Busters snap 9-game losing streak, beat Cloud County 77-68

2/17/2013

By ADAM HOLT

By ADAM HOLT

aholt@gctelegram.com

Rand Chappell yelled himself hoarse over the past few weeks, and Saturday night, his voice was notably weaker.

Getting a win soothed the pain a bit, though, for the Garden City Community College men's basketball head coach.

For

the rest of the Broncbusters, there was noticeable relief in snapping a

nine-game losing streak with a 77-68 win over Cloud County at the

Perryman Athletic Complex.

"Finally. So tired of that losing stuff, man," freshman forward Jade Cathey said.

For

the first time in what seemed like ages, Garden City looked alive on

offense for a whole game, and the Busters won the rebounding battle for

the first time in three games. The inability to hit from 3-point range,

the turnovers, the difficulty in the post that plagued the Busters at

times in their losing streak all got cleaned up against the

Thunderbirds.

"When you get down, you lose a couple games in a row,

you kinda try too hard not to lose," point guard Frank Agholor said.

"You lose sight of what's important, in playing the games, sticking to

the fundamentals and the basics. I think the last few days, Coach could

have gone the opposite way and nagged us about it, but he took the

better route; 'Hey guys, remember, just play the game.'"

As a unit,

Garden City's forwards had one of their best games of the conference

season, even with sophomore Joe Ebondo missing his second straight game

with a right knee strain.

Cathey had 21 points, including 15 in the

first half, and Arkeem Joseph has continued to improve after being used

more over the past few games, scoring six. Mike Chandler added a spark

with four points, including a putback dunk, and two blocks in a

three-minute span in the middle of the second half. Even reserve Kowan

Russell showed some toughness in limited playing time, grabbing a pair

of offensive rebounds.

"Our coach actually told us that we really had

to work hard if we want to win ? he told the big men that, actually,"

Cathey said. He was right, we worked hard, and got the win."

With GCCC's guards struggling lately, the boost from the frontcourt was huge.

"That's

exactly what it was," Agholor said. "We're losing our leading

rebounder, one of the leading rebounders in the nation. So that's a big

emphasis. We've been giving up a lot. Coach talked to us, somebody has

to step up. I think they took it upon themselves to step up, and they

did a great job."

Agholor had 20 points and looked more assertive

driving to the rim, finishing 5-of-11 from the field, hitting tough

shots, and drawing fouls en route to a 10-of-12 performance at the line.

GCCC

(11-17, 3-11 KJCCC) edged CCCC (14-13, 5-8) on the boards, 39-32, with

seven Busters grabbing at least three rebounds. Cathey led the way with

seven, while Reuben King added six.

Meanwhile, Garden City's offense,

which has disappeared at times during the season, shot 47.2 percent

from the field. Most of those buckets came from within 10 feet, and

Garden City went 5-of-9 from 3-point range, an indication of the

improved patience from the Busters ? who were 14-of-60 behind the arc in

their previous three games.

"We obviously got to the basket a little

more, and finished a few more plays," Chappell said. "Jade was

obviously huge in the first half, keeping us in the game. ... I thought

Frank got to the basket and the foul line both some, which makes a

difference. Other people finished around the basket, too."

King had

10 points, while Chris Hall, who left Wednesday's game against Pratt

with a left shoulder injury, returned Saturday to score 11, including

3-of-4 from behind the arc.

A 10-4 run to start the second half

turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 40-35 lead with 16 minutes,

42 seconds to play. Agholor's layup in transition with 9:26 to play put

Garden up 53-40, but Cloud pulled to within 55-51 by the 6:31 mark.

The

Busters responded with a 7-0 run, though, capped by a nice driving

finish off a crossover by King. Cathey hit a layup with 2:11 to play to

make it 67-57, and the Busters were 10-of-12 down the stretch in free

throws, including 3-of-4 from King and 6-of-6 for Agholor.

Concentration was the difference for Garden City.

"I

think we came in pretty focused," Cathey said. "More so, it was about

the team, more than anything. When stuff wasn't going our way, we just

came together as a team."

Gerrae Williams had 19 points to lead the T-Birds, followed by Edward Dyson with 15.

Garden

City heads to second-place Seward County for an 8 p.m. game on

Wednesday, before finishing at home against Dodge City on Saturday. It's

late in the season, but any positives down the stretch are a good thing

for the Busters.

"Absolutely," Agholor said. "We have to learn from

what we did tonight, and build upon it. We have to. The rebounding,

blocking out, just sticking to the basics. Most of all, just having fun.

The bench was enthusiastic, and we were just all for each other

tonight."

???

Cloud County (68) ? Fillyaw 1-8 0-0 2, Williams 6-11

2-3 19, Smith 3-4 1-2 7, Dyson 6-17 1-2 15, Mboup 2-2 0-0 4, Anaekwe

1-2 0-0 2, Robinson 0-1 4-6 4, Tanking 1-3 0-0 3, Okoronkwo 2-2 0-0 4,

McDaniel 4-10 0-0 8. Totals 26-60 9-13 68.

Garden City (78) ? Joseph

3-8 0-0 6, Agholor 5-11 10-12 20, King 3-8 2-3 10, Webb 1-4 1-2 4,

Cathey 7-12 7-10 21, Jones 0-0 1-2 1, Hall 4-6 0-1 11, Chandler 2-3 0-0

4, Russell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-53 22-31 77.

Halftime ? Cloud County

31-30. 3-point goals ? Cloud County 7-20 (Williams 5-8, Dyson 1-5,

Tanking 1-2, McDaniel 0-1, Fillyaw 0-4), Garden City 5-9 (Hall 3-4, King

1-2, Webb 1-2, Agholor 0-1). Fouled out ? Garden City (Cathey).

Rebounds ? Cloud County 32 (Williams 5, Mboup 5, Anaekwe 5, McDaniel 5),

Garden City 39 (Cathey 7). Assists ? Cloud County 14 (Fillyaw 5),

Garden City 7 (Agholor 3). Turnovers ? Cloud County 12, Garden City 12.

Technical fouls ? Cloud County (Anaekwe). Total fouls ? Cloud County 23,

Garden City 13.

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