Despite four players in double-figure scoring, and seven 3-pointers and 30 points from Kendale Hampton, the Garden City Broncbusters men’s basketball team dropped a 92-82 decision at 16th-ranked Hutchinson on Wednesday night.
The Busters trailed just 39-37 at halftime at the Sports Arena, but Hutchinson went on a quick 8-0 run out of the break, and then Blue Dragons stretched that lead to 16 with 8:03 left in the game. Garden City trimmed it to single digits several times, but couldn’t complete a comeback, and the Busters suffered their third-consecutive loss, falling to 15-9 overall and 11-9 in the KJCCC.
“Lost the game in the first five minutes of the second half,” GCCC head coach Brady Trenkle said. “The other 35 minutes, we were really good.”
Truthfully, it was really only a three minute stretch that sunk the Busters. They turned it over four times in their first six possessions of the second half, and kept sending the Dragons (20-4, 16-4) to the free-throw line, where they made six and scored on one fast-break dunk for the 8-0 run.
One of Hampton’s season-high seven treys ended the run, but they were now forced to chase the hard-charging Dragons the rest of the game.
“Hutch just keeps going at you,” Trenkle said. “They’ve got nine guys who play, and all nine can score.”
The Busters hit 14 3-pointers, including Hampton’s final that cut the Busters’ deficit to 86-79 with 45 seconds to go. He then missed one on the Busters’ next possession, and Hutchinson got two free throws. Theo Holloway sunk a 3-pointer, but Hutch again made two more free throws, and Pierre Johnson’s trey was off, sealing the Hutch win.
“They were hitting some tough shots, and we played well enough to be there to win, but that first five minutes of the second half killed us,” Trenkle said.
Hampton led all scorers with 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, while Russhard Cruikshank added 13 and Johnson and Elvis Harvey each had 10. Hutchinson was led by JJ Rhymes' 21 points, but Devonte Bandoo, James Rojas and Curtis Hollis each had 19 points.
Note: The Busters fall into sixth place alone in the KJCCC, one game behind Colby and one game ahead of Independence. They will host Cloud County in a 4 p.m. game Saturday at Conestoga Arena.