Broncbusters drop sixth straight game

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Jaduhkiss Soto goes up for a basket March 24 against Seward County at Perryman Athletic Complex.

GOODLAND - Cole Dewey could only watch, literally.

The first-year coach, who was suspended for one game following his ejection in the second half of Monday night's game vs. Colby, was home on Wednesday as his team put together another late-season clunker.

Hantz Louise-Jeune scored a season-high 20 points, Northwest Tech drained 12 3's, and the Mavericks, which had won only two games all season, blew out Garden City Community College 84-67 at Max Jones Field House.

"We just get to a point where we make a comeback, but we don't push through," said assistant coach, Zach Towle, who filled in for Dewey. "We just didn't give a max effort."

Garden City finished the regular season in seventh place in the west, setting up a showdown with Butler in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament for a second straight year. But in all reality, this may be the most disappointing loss of the season, especially considering Towle and company welcomed back their star player.

Denver Jones, who missed five straight games with a foot injury, looked like he never missed a beat. He rattled home a three to begin the game, had an early steal and hit two free throws. Then it was his off-the ball presence that freed Khadim Samb to knock down a pair of triples to give Garden City a 19-13 lead with 9:20 left in the half.

"I thought we came out strong, but it just wasn't enough," Towle said. "We just aren't playing with that zest; that grit."

Once Jones went to the bench, the second unit struggled to find consistency, and by the time the freshman guard returned to the floor, Northwest Tech had hit the Broncbusters with a flurry of 3's including Arthur Cox's deep trey from the right wing that capped a 14-0 blitz that completely flipped the game, turning a six-point deficit into 34-21 Mavericks advantage with 4:12 remaining. Northwest Tech was up nine at the break.

"The last few games, when a team hits us with a run, we fold," Towle said. "That wasn't the case a few weeks ago."

Garden City did show some fight early in the second half pulling to within three following Jones two free throws. But the Mavericks responded with an 11-4 run, Jordan Shelley beat Jones off the bounce from the right wing for a spinning layup, and Northwest Tech was up 20. They stretched that to as many as 21 in the final two minutes.

"We have the guys to get this done," Towle said. "But we have to show more fight. We didn't do that tonight."

Jones finished with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting for Garden City, which lost its sixth straight game. Mohamed Diarra posted a double-double with 10 points and 15 boards, and Khadim Samb had 10 and 10.

Cox tallied 17 points for NW Tech, who closed the season by winning back-to-back games for the first time all season. Malik Lacewell had 13, Shelley scored 11, and Keyshawn Kennedy chipped in 11 points and seven boards.

Garden City will travel to Great Bend on Monday to face Barton County in a first round game of the Region VI tournament.