Three Busters named to all-region volleyball; Jones hoops POW
By ADAM HOLT
Three Lady Broncbusters were named to the all-Region VI volleyball teams, which were released Monday.
Garden City's Natalia Parreira, a 5-foot-10 sophomore outside hitter, was named first-team all-region. Sophomore Paula Gonzales, a 5-foot-11 middle hitter was named to the second team, while sophomore Brandy Vergado-Duclayan, a 5-foot-3 setter, was an honorable-mention selection.
"I think it was a sign of respect for our progam and or our players, that even though we finished sixth in the standings in the regular season, the coaches recognized just how good the talent is on our team," GCCC head coach Rob Lutz said.
Parreira led the Busters with 380 kills and was also second on the team with 358 digs. Her 441 points were 15th in the nation. The Brazil native was one of Garden City's most consistent attacking options, and was also a big part in the passing game.
"Any time you have a player on your team who can go out and get 400 points for you as an attacker — and not only that, she's also a very, very good passer," Lutz said. "She's good enough as a passer that people avoided serving to her, which means it's even tougher on your opponent when you take away part of the court. She was clearly a tremendous impact player for us."
This was Gonzales' second selection, after being named an honorable-mention all-Region performer in 2011 as a freshman. The Garden City-native had 224 kills this season and was second on the team with 78 total blocks, and led with 50 solo blocks.
Gonzales had one of the hardest swings on the team, and was often the first option when the Busters needed important points.
"Paula has been nothing short of spectacular in the gym," Lutz said. "She set the tone early in preseason as one of the eladers. A couple, three weeks into the seaosn, she was voted team captain by her teammates and her coaches.
"She has been a very good leader for us. And not only in the practice gym, but when we need key points in a match, she becomes one of the people we go to and someone we counted on."
Duclayan led the Busters with 1,051 assists, averaging 7.73 per set. She also covered a lot of ground, saving balls out of bounds and consistently putting her teammates in good positions with her sets.
"Brandy was, everybody needs fire on a team," Lutz said. "You need somebody who is the absolute go-getter. Brandy has no fear, she's a tremendous athelte in a tiny package on the volleyball court. She hustles so hard, she has the scars and bruises to prove it at the end of every match."
Hutchinson led the region with four all-region selections, highlighted by player and freshman of the year Teresa Wade. The Lady Dragons' Patrick Hall was named coach of the year.
Garden City, Colby and Seward County each had three selections each. The Busters were sixth in the regular season standings, but finished third in the Region VI tournament, which was their first appearance in the region final four since 1990.
The selections were another testament to how much further Garden City has come in Lutz's second season.
"It shows that the program has turned around, turned around faster I think than some expected," he said. "I really hope that it's going to help on the recruiting trail, when I can talk to players and say, 'Hey, listen, come to Garden City and we'll make you an All-American here, we'll surround you with teammatse that can help you and training that can get you there."
Garden City sophomore forward Tamara Jones was named the KJCCC co-women's player of the week on Monday.
Jones, a 6-foot native of Prosser, Wash., scored 61 points in the Lady Busters' three games last week, including 25 on 11-of-14 shooting from the field in a 106-26 win over Oklahoma Baptist's junior varsity.
Over three games, Jones is averaging 20.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest, and is shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from 3-point range. The reigning KJCCC freshman of the year is also 6-of-6 at the free-throw line and has four blocks.
Garden City's Jones shared player of the week honors with Seward County guard Ricquia Jones.
Garden City football player Kalyn Weber, who was injured late in the Busters' playoff loss to Butler on Sunday, was released from the hospital Sunday night with a clean bill of health, aside from a broken nose.
Weber was blindsided by a block during a Butler punt return, and was down long enough for medical staff to check on him. Fearing a neck injury, he was immobilized, and was transported in an ambulance to the hospital as a precautionary measure. GCCC head coach Jeff Tatum said Monday that tests came up negative, and Weber was allowed to return home Sunday night.