Short-handed Broncbusters fall to Dodge City, 97-87

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Rodney Lewis, left, drives the lane for a basket but is fouled by Dodge City's Quindarius Thomas in the process, sending Lewis to the free throw line Saturday at Perryman Athletic Complex.

Garden City Community College’s men were dealt two massive blows before they ever took the floor on Saturday afternoon.

Leading scorer, Denver Jones was a late scratch because of injury, and Mohamed Diarra was suspended for an incident following the Barton County game on Wednesday. And their presence was missed in the worst of ways in a critical Jayhawk West showdown.

Dhieu Deing poured in 23 points in 39 minutes, Marlow Gilmore Jr. tallied 17 including six vicious dunks, and Dodge City avenged their loss to Garden City back in Feb. with a 97-87 victory at Conestoga Arena.  

"I don't think we played with energy and the grit and the toughness that we played with on Wednesday," Head Coach, Cole Dewey said. "And that's a direct result of our last two days here in the gym."

Dodge City's win put them into sole possession of second place in the west, while the Broncbusters dropped into a two-way tie for third with Barton County.

"I don't know if guys were tired, or if it's the grind of the season," Dewey mentioned. "But the way we prepared for Barton is not the way we prepared for this game."

Even without Jones and Diarra, the Broncbusters took command early. Leading by two, Jasman Sangha hit a turnaround in the paint, Khadim Samb got free for a layup, and JJ Watson drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key, igniting an 11-3 run that had Garden City ahead 21-11 with 11:37 remaining in the half.

It was all Dodge City after that.

Deing drilled a long ball, Tyler Stallworth, who's now posted season highs in back-to-back games vs. Garden City, skied in for a two-handed layup, and Deing maneuvered right through the Broncbuster defense for a deuce to tie the game at 23. Moments later, Emmanuel Jones knocked down a 15-footer from the right slot, Scoota Malone stole the ball and fed Gilmore for a powerful slam, and Stallworth added an easy 2, completing a 15-point swing that had the Conquistadors up 32-27 with 6:28 remaining. They built that to as many as seven late in the opening period on a Gilmore layup and led 44-39 at the break.

"Transition defense was our number-one key on the board," Dewey said "And it was not very good at all. I know they had 16 transition buckets at the half. We just didn't stick to the game plan."

Dodge City kept running right out of the locker room, building an 11-point lead once Stallworth swished a 3 to make it 52-41 with 18 minutes to go. But the Broncbusters answered, utilizing a 25-16 blitz capped with KJ Marshall's deep 3 from the right sideline that had Garden City within two with 8:29 remaining.

That's as close as Dewey's bunch got the rest of the way. The Conquistadors countered with a 16-4 run, and when Stallworth buried a wide-open trey from the top of the key, Dodge City had its largest lead of the day, 84-70 with 3:42 left.

"I know we were shorthanded, but that's not an excuse," Dewey explained. "We had enough talent on the floor to win this game. We just fell flat."

The Broncbusters lost the contest despite dishing out a season-high 23 assists on 35 made baskets. They also drained 11 3's, the fifth time this year they've hit 10 or more in a game. But besides Sangha, who scored a season-high 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting, the rest of the team combined to go 24-of-61 (39 percent). Watson scored 15 off the bench but missed 14 of his 20 shot attempts, and Rodney "June" Lewis, making his first start of the year, was just 2-of-9 from the floor.

Stallworth finished with 14 points and eight assists for Dodge City, which played without leading scorer, Wayln Napper, who was serving a one-game suspension for his part in an altercation following the Seward County game on Wednesday. Mike Marsh delivered 18 points off the bench including an emphatic two-handed throwdown on a no-look feed from Stallworth that put Dodge City up 11 late in the second half, and Hasahnn Reynolds chipped in 10.

DODGE CITY  44; 53; - 97

GARDEN CITY  39; 48; - 87

The women’s game was cancelled Saturday as Dodge City forfeited the game.

Both GCCC teams will be back in action on Wednesday when they host Seward County.  The women’s game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the men to follow at 7:30 p.m.