GCCC men hold off Kingdom Prep
GCCC men hold off Kingdom Prep
By KEVIN THOMPSON
About the only thing didn't get a workout at the final game of the Pepsi Classic between Garden City and Kingdom Prep was the shot clock.
When both teams run up and down the court as these two squads did, a 35-second rule to speed up the game is hardly necessary.
The winners of the track meet-like basketball game were the Broncbusters, 85-77, over a prep team that had been averaging 114 points a game.
Garden City had built a comfortable 21-point lead twice in the second half, the second time at 15:35, including a 17-5 run carried over from the close of the first half.
Even at the 10-minute mark with a 70-50 lead, things seemed well in hand for Garden City, but then something happened.
The next 17 trips down the floor for Garden City yielded just six points. And just like that, run-and-gun Kingdom Prep was on the move.
Whether they lost focus or their opponents just took control, Garden City's lead evaporated just like that with Kingdom Prep taking over (77-76) with 1:47 left on Albert Hill's basket and free throw off a Broncbuster turnover (Garden City's seventh in that stretch).
That's a 27-6 run in just over eight minutes.
But Garden City scored the last nine points of the game — all on free throws — to pull out the win.
Frank Agholor, who led the Broncbusters with 21 points, hit 7-of-8 free throws in that final run to secure the win for Garden City (4-0).
For coach Rand Chappell, a game like this was a good lesson for his Broncbusters.
"I think we played a pretty talented basketball team tonight and obviously they get up and down the court," he said. "Their goal was to put 120 on the board any way possible."
Defense in the first half, he said, held Kingdom Prep to just 35 points on 35-percent field goal shooting, but his young team still has to figure out how to close out teams.
"I told them in the pre-game a 20-point lead is not safe," Chappell said. "And they kept coming and kept making plays, and we made some obviously loose turnovers and some bad decisions on the shot selection and let them right back in the game."
A team known mostly for offense, Kingdom Prep started applying more full-court pressure and guarding the inbounds pass, and that strategy started to take its toll as Garden City started to throw the ball away or commit player control fouls.
Frankie Edmond, who led all scorers with 27 points, scored nine points down the stretch, while Broderick Harris scored eight.
Stevie Repichowski, averaging 32 points a game, scored just nine on the night, but he hit two big threes during the comeback.
For Chappell, it was a matter of losing focus that allowed Kingdom Prep to come back like that.
"The first time around the block, they don't understand a lot about protecting the lead and going about it the right way," he said of the Broncbusters.
Even Agholor had such a bad stretch that Chappell sat him down so he would stop turning over the ball, but he felt good about sending him in late when he was refocused.
But they did close out the game with a good final two minutes, he added, forcing Kingdom Prep to take a couple of tough shots while grabbing big boards themselves to seal the win.
Garden City takes on North Platte at 7:30 p.m. tonight, and the Knights nearly knocked off No.9 Seward County. It's a team that plays more deliberately on both sides of the ball, a stark contrast to what Kingdom Prep showed the Broncbusters, Chappell said.
Kingdom Prep (4-2)--B. Harris 3-11 4-4 10, Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Repichowski 3-9 1-2 9, F. Edmond 11-24 4-7 27, R. Harris 5-10 1-2 13, T. Edmond 0-3 2-3 2, Jackson 203 0-0 4, Hill 1-3 1-1 3, White 4-9 1-1 9. Totals: 29-73 14-20 77.
Garden City (4-0)--K. Hall 2-3 0-0 4, Ebondo 8-9 2-2 18, Agholor 6-12 9-11 21, King 6-11 1-1 15, C. Hall 5-13 2-2 15, Webb 4-9, 0-0 10, Chandler 0-1 0-0 0, Russell 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 32-60 14-16 85.
Halftime--Garden City 48-35. 3-point goals--Kingdom Prep 5-22 (Scott 0-1, Repichowski 2-8, F. Edmond 1-6, R. Harris 2-4, White 0-2), Garden City 7-17 (K. Hall 0-1, King 2-5, C. Hall 3-8, Webb 2-3). Fouled out --Garden City: K. Hall. Rebounds--Kingdom Prep 33 (B. Harris 8, F. Edmond 8), Garden City 41 (Agholor 8, Russell 7). Assists--Kingdom Prep - 9 (R. Harris 3), Garden City 13 (Agholor 7). Turnovers--Kingdom Prep 16, Garden City 24. Total fouls--Kingdom Prep 18, Garden City 20.