What can a team do when the leading rebounder and leading scorer doesn’t record a single point or a single board, and plays just seven minutes?
Lose seemed to be the only option for the Garden City Broncbusters on Wednesday night in Pratt, where they dropped an 84-73 series to the host Beavers.
The Busters got just seven minutes from Jamir Thomas, who was called for two charges early in the first half, and sat the rest of the opening period, only to pick up two more quick fouls to begin the second half. Averaging 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, Thomas had neither Wednesday.
“How are you going to win with that?” GCCC head coach Brady Trenkle said after the loss. “He gets two quick charges called on him, and that’s what happens when you’re playing a team much smaller than him.”
Pratt just seems to be a bad matchup all the way around.
In a season where the Busters seem to be giving even the KJCCC’s best a knockdown, drag out fight, the otherwise struggling Pratt Beavers have turned the tables on the Busters.
The Pratt win concludes a season sweep of the Busters, who drop to 16-10 and 12-10 and who have just one other loss to any of the six teams at the bottom of the conference standings. Yet, they’re 0-2 against the Beavers (12-14, 9-13), who hit 51.7 percent of their shots for the game, including 52.2 percent from 3-point range (12 of 23). They were led by AJ Banks’ 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 4 of 5 from deep.
“They shot lights out in the first half,” Trenkle said. “We weren’t guarding bad. They were just hitting tough shots.”
And the Busters could not match the offense, hitting just 40.3 percent of their shots and going 12 of 35 from long range. Kendale Hampton had half of those 3-pointers, going 6 of 12 en route to a team-high 23 points.
Russhard Cruickshank had 19 points on 16 shots, while Elvis Harvey and Pierre Johnson chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Johnson also had 10 assists for a double-double.
The Busters are 1-4 in their previous five games, and have dropped from a tie for fourth place to a tie for sixth place in the KJCCC standings.
They’ll look to bounce back from the loss when they host Coffeyville at 4 p.m. Saturday.