As different from night to day was the second half of Garden City’s home opener Friday night.
Scoring only 15 points in the first half, the Buffaloes came out of the long break with a different look and a different attitude scoring 20 points in the third quarter on their way to a 57-38 win over Guymon, Okla.
In fact, it was such a different look, head coach Jacy Holloway had a hard time describing it how bad guy Hyde turned in to good guy Jekyll.
“We knew (Guymon) was going to play that defense. The difference was being tentative,” Holloway said. “Everything seemed tentative, even when we wanted to run the first half, I couldn’t get them to run. We hesitated offensively on cuts and on passes in that first half.”
The Buffaloes went from shooting an abysmal 5 of 18 from the floor in the first half to 23 of 47 for the game.
They also cut the turnovers from 10 in the first half to five in the second.
“They slowed the game down,” Holloway said of the Guymon team in the first half. “We sped it up and made them shoot quicker.”
Holloway had his team come right out of halftime with a quicker tempo, and the shots followed.
“We needed more shots. We needed more shots. We’re better in a transition game,” he said.
Down 17-15 after a rough first half, Garden City scored seven straight points to take a 22-17 lead just 50 seconds into the half.
They eventually buried four threes as they outscored the Tigers 20-8 to take a 35-17 lead headed into the final period.
After Guymon closed the gap to 39-32 on a pair of Mark Arledge baskets, Kyler Lamb hit his third trey of the half to send the Buffs on a 16-3 streak to put the game out of reach.
Made shots were a rarity for both teams in the first half as they combined for just 7 of 45, with the Buffaloes going 5 of 18.
Guymon got up 4-0 right away before Jarrod Springston got Garden City on the board a little over three minutes into the game.
Carlos Acosta gave the Buffs their first lead (5-4) with a trey and Springston’s second goal of the quarter put them ahead 7-5.
Riley Muniz’s goal with 18 seconds to play gave them a brief 9-7 lead before Guymon tied it to end the quarter.
After that, it was a field goal drought with Garden City going 14 possessions before converting its one—and only—field goal of the second period on Acosta’s second three of the half.
The Buffs felt fortunate that the Tigers were just 3 of 14 from the field in the second quarter and were ahead just 19-17 at the break.
Carlos Acosta led the Buffs with 14 points. Springston had 13 and Lamb added 11.
Second-half shots started falling from all spots on the floor, and that was due to the Buffs’ tempo.
“That happened because we pushed the ball, and that got their defense in a transition and they had to rotate,” Holloway said. “When those rotations happened, we did a good job of sharing the ball and knocking down shots.”
The first half was good for one thing, Holloway said.
“It at least shows our guys that we have a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “Second half, though, we did what we wanted to. But remember that first half.”
Garden City will not have much down time as the Buffs will host the Roundball Classic starting Thursday.