Staying perfect: Busters roll past Tabor JV
By ADAM HOLT
Three games, three pretty comfortable wins for the Garden City Community College men's basketball team.
The Broncbusters rolled in their home opener, beating Tabor College's junior varsity, 97-65, Tuesday at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
"It was a good home opener. I think the guys were definitely excited to play," GCCC head coach Rand Chappell said. "We got off to a good start. Someone asked if they were nervous, I thought it was more just wanting to impress — pressing to impress. It got us six or eight minutes to get rolling the way we wanted to."
Once the Busters started rolling, they pulled away and stayed safely ahead. Garden City was up 48-28 at halftime, thanks in part to a deep rotation that saw 11 of 12 players who saw the floor score points. By the tail end of the game, there wasn't much excitement, outside of a pair of alley-oop dunks by Mike Chandler.
Garden City asserted itself right away in the second half, pushing the lead out to 66-34 by the 15:10 mark. Center Arkeem Joseph had six points in the first 1 minute, 41 seconds of the half, on a layup, a hook shot and two free throws. Point guard Frank Agholor added a jumper, Reubon King had a pair of baskets and Chris Hall added a 3-pointer and three free throws as Garden City started on an 18-6 run.
"I thought maybe our best five minutes might have been the first five minutes of the second half," Chappell said. "That first group played well together and moved the ball, and looked pretty impressive."
Hall led the Busters with 20 points, fueled by 5-of-8 shooting on 3-pointers. King and Joseph joined Hall in double figures, with 10 and 11 points, respectively.
It was a truly balanced effort, though. Jay Bradley was the only player to see the floor and not score, and every other GCCC player had at least four points.
The balanced scoring the Busters have gotten early in the season is something Chappell said he hoped to see.
"You work hard all fall, and the guys have put in a lot of time, so it's great to see everybody get on the court and score some baskets, and get some playing time," he said. "We're going to need every one of them at some point in the season. Every one of them are there because we feel they can handle some situations that are gonna help us."
"It's good for everyone, because if someone's having an off-day, we've got someone else that will help pick up slack until he gets on," Joseph added.
Tabor's lineup featured just three players 6-foot-4 or taller, and the Bluejays pushed the tempo with a number of guards. Deldrick Wyatt led Tabor with 19 points, and was effective driving to the rim and drawing fouls in the second half.
The Bluejays looked comfortable with a number of players handling the ball, and 6-foot-5 forward Nic Leppke stepped out from the paint and hit a pair of 3-pointers for Tabor.
The small lineup caused a few issues for Garden City, which at times was slow to get back on defense when Tabor pushed it in transition and spread the floor.
"It was the little things that we were slipping off on," Joseph said. "Like transition, we've got to run back, make sure we've got our man, know who we're guarding. That's pretty much it."
Chappell said it was still good to see that look, as the Busters will see a similar kind of team on Friday in Kingdom Prep.
"One thing they did, was they had a lot of different guys pushing the ball, which caused, again, some matchup problems," Chappell said.
Fouling was a bit of a problem for Garden City, and the officials were quick to blow the whistle. The Busters were whistled a number of times going for rebounds against the smaller Bluejays.
"Made people not want to jump for offensive rebounds and play physical anymore," Joseph said. "It takes people out of their game. We still overcame it and got the win."
Garden City has won its three games by an average of 28 points, and now prepares to host the Pepsi Classic this weekend. GCCC faces Kingdom Prep at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and North Platte (Neb.) at the same time Saturday.
"You gotta feel good that we've gone out and got three solid wins," Chappell said.
Tabor JV (0-2)--Golden 1-7 4-6 7, Bird 3-7 3-4 9, Wyatt 7-10 5-8 19, Bumgarner 0-2 0-0 0, Leppke 3-8 2-2 10, Money 1-3 0-0 3, Allen 0-1 1-3 1, Rice 4-8 0-0 9, Simmons 2-11 0-0 5, Lang 1-1 0-1 2. Totals: 22-58 15-24 65.
Garden City (3-0)--Agholor 4-10 1-2 9, King 5-13 0-0 10, C. Hall 6-11 3-5 20, Ebondo 3-4 2-4 9, Joseph 4-6 3-5 11, Bradley 0-5 0-0 0, Webb 2-9 2-2 8, Jones 2-7 2-4 6, Bernbeck 3-4 0-0 6, K. Hall 3-4 2-3 8, Chandler 3-3 0-0 6, Russell 0-0 4-4 4. Totals 35-76 19-29 97.
Halftime--Garden City 48-28. 3-point goals--Tabor 6-23 (Golden 1-2, Bird 0-3, Wyatt 0-1, Bumgarner 0-2, Leppke 2-3, Money 1-3, Rice 1-4, Simmons 1-5); Garden City 8-27 (Agholor 0-1, King 0-3, C. Hall 5-8, Ebondo 1-1, Bradley 0-4, Webb 2-7, Jones 0-1, K. Hall 0-1, Bernbeck 0-1). Fouled out--Golden. Rebounds--Tabor 33 (Rice 7), Garden City 49 (Ebondo 11). Assists--Tabor 9 (Simmons 3), Garden City 17 (Agholor 8). Turnovers--Tabor 25, Garden City 14. Total fouls--Tabor 18, Garden City 21.