Busters' struggles mount in 73-56 loss at Barton
Busters' struggles mount in 73-56 loss at Barton
By ADAM HOLT
GREAT BEND — About the only story of note in the Garden City Community College men's basketball team's road loss Saturday at Barton was its ending.
There were no altercations, like when the teams had to be separated at the end of the Broncbusters 62-44 upset of the Cougars on Jan. 9 in Garden City. Instead, Barton coach Craig Fletchall and his staff ensured there wouldn't be a chance for any, ushering the Cougars into the locker room immediately following the game, and eschewing postgame handshakes.
Garden City head coach Rand Chappell wasn't particularly pleased, especially since the game wasn't chippy at all — it was just a first-half beatdown by No. 25 Barton that ended up a 73-56 loss for the Busters.
"I thought the game in Garden City, I didn't see a lot of problems out of the kids in that game on either side," Chappell said. "I didn't see any problems out of the kids tonight on either side between each other. So I don't understand why we wouldn't shake hands."
While blowouts can occasionally get out of hand, players on both sides could be seen talking and joking during stops in play or between free throws. And Barton (21-4, 8-3 KJCCC) had plenty to laugh about, leading 44-25 at halftime and while shooting 40 percent for the game, were 10-of-27 on 3-pointers, and out-rebounded Garden City 52-32.
Garden City (10-15, 2-9) actually won the second half in many ways, holding a 31-29 advantage in the final 20 minutes. The Busters had more points in the paint (16-10), points off turnovers (14-2), and managed to whittle a 51-27 deficit with 17 minutes, 2 seconds left down to 69-56 at the 1:11 mark.
And after struggling most of the game — especially at getting the ball inside Barton's 2-3 zone — on offense, there were sparks in the second. Jake Curran played 12 minutes, was solid on defense, and had a few nice post feeds, one to Arkeem Joseph that resulted in free throws, another he finished for a layup, and one to Frank Agholor, who dished it off to Joseph for a finish.
"I thought the group we had there in the second half, and Jake was a part of that, played better together as a team," Chappell said. "And thus, the ball went inside more, and we got some easy ones. When you get a few easy ones inside, it loosens up the perimeter shots."
Still, it wasn't enough to overcome the first 20 minutes, and Garden City dropped its seventh straight game.
"I thought the first half, we didn't play very well as a team," Chappell said. "We had terrible shot selection, bad defense to go with it. Which is pretty much across the board not good."
Garden City played one of its worst first halves of the season, falling into another lull on offense and having a tough time matching up on defense. The Cougars consistently had the Busters out of place, and had plenty of open looks, in addition to making 6-of-13 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
"It was probably across the board, but our defensive transition was poor, we gave up some easy baskets," Chappell said. "Even at times, it looked like we just didn't get matched up. They'd make two quick passes, and we're three, four steps away."
All game, the Cougars were more tenacious on the boards, and had 21 offensive rebounds, which led to a 14-4 advantage in second-chance points.
"That was really disappointing," Chappell said. "We had a great effort against Hutch. Again, I think it's just energy and effort that it comes down to."
It was a 20-13 game midway through the first, and could have been closer if Garden City hadn't missed four straight free throws — the Busters went 6-of-15 for the game. And as the Cougars settled into a groove on offense, Garden City rushed its offense and started shooting 3-pointers early in possessions — and missing.
During one stretch in the first, Garden City missed on eight straight 3-point attempts, and 27 of their 59 field goal attempts for the game were from behind the arc — though they made just six.
"I thought that was our worst stretch of the season, just ridiculous shot selection," Chappell said. "When the other team, they're shooting it well, I guess there's something inside some peoples' brain that says, 'I gotta answer that quick.' But at this point in the season, we should know better than that, and understand that we have to be patient and play together."
Garden City hosts Colby — the last team it beat — at 7:30 p.m. today at the Perryman Athletic Complex. The Trojans are 11-14 and 2-9 in conference.
Garden City (56) — Agholor 1-8 0-0 3, King 1-7 0-0 2, Webb 2-8 0-0 6, Cathey 7-12 4-8 18, Ebondo 0-1 0-0 2, Curran 0-2 0-0 0, Hall 6-15 0-0 15, Chandler 1-1 1-3 3, Joseph 4-5 1-4 9. Totals 22-59 6-15 56.
Barton (73) — Parker 6-12 3-5 18, Cumberbatch 5-14 2-4 15, Key 2-6 6-7 10, Johnson 4-4 0-0 8, Stephens 4-6 0-1 8, Thomas 0-3 0-0 0, Unrau 3-8 0-0 9, Goodson 0-1 0-0 0, Kuteyi 2-11 0-0 5. Totals 26-65 11-17 73.
Hafltime — Barton 44-25. 3-point goals — Garden City 6-27 (Hall 3-10, Webb 2-7, Agholor 1-2, King 0-5, Cathey 0-1, Ebondo 0-1, Curran 0-1), Barton 10-27 (Parker 3-6, Cumberbatch 3-4, Unrau 3-8, Kuteyi 1-6, Thomas 0-3). Fouled out — King, Johnson. Rebounds — Garden City 32 (Cathey 10), Barton 52 (Cumberbatch 16). Assists — Garden CIty 6 (Agholor 4), Barton 13 (Key 6). Turnovers — Garden City 10, Barton 10. Total fouls — Garden City 15, Barton 17. Technical fouls — Webb.