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Garden City drops conference opener

Garden City drops conference opener

By Mike Pilosof

El Dorado, KS-Despite poor shooting in their first two contests, the Broncbusters still rolled through Trinidad State and Lamar. But back-to-back games shooting 30 percent or worse finally caught up to Charinee Mitchell's team on Saturday night.

Garden City missed on 45 of their 65 shots and were just 6-of-27 from downtown as Butler handed the Broncbusters their second straight loss 77-53 at the Power Plant.

"We're still trying to figure it out," Mitchell said. "It's very apparent that my kids are still learning."

The Broncbusters were doomed by another slow start, going the first four minutes without scoring a single point while Butler built an early 10-2 lead. After Jessica Carillo, who made her first start of the season, stemmed the tide with a layup to trim the Grizzlies lead to six, Butler responded with a 23-5 run to take full command 33-9.

"As a staff, we are still trying to figure out who our five is," Mitchell said. "We need someone to get us rolling, and get us started."

Garden City was just 6-of-27 (22 percent) from the field in the first half and turned the ball over 13 times. But there were some bright spots, including returner Monica Barefield, who made her season debut from offseason knee surgery to score 17 points off of the bench. She hit a team-high four 3's.

"I mean look at her," Mitchell said. "That was pretty impressive. She's been out for about two months, so we have to get her up to speed. But once we do, she will be great for us."

While Garden City (2-2, 0-1) struggled to find any rhythm, the Grizzlies couldn't miss, shooting a season-best 51 percent from the field and hoisting up a season-high 44 free throws.

"We have to find the group that will get us some consistency," Mitchell said.

Butler (4-0, 1-0) led wire-to-wire, building their cushion to as many as 26 points following Awreona Ransom's layup with 4:11 remaining in the fourth.

Former Wichita South star Ericka Mattingly paced the Grizzlies with 15 points and was 7-of-10 from the line. Deztinee Gooden chipped in 13 and Kyla Callins tallied a game-high 10 rebounds.

Barefield was the lone Broncbuster in double figures, playing 24 minutes and going 6-of-18 from the floor. Carrillo totaled five points and six rebounds in her first start, and Shakendra Tilley scored eight.

Next up: Garden City vs. Barton County-Wednesday, Nov. 15-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; and KWKR mobile app