Dodge City stuns Garden City in OT, 65-62

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Elizabeth Sherrill takes a hand to the face as she drives around Barton County's Gabby Flute Player for a basket Feb. 24 at Perryman Athletic Complex.

DODGE CITY - At some point, Antwain Scales' team will figure it out. He's too good of a coach not to. In the meantime, Garden City Community College is navigating some pretty turbulent weather, and Saturday was further proof of that.

Payton James and Keimora Banks combined for 33 points, Emery Maze pulled down 12 rebounds, and Dodge City snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 65-62 overtime win over Garden City at the Civic Center.

"We have to find a way to regroup," Scales said afterwards. "We have to find the things that we did positive and build off of that."

Garden City lost their third straight contest, which dropped them two games under .500 in conference at 3-5.

And it was kind of the same old story. 

The Broncbusters had a chance to step on Dodge City's throat early in the first quarter after the Conquistadors missed 12 of their first 15 shots and turned it over five times. But Garden city could only muster a six-point edge going to the second. And that's when the Conquistadors finally awoke.

The home team scored nine straight points capped with Banks' driving layup that gave Dodge City an 18-16 advantage. Moments later, James, who was 2-of-27 on 3s entering Saturday's contest, splashed home a triple from the corner to make it 21-18.  

"We are just not capitalizing on opportunities," Scales said. "It's the little things that we continue to miss."

Even though Garden City roared back with a 10-2 surge over the final 3:13 of the half to take a five-point lead into the locker room, it was apparent that the Broncbusters had missed a golden chance to put the game away. And that eventually came back to bite them in the second half.

The Conquistadors hit the Broncbusters with a massive right cross in the early stages of the third period. James hit another 3, Banks followed with a triple, and Dodge City ripped off an 11-2 run to take a four-point edge, 34-30. The game was tied after three.

"We just didn't get it done today," Scales added. "It's that simple."

Dodge City stretched their lead to as many as five in the final 3:30 of the fourth only to watch Aerihna Afoa take over. The sophomore transfer from Colby scored Garden City's final 12 points of regulation, nailing three treys before drawing a foul on a 3-point attempt with 17 seconds to go. The second-year player calmly sank all three free throws, Dodge City turned it over in the final seconds, and the game headed to overtime tied at 57.

"We have to be smarter," Scales mentioned. "We have to play smart basketball, and right now we're not."

That may be the case, but a blown call in overtime didn't help Garden City's cause.

Trailing by three with 1:05 left in the extra period, Banks got away with an egregious double dribble on the right elbow. Seconds later, she splashed home a 15-footer that should never have happened. Scales couldn't believe it.

"It is what it is," he said. "But that's not what lost us the game."

Garden City still had a chance to force a second overtime after Dodge City was called for a five-second violation on an inbounds play. But Alexis Smith lost track of the three-point line and instead fired up a deep two that rimmed out, giving the Conquistadors their first win since Jan. 27.

Madison Gissendanner chipped in six points, nine rebounds and four blocks for Dodge City. Maze added nine points, and Celebria Peacock recorded eight and four boards.

Afoa scored 14 of her team-best 16 points in the second half for Garden City. Justis Odom posted her third double-double with 11 points and 14 boards.

Garden City  14; 14; 10; 19; 5; - 62

Dodge City  8; 15; 15; 19; 8; - 65

Garden City was at Cloud County on Monday.