GCCC women’s basketball falls to Barton County

GREAT BEND - Garden City Community College has lived and died by the three all season long. And on Saturday, their erratic shooting continued, ending their chances of a season split with Barton.

Queen Ulabo scored 17 points and pulled down 23 rebounds, two shy of tying Barton's single-game record, Richelle Turney added 15 points, and the Cougars beat the Broncbusters, 64-56, at the Kirkman Center.

"I keep telling our players that we need to move the ball from one side of the floor to the other," Garden City Interim Coach Mike "Scoop" Harding said afterwards. "I guess I have to find five girls that want to do that."

The Broncbusters closed the season with back-to-back losses after winning a season-high three straight games.

"We just have to get back to work and find some energy," Harding said. "We just didn't bring enough energy."

Garden City was up three following Dashanae Pajeaud's jumper that made it 11-8 with 3:35 to go in the first. But they were limited to just one field goal the rest of the period. Meantime Ulabo completely changed the game on one possession, grabbing five offensive rebounds in a matter of 15 seconds before cashing in a layup. It was a sequence that totally knocked the Broncbusters off balance. Barton was up by one going to the second, and Ulabo had outrebounded Garden City by herself, 10-8 through 10 minutes.

"We were in this game most of the night," Harding added. "We just didn't capitalize on a lot of things."

One of those things was turnovers. Garden City forced 28 of them, yet scored only 15 points. They were also beaten on the interior as Barton outscored them 34-28.

"It didn't help that we didn't make shots in this game," Harding said. "We were really rushing our shots."

Garden City shot six-of-18 (33 percent) in the first quarter. But the second period is where the Broncbusters got themselves into trouble, misfiring on 15 of their 18 field-goal attempts, as Barton used a 17-2 run, polished off with Turney's deep two from the right side that put the Cougars up 28-17 with 5:26 to play in the half. Barton led by 10 at the intermission.

And the road squad could never close the deficit in the second half.

The Broncbusters got to within six early in the third quarter before Tiffany Dortland hit Barton's lone three of the night to push Barton's lead to 10, 39-29. Ulabo added a layup and two free throws, and Turney hit a spinning turnaround on the block to give the Cougars a 12-point cushion. They were up 10 going to the fourth.

Garden City never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

The Broncbusters shot just 29 percent for the game (20-of-70), marking the 19th time this season that they've shot under 40 percent. Donetria McGee scored 15 points, and Jaleah Bellany added 12.

Vanessa Oduah scored 15 points for Barton, who beat Garden City for the sixth time in their last 10 meetings. Dortland had four steals.

Garden City 15-8-17-16 - 56

Barton Co. 16-17-17-14 - 64

The loss means Garden City will be the No. 14 seed and play at Coffeyville in the first round of the Region VI Tournament at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Meantime, Barton earned the No. 6 seed and will host Cloud County.