LIBERAL It was just the way the Garden City Buffaloes would have wanted to have the regular season end.

Get a big win on the road, over one of their usual away nemeses, Liberal, and that's what they delivered on Tuesday night with a 55-47 at The Big House.

Tuesday's regular season finale allows the Buffs to finish at 12-8, locking down the No. 2 seed in the Class 6A sub-state, and assures them of home games throughout next week's postseason.

"We did what we came down here to do, and that's get a win," GCHS coach Jacy Holloway said. "We made some mistakes, forced some things late, but overall I thought we did enough good things to get us the lead and we (finally) made some free throws."

The Buffs got a big night from 6-foot-5 junior Caleb Tramp, who torched the Redskins with 18 points off 8-of-12 field goals, and a pair of free throws, to go along with 13 big rebounds. He was the lone double-figure scorer for the Buffs, who did get nine points from senior Emilio Parr, coming off the bench to provide a spark in the second quarter.

"We wanted to be able to take care of our own destiny and not have to flip for the seedings," said Holloway, whose team had a one-game lead over Hutchinson heading into Tuesday's game. "Now, we know we'll be at home."

Tramp, too, said it was important to get a win to ensure home court next week.

"Our fans are important to us, and we'll look forward to playing in front of them," said Tramp. "This gives us great enthusiasm and confidence going into the sub-state."

The Buffs only trailed at 2-0, and then were on top of the Redskins the rest of the way.

Their lead of 10-4 after one quarter stayed the same by halftime, holding a 23-17 lead thanks in part to Liberal's Britton Abbott, who scored 12 of his team-high 14 points by the break.

"We made some adjustments on him, and just became more aware of where he was on the floor," Holloway said. "That helped us a lot."

Free-throw shooting, which has been a thorny issue for the Buffs most of the season, was a big factor in the victory as they finished a sizzling 19 of 24, a 79.1 percent clip.

"Liberal did a good job of extending the game, and we finally shot free throws the way you need to when you've got a lead like that," Holloway said.

Miguel Olivas was 6 of 6 at the line. Jared Koster was 4 of 4 and Parr 3 of 4.

The Buffs' defense forced 17 turnovers by Liberal, while committing 13 of their own.

In all probability, the Buffs will host Wichita Northwest in the sub-state semifinal.

Note: GCHS Athletic Director Martin Segovia indicated after Tuesday's game that if the Buffs play both Wichita Northwest teams, those games have been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday at 5 and 7 p.m. at The Garden.

While the Buffs complete their regular slate at 12-8 and 4-4 in the WAC, the Redskins still have one regular season game remaining on Friday with Dodge City.


Garden City 10 13 11 21 -- 55 Liberal 4 13 8 22 -- 47

Garden City (12-8, 4-4) Tramp 8-12 2-3 18, Delgado 2-6 0-1 4, Olivas 0-0 6-6 6, Koster 1-5 4-4 6, Hernandez 2-7 1-1 7, Nanninga 0-1 0-1 0, Rodriguez 1-2 0-0 2, Parr 3-3 3-4 9, Love 0-2 1-2 1, Rincones 0-0 2-2 2, Gurrola 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-38 19-24 57.

Liberal (6-13, 1-6) Quintana 2-2 0-0 5, Hasik 0-1 6-10 6, Abbott 5-7 4-5 14, Stout 3-7 2-2 9, Fitzgerald 3-3 1-2 7, Larkin 0-3 0-0 0, Ware 0-3 0-0 0, Hinkle 1-1 0-0 3, Green 0-1 0-0 0, Coker 1-3 1-2 3. Totals 15-31 14-21 47.

3-point goals--Garden City 2-9 (Delgado 0-2, Koster 0-2, Hernandez 2-5), Liberal 3-10 (Quintana 1-1, Hasik 0-1, Abbott 0-1, Stout 1-4, Larkin 0-1, Ware 0-1, Hinkle 1-1). Rebounds--Garden City 23 (Tramp 13), Liberal 21 (Abbott 6, Coker 6). Turnovers--Garden City 13, Liberal 17. Fouls--Garden City 18, Liberal 16. Fouled out--none. Technical fouls--none.