Published 1/17/2013 in Sports
Gritty: Lady Busters tough at end, hold off Pratt for 67-57 home victory
By ADAM HOLT
Brad Nading/Telegram Garden City Community College's Tahlia Pope, left, grabs an offensive rebound over Pratt's Hayli Jo Smith and puts it back up for a basket Wednesday at Perryman Athletic Complex.
Brad Nading/Telegram Garden City Community College's Mikell Chinn, left, is fouled by Pratt's Maddie Pendry as she goes up for a shot which sends her to the free throw line Wednesday at Perryman Athletic Complex.
The key for the suddenly shorthanded Garden City Community College women's basketball team is now to play smart.
Wednesday against Pratt, No. 10 Garden CIty played just smart enough to get a 67-57 win at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
The Lady Broncbusters had no subs for the final 4 minutes, 9 seconds of the game after Deni Jacobs and Brittany Maxwell fouled out, but GCCC was tough enough to finish down the stretch and improve to 18-1 and 4-1 in the Jayhawk West.
"We've gotta definitely play smart," GCCC head coach Alaura Sharp said. "There is no room for a dumb foul. A frustration foul, an illegal screen, an offensive foul. So we really have to play smart, and we can do that. We've gotta play smart, we've gotta play tough."
The Busters got a balanced effort on offense, with four players scoring in double figures. Tamara Jones and Kenee Green led the way with 14 points each, while Tahlia Pope had 13 and Mikell Chinn added 12.
Green was the biggest revelation of the night, as she was 3-of-7 on 3-pointers, including back-to-back treys toward the end of the first half, as Garden City built a 14-point lead at the break.
It's been a struggle recently for Green, though. Brought in as an outside shooter, she was on an 0-15 streak from behind the arc in 2013, and started the game against Pratt 0-for-2 on 3-pointers. After going 7-of-17 on threes in her first two games of the season, she was 6-of-52 in her next 16 games, and the Pratt game marked the first time she made more than one 3-pointer in a game since Nov. 2.
"She really helped build that 14-point lead that we had at halftime," Sharp said. "That's an area that she's really gotta step up. That's why we recruited her here. It was good to see her get going, shooting the ball with confidence."
"It's like a confidence booster," Green said. "I had to step up, because my team, we lost a couple players, so everybody had to step up."
Chisom and Pope have played better since conference play resumed, and with an increased workload with three contributors not currently with the team, they've added a mix of outside shooting and drives to the rim on offense.
Chinn attacked the basket all game, although she finished 4-of-13 from the field and missed some layups. Her 12 points matched her season high, set at Hutchinson last week, and marked the second time this season she's scored in double digits. However, her role was more that of a distributor until this week began.
"We didn't need her to score," Sharp said. "We had a lot of points. Now we need her to step up and score. She's just doing what the team needs her to do. She's a leader. She has a lot of guts. She tries to take the charge late in the game. She's gonna continue to play on every play. And she is the heartbeat of this team, and it's good to see her trying to step up."
Pratt stayed pesky all game, trimming the lead to 53-46 with 8:14 to play. Ashri Broadwater came alive in the early part of the second half, attacking on the baseline, and finishing with 13 points before fouling out late in the game. Hayli Jo Smith and Elle Stein both scored 15 to lead the Beavers, but no other player had more than 5points.
The Busters kept the lead around 7 to 10 points most of the final eight minutes, and played a relatively effective zone defense all game, a switch from their usual man-to-man look.
On offense, Chinn wasn't the only Buster to have trouble finishing, as Garden City as a whole missed its share of layups, en route to shooting 38.6 percent from the field for the game.
With a trip to Cloud County on Saturday (4-0 in conference), followed by a home game against Seward County (3-1), finishing those easy buckets becomes important for Garden City and its seven-player rotation.
"I think a little bit of it's maybe pressing, that pressing — that, 'I've gotta step up, gotta step up.' — that once they get used to the expectations they have of themselves, that maybe some of that will go away," Sharp said of the missed finishes.
"I think some of it, too, is that we're trying to avoid the contact. And we've got to do a better job of just going up and being a player and making the play. If you get fouled, you get fouled. And if you don't, you've gotta finish."
Pratt (57) -- Pendry 1-2 2-2 5, Smith 5-14 4-7 15, Mehl 0-4 3-4 3, Parks 1-3 2-4 4, Stein 6-6 3-7 15, Devlin 0-1 0-0 0, Strobel 1-8 0-0 0, Watson 0-2 0-0 0, Broadwater 5-11 3-3 13. Totals 19-51 17-27 57.
Garden City (67) — Jacobs 3-5 2-2 8, Chisom 2-6 2-2 6, Jones 4-7 6-7 14, Pope 4-10 4-6 13, Chinn 4-13 3-5 12, Green 5-11 1-2 14, Maxwell 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 22-57 18-24 67.
Halftime--Garden City 40-26. 3-point goals--Pratt 2-10 (Pendry 1-2, Smith 1-3, Devlin 0-1, Strobel 0-4), Garden City 5-12 (Green 3-7, Pope 1-1, Chinn 1-2, Jones 0-1, Chisom 0-1). Fouled out-- Pratt Parks, Broadwater; Garden City Jacobs, Maxwell. Rebounds--Pratt 37 (Stein 9, Broadwater 9), Garden City 38 (Jones 11). Assists--Pratt 8 (Mehl 3), Garden City 10 (Chinn 6). Turnovers--Pratt 16, Garden City 14. Total fouls--Pratt 24, Garden City 23.
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