By Mike Pilosof
Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Iola, KS-Six days ago in Great Bend, it appeared that Garden City had lost their confidence.
One week later, that drubbing at the hands of the cougars was a distant memory. Ben Howze made sure of that.
The sophomore put on a show with 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting, Victor Dukes notched his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 boards, and the Broncbusters destroyed Allen County 89-62 Tuesday night at Red Devils Field House.
"Our guys learned something from that Barton game," Head Coach Brady Trenkle said afterwards. "And we've gotten better. The great thing about this team is that they're in the locker room not satisfied. That makes me happy."
They may not have been satisfied, but there were plenty of smiles to go around; for James especially.
The sophomore transfer from Northeastern was sizzling early, scoring all 16 of his points in a first half that saw Garden City (7-1, 3-1) break the game open.
James, who scored eight of the first 11 Broncbuster points, spearheaded a late, first-half surge that pushed Allen County (5-3, 2-2) to the brink. After Anei Anei and Aaron Ray knocked down shots, Victor Dukes answered with a left-handed layup. Then it was James, nailing a coldblooded trey; plus a deuce that stretched the lead to 15. Ray capped the 13-0 run by splitting a pair of free throws, and what once was a three-point contest was now squarely in Garden City's favor 32-16 with 4:15 left in the half.
"We had so many guys play well in this game," Trenkle said. "Allen is a very good team, but we took them out of what they like to do. I feel like we were over prepared coming into this one."
With that advanced scouting report, the Red Devils had no chance. And what James started, Howze quickly finished.
The conference's leading rebounder scored Garden City's final eight points of the first half before tallying the first eight of the second. When all was said and done: Howze had scored 16 straight Broncbuster points to give Garden City a commanding 54-33 edge with 16:22 to go in the game.
"He (Howze) makes things happen," Trenkle added. "He had it all working."
Dukes scored 15 of his 19 in the second half as Garden City built their lead to as many as 29. Jamar Gilbert added eight points, including a wild 3-pointer that he hit falling out of bounds in the left corner that put the Broncbusters up 68-43 with 10:09 to play. Jefkins Agyeman-Budu tallied eight and eight boards.
Jah-Kobe Womack led Allen with 15 points and five boards. E.J. Garnes, who transferred from Cloud County after having reconstructive shoulder surgery, added 12 on 3-of-10 shooting.
Notes: Garden City outrebounded Allen 51-31; pulling down 10 of their 14 offensive boards in the first half…The Broncbusters have won the last three meetings with the Devils…Josh Fleming served the final game of his two-game suspension and will return Saturday night
Next up: Garden City vs. Independence-Saturday, November 26-8 p.m. on 99.9 FM; westerernkansasnews.com/kwkr and mobile app: KWKR