Published 12/7/2012 in Sports
Busters men, women, hope to finish non-conference slate strong
By ADAM HOLT
A win Wednesday at Lamar (Colo.) has the Garden City Community College women's basketball team sitting at 12-0 heading into the final two games of the non-conference slate.
The No. 11 Lady Broncbusters won a 74-52 game over the Lady Lopes, and had a 45-19 lead at halftime.
"I think it was a pretty solid performance by us," GCCC head coach Alaura Sharp said. "We went in there and we did what we were supposed to do. We got a little bit of a slow start, but once we got into a rhythm, we were able to — gosh, we went on just a huge run, and were able to get up big by halftime."
Shicole Watts led the Busters with 20 points and 11 rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting. Tamara Jones and Deni Jacobs each added 17 points, while Jessica Goble had 12 and seven rebounds.
Now the Busters turn their attention to the Hutchinson Clinic Classic. Garden City plays Bethany College's junior varsity at 1:30 p.m. today, before a matchup with No. 25 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (9-2) on Saturday, also at 1:30 p.m.
"I think you want to play your best basketball here at the end, going into the break," Sharp said. "Obviously, we have to focus on ourselves on Friday, and Saturday, we'll have to play some of our most competitive basketball that we've played all semester."
NEO will be the second ranked opponent GCCC faces this season. Garden City beat then-No. 14 New Mexico Junior College, 80-60, on Nov. 23 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
Sharp said she's happy to have the opportunity to carry an undefeated record into the break before conference play, but added that she doesn't think the Busters have played a complete 40-minute game yet.
"I think it would be kind of the cherry on top of the sundae," she said. "We've been able to be successful and put a lot of wins in the win column, but as a coach, you still are very — you're looking at your team with a critical eye, and trying to make adjustments, and find things."
Garden City has had games where it defended well, or shot well, or did well at the free-throw line, but hasn't quite put all of it together on the same night. Sharp said she wants to see more consistent effort on the defensive end, especially in the post, and fewer turnovers and fouls.
Meanwhile, the Garden City men's basketball team is hoping to carry some momentum over from last Saturday's 61-55 win at Lamar.
The 7-5 Busters head to Liberal for the Pizza Hut Classic, hosted by the Seward County Saints. Garden City plays Christian Life Academy today at 4 p.m., then faces 5-5 Murray State College (Okla.) at the same time Saturday.
GCCC head coach Rand Chappell said he's looking for more consistency from the Busters.
"I think we'd like to see better all-around performance, show that we're continuing to improve," he said. "I think we've had some good stretches on the defensive end, and we'd like to show that over 40 minutes, and show that we're very consistent on that end, as far as our intensity and effort.
"Offensively, we showed some progress in our last game, we had better ball movement and knocked down a few more shots. You'd like to see a continuation of that."
Garden City beat Lamar last Saturday, but fell the night before to Otero Junior College (Colo.). That's been a trend for the Busters — splitting games over the past four weekends.
"We've split four straight weekends," Chappell said. "Obviously, we've been more proud of one performance than the other. Again, it's about consistency and focus. Maybe when we've won on Friday night, we've had a good attitude going into Saturday, but maybe not as hungry as we should be. When we've lost on Fridays, I've been proud that we've come back with a good attitude and hunger, and turned it around."
GCCC's strength right now is its perimeter players — guards Frank Agholor, Reuben King and Chris Hall lead the team in scoring. The Busters will need more from their inside players, but Chappell said forward Mike Chandler provided a spark in the win over Lamar. Chappell called him an "energy guy," and said he can block shots and grab rebounds, which are things that can do a lot for a team's energy level.
"I think when an energy guy makes energy plays, it has a tendency to be contagious thoruhgout your team," Chappell said. "That's probably even the intangible that Mike brings us, I think he sparks the team, energy-wise when he makes those plays."
Garden City has been inconsistent on offense all season. Chappell said he hopes to see some good, consistent efforts on both sides of the ball this weekend, as things will only get more difficult once KJCCC play begins in early January.
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