Cold shooting dooms Garden City against Seward

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's KJ Marshall Jr., left, drives past Seward County's Branton McCrary off a teammate's screen Wednesday at Perryman Athletic Complex.

Without Denver Jones, Garden City's offense looked like a shell of its former self. Wednesday night provided further proof of that.

Without their star player for the third straight game, the Broncbusters shot just 33 percent and turned the ball over 22 times. Meantime, Branton McCrary and Erik Pratt combined for 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting on the other side, and Seward County ran away from the Broncbusters 84-53 at Conestoga Arena.  

"Denver creates a lot, not just for himself, but for others," Head Coach, Cole Dewey said afterwards. "Missing him is not just missing a lot of points but a lot of playmaking ability as well."

With Jones nursing an injured foot, the Saints punished Garden City on both ends, handing the Broncbusters their most lopsided defeat since Barton County smacked them by 28 last season.

"We had a bunch of open looks in the first half, and we just didn't knock them down," Dewey explained. "We also turned the ball over 12 times. You really don't give yourself much of a chance when you do that."

Garden City's lone highlight of the night came in the first three minutes when KJ Marshall lobbed a perfect 35-foot pass to Mohamed Diarra, who swooped in along the baseline for a two-handed jam. Other than that, the rest of the game featured plenty of low lights including a stretch where the Broncbusters clanged 17 of their first 18 attempts from beyond the arc.

"We didn't do a good job of zipping the ball and finding the open man," Dewey added. "A lot of the shots that we took were good shots, but we weren't passing up good shots for great shots."

While Garden City couldn't buy a basket, it seemed like Seward County couldn't miss. And after resting for the last week following an altercation with Dodge City that resulted in the Saints forfeiting three games, Seward County looked fresh. And when Ahmad Galimore connected from in close capping a 13-2 run, the Saints led 30-17 with 5:00 to go in the half. They were up 12 at the break, having held Garden City without a field goal the final 4:42 of the period.

"Since we weren't hitting shots, our focus was to get the ball inside," Dewey said.

"But, when we went inside, we either threw it to the other team or fumbled it away."

Garden City never managed to cut the lead to single digits in the second half, and an 8-0 Seward County run, punctuated by Galimore's baseline dunk, put the Saints on top 57-36. Unfortunately, that was just the buildup to the cataclysmic seismic shift that occurred just a couple of minutes later. Pratt drilled a wing 3, Sam Henderson rattled one home from deep, DJ Molett canned a triple from the left corner, and Chris Johnson's gravity-defying and-1 layup, put the finishing touches on a backbreaking 18-0 run that put the Saints up 76-40 with 4:53 remaining. A flabbergasted Dewey could only look on.

"It just wasn't our night tonight," he mentioned. "We need to bounce back our next game."

And with Jones' status a question mark for Saturday's showdown with Hutchinson, the Broncbusters need some-type of scoring punch. Because other than Jaduhkiss Soto and Jasman Sangha, who combined to score 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, the rest of the team fell flat, missing 21 of their 26 shots on the night. They also dished out a season-low 10 assists.

SEWARD CO.  34; 50; - 84

GARDEN CITY  22; 31; - 53

The Broncbusters will be back in action on Saturday at Hutchinson.