Busters' struggles continue at Pratt
Busters' struggles continue at Pratt
By ADAM HOLT
PRATT — Even in the midst of its current losing streak, there tended to be positives to take out of each of the Garden City City Community College men's basketball team's losses.
Not so much on Wednesday.
Pratt out-competed and out-rebounded Garden City over the final 30 minutes of the game, and the Broncbusters dropped their ninth straight, 69-45, in Jayhawk Conference play.
"I guess you'd say 'back to the drawing board'," GCCC head coach Rand Chappell said. "It's late in the year for that. The biggest thing I told them was, 'it's disappointing not to play well, but there's no excuse — whether it's the classroom, business, athletics, whatever — not to compete really, really hard.' I thought, at some point, our competitiveness slipped a little bit in the game, and we don't want that to happen."
Garden City (10-17, 2-11 KJCCC) shot 29.2 percent from the field, 15.4 percent from 3-point range, 60 percent on free throws, and didn't guard well most of the game.
Pratt's Aaron Abrams had 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, and had a game-high 12 rebounds, as Garden City struggled to contain the sophomore. Kazmere Boyd added 10, and 10 Beavers scored.
While the Busters had some success early getting the ball inside on offense, they didn't handle the resulting double teams well, and when the game got out of hand, they missed shots, both open and bad.
"I thought we got a little bit away from our cohesiveness on offense," Chappell said. "We did a little bit of good getting the ball into Arkeem (Joseph), and Jade (Cathey) had drawn some double teams down low — he didn't handle them very well early — but we needed to keep going down there and trying to do that."
A 31-21 halftime lead for the Beavers (14-12, 4-8) got cut in half when the Busters started the second on a 5-0 run. By the 13:26 mark, it was a 20-point game, after Sean Michaelson hit back-to-back 3-pointers, one coming at the end of the shot clock, another with a hand in his face.
Pratt shot 38.4 percent for the game, but helped itself out by dominating the boards, out-rebounding Garden City 50-35. And the Beavers collected 21 offensive boards to help them attempt 25 more field goals than the Busters (73-48).
There were possessions where Pratt would grab as many as three straight offensive rebounds, and with leading rebounder Joe Ebondo out with a left knee injury, there wasn't much Garden City could do but watch as the Beavers out-hustled their way to rebounds.
"They got a lot of opportunities and second shots, and that also breaks your back and your spirit, when maybe you played decent defense, and they miss, and you don't get the ball back," Chappell said.
Ebondo has been in and out of games dating back to a Feb. 2 loss at Butler, where he injured his left ankle and knee, before being held out completely against Pratt. Ebondo had an MRI on Wednesday that revealed no structural damage, but is out with a patellar tendon strain.
Adding more injury to insult, freshman guard Chris Hall suffered an unspecified injury to his left shoulder early in the game after a collision, and didn't play the rest of the way after coming off the floor. He was seen icing the shoulder and was moving his left arm gingerly, a bad sign for the left-handed shooter.
Pratt's lead got out to 61-33 at one point, and by the end of the game, the Busters' backups were in for garbage time minutes.
Frank Agholor led Garden City with 14 points, although it came on 5-of-15 shooting from the field. Cathey added eight points and a team-high six rebounds.
Garden City hosts Cloud County at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
Garden City (45) --Agholor 5-15 4-4 14, King 0-7 2-4 2, Bradley 0-0 1-2 1, Webb 1-8 1-2 4, Jones 1-4 2-3 4, Bernbeck 0-1 0-0 0, C. Hall 1-1 0-0 3, K. Hall 1-1 0-0 2, Cathey 2-3 4-8 8, Chandler 0-2 0-0 0, Russell 1-1 0-0 2, Joseph 2-4 1-2 5, Curran 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-48 15-25 45.
Pratt (69) --Abram 8-13 2-2 20, Flynn 2-8 2-2 6, Boyd 4-7 1-2 10, Callon 1-5 1-4 3, Michaelson 3-10 0-0 8, Deon Taylor 1-4 1-1 3, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas 1-1 0-1 2, Abraham 3-8 0-0 6, Roberts 3-6 0-0 6, Downs 0-1 0-0 0, Stivrins 0-4 0-0 0, Hellman 2-5 1-1 5. Totals 28-73 7-9 69.
Halftime--Pratt 31-21. 3-point goals--Garden City 2-13 (C. Hall 1-1, Webb 1-7, King 0-3, Curran 0-1, Jones 0-1), Pratt 6-25 (Abram 2-3, Michaelson 2-9, Callon 1-4, Boyd 1-2, Flynn 0-4, Abraham 0-2, Hellman 0-1). Fouled out--none. Rebounds--Garden City 35 (Joseph 7), Pratt 50 (Abram 12). Assists--Garden City 2 (Webb 1, Joseph 1), Pratt 11 (Flynn 6). Turnovers--Garden City 13, Pratt 8. Total fouls--Garden City 15, Pratt 17.