By Mike Pilosof
Colby, KS-Since Brady Trenke took over the Broncbuster men's program in 2013, his team had never lost in Colby.
That was until Wednesday night, where anything that could go wrong did, and the Broncbusters were left trying to pick up the pieces.
Gabriel Gyamfi scored 20 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, David Hall netted 18 in 30 minutes, and Colby handed Garden City an 82-71 setback at the Community Building.
"This was an embarrassing performance by our guys," Trenkle said. "How about paying attention to the scouting report."
The Trojans controlled the game from the opening tip, using a 7-0 run to build an early seven-point cushion. After Broncbuster reserve Deshawn Kelly knocked down a baseline jumper, Colby responded with two free throws by Ty Dalton and a triple from the left wing by Da'Korey Somerville that put Colby (12-4, 8-4) up 10, nine minutes into the contest.
"I don't know what we were doing in stretches tonight," Trenkle said. "I've got some really good guys on this team. But they don't hold each other accountable. That has to change."
Accountability is one thing, hanging onto the ball is another; two areas where Garden City fell short in a middle-of-the-week showdown with huge conference positioning on the line. The Broncbusters finished the night with 16 turnovers.
"Colby is a really good team," Trenkle said. "They have a bunch of really good players that work extremely hard."
After the Trojans increased their lead to 11 with 10:29 left in the half, Garden City (11-5, 7-5) finally awoke. Theo Holloway and Kendale Hampton combined to hit three straight treys to pull the Broncbusters to within two. After Hall stretched the lead back to four with two freebies, Jamir Thomas caught a lob inside and gently kissed the ball off the glass, making it 25-23.
From there, it was all Colby.
On the Trojans' ensuing possession, Hall buried a 28-foot 3-pointer from straight on, Gyamfi found a lane to the rim, and Xavier Smith connected on a long ball to push the advantage back to double digits. Colby led by 11, 41-30 at the half.
"You can't let teams go on 6-0 and 8-0 runs," Trenkle explained. "We did that way too often tonight, and it came back to bite us."
Things started to get away from Garden City early in the second half when the Trojans used a 7-0 spurt to build a 50-38 lead. Minutes later, that cushion swelled to 18 following Smith's floater from the baseline that put Colby up 61-43 with 12:35 to play.
"We've played really poor at home, and apparently that traveled with us tonight," Trenkle said. "This is a very tough gym to play in."
Garden City tried to stay in the game, fueled by Pierre Johnson, whose foul-plagued, turnover filled first half was a distant memory once this game entered crunch time.
The transfer from Seward County scored 23 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, single handedly getting Garden City back to within nine with 8:27 remaining. But Colby had the answer, thanks to Dalton's driving layup and Smith's jumper that gave the Trojans a 69-56 lead at the 5:50 mark.
The Broncbusters cut it to single digits one last time on the heels of Johnson's layup with less than five minutes to go before Colby scored 11 points over the final 4:22, capped by Craig Beaudion's long 3-pointer as the shot clock expired in the final minute that put the game on ice.
"It's only one game, and our guys have to bounce back," Trenkle said. "And they will, but there are some things they have to learn along the way."
The Trojans, who entered play as the worst 3-point shooting team in the conference, hit 8-of-13 from downtown (62 percent). Colby also won the battle on the boards, outrebounding Garden City 39-29 while grabbing 12 offensive rebounds.
Hampton scored 16 points and hit a season-high five 3's for Garden City. Thomas chipped in 10 in 20 minutes.
Dalton, the transfer from Arkon, tallied 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Smith added 16 points and four steals.
Next up: Garden City at Seward County-Saturday, Jan. 13-8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app