Lady Busters survive tough road test
Lady Busters survive tough road test
By ADAM HOLT
GREAT BEND — It sure wasn't pretty --or easy — but it was a win.
Tamara Jones scored her 1,000th point as a Lady Broncbuster to become the program's all-time leading scorer, and Tahlia Pope had a season-high 21 points as the Garden City Community College women ground out a 66-61 win at Barton on Saturday.
The Lady Cougars, out-rebounded, and at times, out-hustled the Busters, but Garden City pulled away in the final 50 seconds and avoided a letdown after beating top-ranked Hutchinson on Wednesday.
"We lost to Butler (on Feb. 2), we had a big comeback," Jones said. "Barton lost, and they could have had the big comeback, and it could have been the same thing to us — we could have been in Hutch's position."
GCCC (22-3, 8-3 KJCCC) found itself in a dogfight all game, and had to play almost half the game without point guard Mikell Chinn, who picked up her third foul with 5:42 left in the first half. With Barton clogging up the middle to take away Jones and Deni Jacobs, Garden City had to find some other ways to make things happen on offense.
Pope took over at the point with Chinn on the bench, and added two assists against just one turnover to go with her 21 points.
Blair Bloomfield's fourth 3-pointer of the night made it a 61-58 game with 47.3 seconds to play, capping a 5-0 Cougars run. Barton (12-12, 2-9) had to foul down the stretch, and Pope made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 44 seconds to salt the game away.
"She was big for us," GCCC head coach Alaura Sharp said of Pope. "Running the point, on defense doing a good job — stepping up and scoring, making her free throws down the stretch. By far, (it was) one of her best performances."
Jones was double- and triple-teamed at times in the paint, and finished with 10 points, to go with 12 rebounds and five blocks. She now sits at 1,005 career points, passing Jasmine Irving for first all-time in GCCC women's scoring.
"I was shocked," Jones said. "I didn't realize I was that close."
"Pretty cool day for her," Sharp said. "We didn't tell her before the game. We knew she was at 995, we just told them afterward."
That Jones had just 10 points was a testament to the job Barton did of clogging up the middle and making it hard to get the ball in to her and Jacobs (13 points) for open looks. The Busters were able to counter this by attacking on the baseline, with Pope and Allegria Chisom, who had 10 points.
Bloomfield led the Cougars with 16 points, followed by Kailai Brantner's 13 and Erin Copeland's 11.
Barton's biggest success, though, was on the boards. The Cougars out-rebounded the Busters 48-43, and grabbed 22 offensive rebounds en route to 17 second-chance points.
Garden City had 16 offensive boards itself, but Barton got to more loose balls and looked more tenacious going up for rebounds.
"We need to focus a little bit better on that," Pope said. "We didn't box out."
It was especially disappointing for Sharp, considering the hustle and aggressiveness on the boards was part of the reason Garden City upset Hutchinson on Wednesday.
"I think it just comes down to lack of focus," she said. "We didn't really have focus on finishing our defensive possessions. We just turned and watched the ball go up. That's the old us. We thought we'd grown past that, and gotten better."
Garden City comes right back with a 5:30 p.m. game today at the Perryman Athletic Complex against last-place Colby (6-19, 0-11).
The Busters admitted it was a little tough to stay focused after Wednesday's win, and will need to be on guard against the Trojans, who were right in it in the previous matchup, an eventual 68-47 win on Jan. 12 at Colby.
"A little bit, we just gotta make sure we stay focused," Pope said. "Don't get big-headed, keep doing the things that got us here."
Garden City (66) — Jacobs 5-10 3-5 13, Pope 6-14 9-11 21, Chisom 4-11 1-2 10, Chinn 1-5 0-0 3, Jones 2-9 6-10 10, Green 2-7 0-0 5, Maxwell 1-2 0-0 2, Young 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 22-61 19-28 66.
Barton (61) — Brantner 5-13 3-5 13, Bruner 1-7 7-10 9, Bloomfield 6-11 0-0 16, Williams 0-3 0-1 0, Copeland 4-15 1-2 11, Bueno 0-5 2-2 2, Phillips 2-9 0-2 4, Mayes 2-3 2-2 6. Totals 20-66 15-24 61.
Halftime--Garden City 39-34. 3-point goals--Garden City 3-12 (Green 1-4, Chinn 1-2, Chisom 1-4, Jones 0-1, Pope 0-1), Barton 6-16 (Bloomfield 4-7, Copeland 2-8, Phillips 0-1). Fouled out--Jones. Rebounds --Garden City 43 (Jones 12), Barton 48 (Williams 8). Assists--Garden City 10 (Chinn 3), Barton 7 (Brantner 3). Turnovers--Garden City 10, Barton 10. Total fouls--Garden City 20, Barton 23. Technical fouls--Copeland.