Busters lose late OT lead, fall to Pratt.

1/17/2013

Busters lose late OT lead, fall to Pratt.

Busters lose late OT lead, fall to Pratt.

By ADAM HOLT

aholt@gctelegram.com

Two conference games at the Perryman Athletic Complex, two weird finishes for the Garden City Community College men's basketball team.

A week after a stunning upset of then No. 9 Barton that nearly ended in a brawl, the Broncbusters dropped a 71-69 overtime decision to Pratt on Wednesday.

"It was a tough loss, no question," GCCC head coach Rand Chappell said. "Obviously a lot of twists and turns both ways. We had many chances to win and probably should have won it, particularly in the overtime. I thought we were bad offensively in the first half, turnover-wise. We turned the ball over too much and missed some free throws early in the second half that kinda kept us from getting right back in it."

Garden City (10-9, 2-3 KJCCC) had a 69-65 lead with 1 minute, 28 seconds to play in overtime. Pratt cut it to 69-67 on a layup by Randall Rogers, and then Rogers stole the ball from GCCC point guard Frank Agholor and tied the game with another layup. Agholor lost the ball again on the next possession, and was called for a foul trying to poke the ball away, sending Kazmere Boyd to the line with 2.5 seconds left. Boyd went 1-of-2 to make it 70-69, and Rogers would draw a foul later and go 1-of-2 to make it 71-69.

Reuben King threw a Hail Mary down court that was caught by Joe Ebondo, who had time to take a dribble, but he missed short, giving Pratt the win.

"I guess my theme going into overtime was, 'Hustle plays and smart plays would win the game,'" Chappell said. "And in the end, we didn't make very smart plays."

The fact the game even went into overtime was interesting in and of itself. Garden City fought back from an 11-point deficit to regain the lead briefly, and was down 63-61 with 56.4 seconds to play.

That's when it got interesting.

King nailed a long jumper to tie it at 63, and his feet were close to the 3-point line when he shot. Pratt (12-6, 2-2) came back the other way, and had the ball in the corner when the buzzer sounded. Play stopped, but Pratt went on to finish a layup with 1.4 seconds showing on the clock, though the basket wasn't counted.

The referees gathered, and after a long discussion, took the head coaches in and said that the decision was made to end regulation and go to overtime, with the score 63-63.

"We hit the shot," Chappell said. "The official on the far side threw his hand up for a 3-pointer, which would have given us a one-point lead. The explanation on that was, he wasn't sure — I don't know what it was, maybe the other guy didn't think it was."

Chappell said that the refs said they thought the clock didn't start correctly, and when the buzzer sounded, that should have been the end of regulation, even though the clock read about 3 seconds when the buzzer went off.

Jade Cathey sparked the Busters, going 10-of-10 from the field and dominating down low, to finish with 26 points. Agholor added 12, and helped fuel Garden City's comeback.

Early on, though, it was the Aaron Abram show. The Pratt sophomore had 17 points at halftime to help the Beavers to a 32-25 lead at the break, but was held in check in the second half, and finished with 20 points. He got plenty of support from his team, though, as DeShun Roberts added 13, Rogers had 12, and Boyd and Jarvis Flynn added 10 apiece.

After going 23-of-28 at the free-throw line in Sunday's win over Colby, Garden City was just 20-of-33 against Pratt. The Busters were 2-of-6 from the line to start the second half.

"Our free throws, that's what I really think that lost us the game, really," Cathey said. "If we hit our free throws, we probably wouldn't be in overtime."

Those early misses, along with some bad fouls away from the basket in the final minutes of regulation are what Chappell said bothered him the most about the game.

"Basketball 101 says you do not foul and let the other team walk 90 feet to shoot free throws," he said. "We were starting to get stops, so it was disappointing to let them get those points."

Garden City next plays at Cloud County (11-7, 2-2) at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The Busters will return home on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. contest against Seward County at Perryman Athletic Complex.

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Pratt (71) — Abram 7-11 2-2 20, Flynn 2-4 5-9 10, Carron 0-1 0-0 0, Roberts 4-9 4-5 13, Stirvins 0-2 2-2 2, Rogers 4-8 3-4 12, Boyd 3-8 4-5 10, Taylor 1-2 0-0 2, Abraham 0-1 0-0 0, Downs 0-1 0-0 0, Hellman 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 22-49 20-27 71.

Garden City (69) -- Ebondo 0-3 2-4 2, Agholor 3-11 6-10 12, King 3-10 1-2 8, Hall 3-13 2-5 9, Cathey 10-10 6-9 26, Webb 1-4 2-2 5, Jones 3-4 1-1 7, Joseph 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-56 20-33 69.

Halftime-- Pratt 32-25. Regulation--63-63. 3-point goals-- Pratt 7-20 (Abram 4-5, Flynn 1-2, Roberts 1-4 Rogers 1-4, Boyd 0-1, Abraham 0-1, Downs 0-1, Hellman 0-1, Carron 0-1), Garden City 3-19 (Webb 1-3, Hall 1-10, King 1-5, Agholor 0-1). Fouled out--Pratt Stirvins, Taylor; Garden City Agholor. Rebounds--Pratt 34 (Abram 6, Roberts 6), Garden City 31 (Ebondo 9). Assists--Pratt 9 (Flynn 3), Garden City 10 (Jones 4). Turnovers--Pratt 21, Garden City 18. Total fouls--Pratt 26, Garden City 24.

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