By Mike Pilosof
Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Garden City, KS-Following his team's lackluster performance vs. Barton County on Wednesday night, Garden City Coach Brady Trenkle said his team needed an attitude adjustment.
Saturday night at home, the fourth-year head man got exactly what he asked for.
Ben Howze recorded his fourth double-double of the year with a season-best 23 points and 10 rebounds, Victor Dukes netted 18 off the bench, and the Broncbusters erased the stench of Wednesday's 22-point defeat with a 90-74 whipping of Cowley County at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
"We got better from Wednesday," Trenkle said afterwards. "Cowley is a good team; they'll be better later in the season. We learned a lot about ourselves."
And to be honest, the final tally doesn't tell the tale of how much Garden City (6-1, 2-1) dominated.
Playing without star-guard Josh Fleming, who was serving the first of a two-game suspension after being ejected from Wednesday night's game, the Broncbusters led wire-to-wire, jumping out to a 16-4 advantage eight minutes into the contest.
"A lot these guys had much better body language in this game," Trenkle said. "I could tell that very early on."
After Garden City established their lead, the closest Cowley (4-3, 1-2) got the rest of the way was five points. That happened following Cedric Rembert's 3-pointer that cut the Broncbuster edge to 22-17 with 8:11 to go in the first half.
Garden City promptly responded with a 21-14 spurt to close the half, sparked by dunks by Dukes and Anei Anei. The Broncbusters led 43-31 going into the locker room.
"It's hard to keep my guys contained; I'll be honest," Trenkle said. "We've got a lot of talent on this team. Everyone in this league is going to lose games. It's how you respond to those losses."
From all accounts, the Broncbusters' response was decisive. And Howze inflicted as much pain as he could from down low.
The sophomore transfer from Southwest Mississippi scored 12 of his 23 points in the second half, which included his own 6-0 run that put Garden City up 20 with 5:50 remaining.
"He's (Howze) a load to handle because he's so athletic," Trenkle said.
But as good as Howze was, Trenkle's defense was even better.
The Broncbusters contested every shot all night long, and the numbers showed it. Cowley missed on 12 of their first 13 shots to begin the game, and were 0-for-5 to start the second half. In total, the Tigers shot a miserable 35 percent on 23-of-66.
Derieko Smith led the Tigers with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Mike'l Simms had 12; Justin Jones 11 and Ryker Pierce, who was Cowley's leading scorer coming in, was held to just 10 points on 1-of-12 from the field.
Notes: Garden City outrebounded Cowley 42-32—The Broncbusters have outrebounded six out of their seven opponents…It's the fifth time this season Garden City has shot 50 percent or better; they shot a season-best 63
Next up: Garden City at Allen-Tuesday, Nov. 22-8 p.m. on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and mobile app: KWKR