In the span of 24 hours, the Garden City Buffaloes boys basketball team did its best to hit the delete button on Thursday night’s embarrassing 57-15 loss to Wichita Trinity.
The day after, though, head coach Jacy Holloway wanted to be sure his Buffs understood what had caused the major train wreck. So they painfully watched the film in the early Friday afternoon hours, before re-taking the court at The Garden for their second game of the Clarion Inn Roundball Classic.
Apparently, the Buffs took the film and instruction to heart, because when the first quarter ended against an out-matched Dumas, Texas team, the Buffs had stormed to a 21-7 lead — eclipsing their points total from the night before in eight minutes — and never looked back en route to a 53-23 rout of the Demons to get back on track and improve their record to 3-2.
They will now finish out the Classic at 7:45 p.m. Saturday against the Scott City Beavers as they clash with their inter-county neighbor in their last contest before the holiday break.
It was a much-improved effort in every phase of the game, at least in most, according to junior Jarrod Springston, who led the Buffs with 10 points as nine different players registered into the scorebook.
“This just felt good,” Springston said of the win, which saw the running clock kick in on their side of the ledger with just under six minutes left in the fourth, when they led by 30.
They had seen the other side of that coin just the night before in the lopsided loss to Trinity.
“After the game last night, we talked about what happened and we all were upset,” Springston said. “We knew we had to get things changed, come out focused and be ready. We knew we had to take this seriously, and I think we got what we wanted (tonight).”
Springston admitted that the Buffs had not taken Trinity seriously, but perhaps they should have looked at the Knights’ record of a year ago, and the fact that after blowing out the Buffs Thursday followed it up with a 56-37 romp over defending 4A-II champion Holcomb on Friday.
“We needed to get it right, and I think we made progress,” Springston said.
GCHS head coach Jacy Holloway liked the fast start that the Buffs exhibited when they began the game on a 10-0 run, extended it to 16-3 and then 21-7 by the end of the opening period.
By halftime, the lead had ballooned to 32-12, and it was 47-18 after three quarters when Carlos Acosta nailed a three-pointer just before the buzzer.
When Demarcus Elliott made the first of two free throws at the 5:52 mark, making it 49-19, the running clock went into effect, making this merciful game come to a much quicker end than it would have otherwise.
The Buffs were a solid 20-of-39 shooting for 51.2 percent, and were 5 of 14 from behind the arc. Five different players knocked down a trey.
Tye Davis and Elliott each had six rebounds to help the Buffs to a 32-22 advantage on the boards. Noah Quintanilla had seven points to lead Dumas, which fell to 1-10.
Turnovers did plague both teams, with the Demons committing 24 miscues and the Buffs 21, still an area Holloway wants to see improve.
“We wanted to get out and trap them, and we did a better job of that,” Holloway said of his team’s defense that limited the Demons to just 5-of-34 shooting (14.7 percent) and 0 for 7 from behind the arc.
Only a 13-of-19 free-throw effort allowed them to reach the 20-point plateau.
“We definitely wanted to speed up the tempo,” Holloway said. “Because I knew we couldn’t afford to play as slow as we did last night.”
The words that Springston mentioned — effort, mental toughness, focus — were reinforced by Holloway.
“That’s what we’ve always hung our hat on through the years,” Holloway said. “Tonight was better, but we’ve still gotta get better. We still made too many mental mistakes. We’ve got to get ready for Scott now and then we’ve got a lot of practice time to fix things.”