GCCC men, women win easily
By ADAM HOLT
Three games into the season, it hasn't mattered who the Garden City Community College women's basketball team has played — or what ball they're playing with.
The Lady Broncbusters played the first half of their game against Oklahoma Baptist's junior varsity using a larger men's-size ball. It didn't matter much as Garden City shot 63.2 percent from the field in that half, in a 106-26 win, Saturday at the Pepsi Classic, hosted by Seward County in Liberal.
The score was 54-11 at halftime, and Oklahoma Baptist didn't make its first field goal until there were 5 minutes, 35 seconds left in the half.
"I think we just really tried to focus on playing with pride, was the biggest word I kept using," GCCC head coach Alaura Sharp said. "Play with pride, do things our way, force them to play at your level, continue to play at a high level. There were a few moments in the game we got a bit sloppy, but honestly, for the most part, I thought we played really hard and played with some pretty good focus."
The Busters have played tough defense en route to their 3-0 record, and held the Lady Bison to 23.1 percent shooting from the field. GCCC usually plays man-to-man defense, but spent most of the game in zone.
"The nice thing is, we played all zone in the second half, and they did not shoot any free throws," Sharp said.
Oklahoma Baptist was just 2-of-14 from the field in the first half and got six of its 11 first-half points off free throws.
Meanwhile, Garden City's offense, which had scored 88 and 84 points in its first two games, produced six players with at least 13 points. Tamara Jones had 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting and a 2-for-2 effort at the free-throw line. Deni Jacobs had 18 on 9-of-10 shooting from the field. Shicole Watts and Brittany Maxwell each had 14 points, and Tahlia Pope and Jessica Goble each scored 13.
Charity Jernigan was the lone Bison to score in double figures, getting 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting and 2-of-2 free throws.
GCCC committed 13 turnovers, which Sharp said was probably too many, but Oklahoma Baptist had 35 turnovers, and Garden City was able to get a lot of points in transition.
Garden City next plays at 5:30 p.m. Friday, hosting Howard College (Texas) in the Garden City Pepsi Classic.
GCCC men 91, Sterling JV 60
The Garden City Community College men's basketball team did its part to keep pace with the undefeated Broncbuster women, beating Sterling College's junior varsity team 91-60, Saturday in the Saddler Farms Classic in Colby.
The Busters (2-0) had a 16-point lead at half and pulled away further in the second.
"It was a comfortable win," GCCC head coach Rand Chappell said. "We would like to have guarded them a little better — they hit several threes on us — but overall, I thought it was a good start to the season, this weekend was for us."
Reuben King led the Busters with 20 points, Terry Webb added 13 and Arkeem Joseph had 10, to give GCCC three players with 10-plus points. Five Busters scored in double figures in Friday's win, and the depth that Chappell said he hoped he'd see seems to be a strength for Garden City.
GCCC returns to action Tuesday, hosting Tabor College's JV team at 7:30 p.m. at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
"It's early and there's a lot of things to clean up," Chappell said.
"We had a bunch of guys score. We had five guys in double figures last night, three tonight, and two of the three tonight were different guys from last night," Chappell said.
"So it's good to see that we've got a lot of different guys who can contribute on different nights."
Chappell said his point guards played well, and that GCCC has done a good job of distributing and moving the ball in its two wins.
The big knock so far on the Busters is their defense. Garden City has allowed 30-plus points in the first half in its two wins, before locking down in the second half.
"I really think our defensive intensity in both games wasn't as good as we would have liked," Chappell said.
Chappell added that Garden City needs to do a better job defending the 3-point shot.
"But like I said, I like the teamwork and I like the enthusiasm. It's always good when you're away from home to get a 2-0 start."