GCCC falls to No. 6 Coffeyville, 72-64

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Head Coach Cole Dewey talks with players during a time out Wednesday as the Broncbusters face Coffeyville at Perryman Athletic Complex. Dewey is in his first year at GCCC.

Cole Dewey had a specific vision on what his team would look like in 2021. But injuries and a suspension haven't helped his cause. Yet on Wednesday, his shorthanded Broncbusters nearly pulled off an improbable win. They just ran out of gas before they got to finish line.

Tylor Perry scored 16 points, Larry White added 15, five boards and three steals, and No. 6 Coffeyville held off a furious Broncbuster rally to win 72-64 at Conestoga Arena.

"We have the makings to be a pretty special team," Dewey said afterwards. "But we have to stop making so many mental errors. That's our problem right now."

And how Garden City didn't get run out of the gym after the way they started, is a credit to Dewey and his players. The Broncbusters opened by missing 10 of their first 11 shots, this while the Red Ravens hit them with an 11-2 run to jump out to a 13-4 advantage. But Khadim Samb settled things with a 3 from the top of the key to pull Garden City to within four. Unfortunately, it was one of only five field made goals for the brown and gold over the first 20 minutes. They were down 12 at the half.

"Our guys are fighters," Dewey said. "We don't have any quit. And that says a lot. But we weren't ready to win a game like this. These are the types of games that get you ready for the region tournament."

Then, early in the final period, the Red Ravens hit the Broncbusters with a haymaker. White knocked in a midrange jumper, and Markeith Browning finished off a three-point play, putting the road squad up 39-22 with 18:59 on the clock.

"These are the types of game that I love," Dewey insisted. "We just have to figure out a way to win them. We haven't gotten that far yet, and that's on me."

A team that could have easily faded didn't, and what Dewey watched over the next 12 minutes, changed the complexity of the game. Garden City roared back with a 16-4 run polished off by Denver Jones' two free throws that brought the Broncbusters to within five, 43-38 with 12:25 to go. After Coffeyville stretched the lead back to 13, Garden City pushed back once more. Jones hit two technical freebies, Jaduhkiss Soto drilled a 3 from the top, and the home team was within four. Moments later, Samb, the transfer from Idaho, swished a 23-footer, making it a one-point contest with 3:41 remaining.

 In JUCO basketball, we shouldn't be playing guys 35 and 37 minutes," Dewey said. "But we have guys out. So that's just what we're dealing with right now. We need to get our bodies back."

Garden City could never quite get over the top, and after Samb's 3 appeared to have Coffeyville on the ropes, Perry answered with a three-point play on the other end. The sophomore then sank two free throws following a technical foul that was called on Jasman Sangha, who kicked his chair in frustration after picking up a fifth foul on a questionable moving screen. That little sliver ignited a 9-0 run that put the game out of reach.

"Once we stop making mental mistakes, we will be in good shape," Dewey said. "And that will come. This team is still learning."

Jones finished with 18 points in 37 minutes for Garden City but was just 2-of-12 from the floor. He finished 12-of-15 at the line. Samb poured in a season-high 17 but was saddled with foul trouble for most of the night.

Coffeyville won the game despite shooting a season-low 36 percent and dishing out only six assists.

Coffeyville  34; 38; - 72

Garden City  22; 42; - 64

Garden City hosts Neosho County at 4 p.m. on Saturday.