For the third-straight game, the Garden City Broncbuster women’s basketball team held its opponent to fewer than 50 points.
The latest came Saturday afternoon in a 69-47 rout of Dodge City in the Conestoga Arena, as the Busters improved to 14-9 overall and 11-8 in the Jayhawk Conference.
The only other team to hold conference opponents to fewer than 50 points in three-straight wins was Independence (twice), the team the Busters held to 43 points in an 14-point, upset win on Wednesday, which came on the heels of a 64-43 blowout of Allen County on Jan. 27.
“The posts are working at stopping direct entry passes, and that’s helping us (guards),” sophomore Jada Washington, who led the Busters (14-9, 11-8) with 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting, said of the team's defensive progress. “We can get out and put heat on the ball handlers, and they can stop the posts.”
And yet, GCCC head coach Charinee Mitchell said the Busters’ defense, which deployed an aggressive, ball-hawking man defense, with some 1-3-1 trap sprinkled in, was not quite as sharp as she wanted, especially in the first half.
“We kind of worked through it, and we revved it up in the second half,” Mitchell said.
The Conqs (9-13, 6-13) were held to just 37 percent shooting (17 of 46) and 0.75 points per possession. Allie Baker was the only Conq in double digits, scoring 15 points on three 3-pointers, a pair of jumpers and two free throws.
As Mitchell implied, though, the Busters didn’t blow open the game until the second half. Up 33-25 at the half, Garden City went on a 14-5 run immediately out of the second-half gate, sparked by a transition attack that Dodge City couldn’t slow.
“When we get stops or cause turnovers, that leads to transition buckets, which is what we are really good at,” Washington said.
Garden City scored 19 points off turnovers and got some offensive help off the bench from DJ Graves, who had a season-high 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Her previous high was 10, which came in the season opener way back on Nov. 3.
“That’s the kid we recruited from Tyler (Texas),” Mitchell said of Graves’ play. “I told her that, and if we can get that out of her on a consistent basis, that’d be major (help).”
Shakendra Tilley and Talia Roberts both chipped in 10 points, while Daz Johnson had a game-high eight rebounds.
The Busters forced Dodge City into 11 turnovers in the first half, helping them take control early. They led by nine points with three minutes to play in the first quarter, but the Conqs remained within striking distance with a couple of mini runs.
Meanwhile, the Busters were 0 for 8 from the 3-point line in the opening half — and just 2 of 18 for the game — limiting their ability to stretch the lead. Still, Washington’s speed resulted in a few transition buckets, and Tilley was an offensive force, scoring six points in the first half, hauling in three offensive boards and dishing out three assists.
The Busters will have a big challenge on Wednesday, though, when they travel to NJCAA 15th-ranked Hutchinson for a 5:30 p.m. tip.
Contact J. Levi Burnfin at email@example.com.