When asked what he liked about the outcome of Friday night's Southwest Classic game against Denver South, Garden City girls basketball coach David Upton looked upward at the scoreboard and nodded his head in that direction.

It read: Garden City 66, Denver South 29.

Second straight night of play. Second straight blowout victory.

"I like the score, but I'm just shocked at the score considering how slow we started the game," Upton said after the game.

Indeed, early on, it appeared the Lady Buffs were just as cold as the biting temperatures have been lately in western Kansas.

"There was no excitement in the gym, no excitement anywhere, no excitement on the bench or on the floor at the start," Upton said.

That's why he was puzzled at the 10-9 deficit the Lady Buffs were enduring after one quarter against a Lady Rebels team that had not won a game this season in four previous outings.

"We talked at halftime, that we'll have to be responsible for creating our own excitement," Upton said. "We have to create our own energy. We had a little rah-rah session in the locker room, and I think that got us going, too."

It appeared the Lady Buffs got things rolling in the second quarter, using a 21-6 run to take command at 30-16 at the halftime break.

"You can't focus on the shots you're missing, especially when you're getting good looks," Upton said. "Apparently, we want to worry about things that have already happened."

South did pull within eight points at the outset of the third quarter with a 6-0 run to start the half, but then the Lady Buffs reeled off a 22-5 spurt to put the game away at 52-27 after the third.

Once the Lady Buffs got untracked, Jaymie Bernbeck was the hottest of the bunch, finishing with 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for a double-double. She was 9 of 16 from the field and 7 of 9 at the free throw line. Taryn Tempel provided solid scoring support with 16 points and Jessica Carrillo came off the bench to score 10 points and grab seven boards as the Lady Buffs won that battle, too, 45-36.

Courtney Kindell and Naudia Sweets reached double figures for the Lady Rebels by scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Neither team shot the ball particularly well as the Lady Rebels were a chilly 10 of 45 for 22.2 percent and were only 2 of 10 at the free throw line. They were 3 of 13 from 3-point range. The Lady Buffs, meanwhile, connected on 23-of-65 shots (2 of 13 from behind the arc) and were 18 of 27 at the free throw line.

"We still missed some easy transitions, and that's just about focusing more," Upton said. "I think I know where we are, and certainly the game is easier when you're making shots. We're doing a better job of getting them shots where we want. We just have to start making them."

The win pushes the Lady Buffs to 3-2, and they will close out their pre-holiday schedule today with a 4 p.m. tipoff against Pueblo (Colo.) East at The Garden. The teams met a year ago in Pueblo in the opening week of the season, with Garden City producing a 72-57 triumph on the Lady Eagles' home floor. Denver South closes out its trip to western Kansas today with a 4 p.m. game at Scott City.


Denver South 10 6 11 2 -- 29

Garden City 9 21 22 14 -- 66

Denver South (29) Moore 0-4 0-0 0, Maher 0-0 0-0 0, Giles 0-0 0-1 0, Ray 0-2 0-0 0, Kindell 5-10 0-2 12, Sweets 4-17 2-5 11, Albury 3-5 0-2 6, Krieg 0-2 0-0 0, Mestes 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 10-45 2-10 29.

Garden City (66) Padilla 1-7 0-2 3, Linenberger 1-2 2-2 4, Hinde 0-5 0-0 0, Tornero 1-5 0-0 3, Brunson 0-3 0-0 0, Tempel 5-13 6-6 16, McKee 1-4 3-8 5, Bernbeck 9-16 7-9 25, Jessica Carrillo 5-10 0-0 10. Totals 23-65 18-27 66.

3-point goals--South 3-13 (Moore 0-1, Ray 0-1, Kindell 2-4, Sweets 1-5, Krieg 0-1, Mestes 0-1), Garden City 2-13 (Padilla 1-5, Hinde 0-1, Tornero 1-4, Brunson 0-1, Tempel 0-2). Rebounds--South 36 (Albury 8), Garden City 45 (Bernbeck 10). Turnovers--South 31, Garden City 15. Fouls--South 19, Garden City 14. Fouled out--South (Mestes). Technical foul--South (Kindell).