Buffaloes begin basketball season on the road

Brad Nading
Garden City Telegram
Garden City High School's Aileen Becerril, left, battles for control of a rebound with Liberal's Kenzie Kapp last season at GCHS.

When USD 457 moved its COVID-19 protocol to Level 6 after Thanksgiving, through the end of 2020, it also meant that sports and other activities could not hold practices or competitions. With that scenerio, other school districts opened their winter sports seasons as normal with several games before the Christmas break.

Garden City High School, however, opened it winter sports seasons last week. The Buffaloes’ basketball teams kicked off their seasons on Friday traveling to Great Bend for Western Athletic Conference matchups.

The girls team opened the season with a win, 50-44, while the boys fell in a heartbreaker, 39-38.

In the girls game, Garden City jumped out to an early lead, 12-9, after one quarter and 23-18 at halftime. The Panthers came back in the third quarter however, knotting the score at 36 going in to the fourth. The Buffaloes held Great Bend to eight points in the final quarter, while the offense rallied for 14 points and the victory.

GCHS’ Aileen Becerril led all scorers with 20 points, including five three-pointers. Julie Calzonetti added 12 points for the Buffaloes.

Garden City;12;11;13;14;—;50

Great Bend;9;9;18;8;—;44

Great Bend 39, Garden City boys 38

The Garden City boys team looked as though they were going to cruising to a win at halftime, but then cam the third quarter. The Buffaloes led 10-5 after one quarter and 22-13 at halftime. In the third quarter, however, GCHS could only manage three points in the period, while the Panthers scored 10 to pull within two, 25-23, going into the fourth.  Great Bend outscored Garden City 16-13 for the win.

Garden City’s Isaac Flores and Chris Grant each scored 10 points in the game to lead the Buffaloes.

Garden City;10;12;3; 3;—;38

Great Bend;5;8;10;16;—;39

Kearney, Neb., 38; Garden City girls 36

After traveling back from Great Bend Friday night, Garden City’s basketball teams returned to the road on Saturday, traveling to Kearney, Neb.  The Buffaloes dropped both the boys and girls games.

In the girls game, 38-36 for a final score, GCHS had cold shooting in the first quarter, only scoring four points, while Kearney put 14 on the board. The Buffaloes offense woke up in the second quarter scoring 10 points to be down 22-14 at halftime. Garden City mounted a comeback in the third quarter, pulling within two going into the fourth, 29-27. That two points was the difference in the game, as both teams played even through the fourth, each scoring nine points.

Amaya Gallegos led the scoring for the Buffaloes with 10 points.

Garden City;4;10;13;9;—;36

Kearney, Neb.;14;8;7;9;—;38

Kearney, Neb., 80; Garden City boys 53

In the boys game, even though Garden City upped its offensive output from Friday night, the Buffaloes could not keep pace with Kearny’s offensive attack, falling 80-53.

The Buffaloes went down by eight after one quarter, 18-10, but fell behind 40-22 going in to halftime. GCHS had its best offensive quarter of the game in the third, scoring 16 points, but it could not keep up with Kearney, who scored 24 in the quarter to seal the game.

Chris Grant led the scoring for Garden City with 12 points. The Buffaloes did have 10 players on the team score points during the game.

Garden City;10;12;16;15;—;53

Kearney, Neb.;18;22;24;16;—;80

Garden City will be back in action on Tuesday with its home opener, hosting Liberal. The girls game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tipoff, with the boys game to follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.