January. Now 9-6, the Buffs will travel to Hugoton on Tuesday for a non-league game. Guymon falls to 5-13.
Buffs’ head coach Jacy Holloway said that the Buffs continue to play solidly at times, and yet still have moments of nerves, especially in the second half.
“We’re doing a couple of things well — switching defenses and mixing things up to keep the opponents off balance,” Holloway said. “Offensively, we’re not just taking the first quick shot and that’s helped us. We’re getting great shots by being more patient.”
The difference between the first and second halves, especially the third quarter when they were outscored 18-10, was not lost on the Buffs’ head coach.
“They threw a box-and-1 at us in the second half (guarding Davis), and I think we struggled with how to attack it,” Holloway said. “I’m not sure if we’re relaxing with the lead, or what, or if its just not being able to handle having a lead at any point.”
Still, the Buffs weathered another second-half surge from their opponent and managed to come out with a win.
“We pushed it back up to 15 at one point, and did a little better job of making free throws,” Holloway said. “There was a stretch there in the second half where Guymon did a good job on us, but I thought we responded well in the fourth quarter.”
The Buffs finished the night hitting 44 percent of their field goals (21 of 48) and were five of 21 from behind the arc. Guymon made 37 percent of its shots (16 of 43) and were five of 12 from deep.
Tye Davis and Demarcus Elliott shared high-point honors for the Buffs with 13 points each, Davis scoring 11 of his in the first half.
The Buffs had a 31-27 rebounding edge, with Elliott grabbing six and Davis five. The Buffs committed just 12 turnovers against the Guymon zone, while forcing the Tigers into 19 miscues.
Just as they had done in Tuesday’s victory at Dodge City, the Buffs got off to a solid beginning, with 3-point shooting playing a big role in breaking out to an early lead.
Davis and Carlos Acosta each nailed a trey in the first period as the Buffs reeled off nine unanswered points en route to a 14-6 lead at the first break.
Six different players scored in a big second quarter, as the Buffs outscored the Tigers 17-7 in taking a 31-17 halftime bulge. Three more of those came from long range, with Davis knocking down a pair of trifectas and Jayden Crook knocking down the other.
Guymon had gone on a mini 7-2 run to make it 18-13 with 4:13 remaining in the half, but the Tigers went cold the rest of the way.
The Buffs, meanwhile, ripped off 13 straight points to close out the opening half. Davis and Crook nailed the deep shots, Garret Doll hit a baseline turnaround jumper, Davis another three and Demarcus Elliott got a tip on a follow shot with 30 seconds left on the clock.
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