By Mike Pilosof
Goodland, KS-Oh how Patrick Nee would like to have this one back.
A few days after their statement win over No. 9 Hutchinson, the Broncbusters appeared to have their second straight victory within their grasp. But a disastrous final four minutes put an end to their chances.
Miles Gibson scored 22 points, Henry Hampton added 17, and Northwest Kansas Tech bullied their way past Garden City 72-64 Saturday at Max Jones Field House.
"We left a lot of points out there," assistant coach Todd Shelton said. "We missed like 10 layups and were still up three. We have to finish."
Leading 57-54 with four minutes remaining, Garden City picked the worst time to go cold. Meantime, Hampton hit a trey on the other end to tie it, before Gibson gave the Mavericks the lead for good. By the time the Broncbusters' staff looked up, Northwest Tech had scored 16 straight points to take a 13-point lead.
"Give them credit," Shelton said. "They went 21-of-24 from the free throw line in the second half. You give that team easy buckets and free throws, it's a recipe for disaster."
The late collapse overshadowed a fantastic start, one in which Garden City built a nine-point advantage once Tony Hopkins split a pair of free throws with one minute left in the first half. They were up seven at the intermission.
"We let them get way too comfortable by not stretching that lead when we had the chance," Shelton said.
Chris Freeman scored 12 points for the Mavericks, who snapped an eight-game losing streak. They won the game despite shooting just 35 percent.
Next up: Garden City vs. Pratt-Wednesday, Jan. 23-8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR Mobile app