By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Garden City is still looking to put a complete 40-minute game together. But they are getting closer, one half at a time.
Daz'Monique Johnson scored a season-high 19 points off the bench, Abigail Green netted a season-best 18, and Garden City dug out of an early seven-point hole to beat Allen County 75-67 Tuesday night at Conestoga Arena.
"This game proved that we can grind games out as long as our effort is there," Head Coach Charinee Mitchell said. "We gave great effort."
Garden City shot 45 percent from the field and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, both season highs en route to their fourth home victory of 2017. They did all of that despite missing eight of their nine 3-point attempts.
"We just need to figure a way to have this carry over to the road," Mitchell said. "We can do it, but we still have a long way to go."
Garden City (4-3, 2-2) had a tough time creating any separation from the Red Devils in the first quarter, as an early four-point lead dissipated thanks to a 6-0 Allen County (3-5, 1-3) run that put the road squad up two after 10 minutes. Another 6-0 spurt had the Broncbusters staring at their largest deficit 27-20 with 4:48 remaining in the first half.
"It's just one quarter at a time right now for us," Mitchell said. "It all starts with getting quality shots."
With the game teetering, Green gave Mitchell's team a shot in the arm, hitting a 3-pointer before drilling back-to-back midrange jumpers to tie the game 27-27 with 2:55 left in the half. Kelcy McHenry added a layup followed by Johnson's put back that capped an 11-0 surge and put the Bromcbusters in front by four.
"She (Green) was a game changer for us in that second quarter," Mitchell said. "And we needed that."
In the second half, Garden City built an eight-point lead late in the third quarter only to see Allen County reel off nine straight points early in the final period to retake the lead 56-54 following Jakira Wilson's two free throws with 6:31 to go.
"Our girls have dealt with adversity all season," Mitchell said. "This game was tough because we haven't had a day off, and I'm sure neither has Allen. But that's how it goes, and you have to fight through that stuff."
The Broncbusters did just that. Johnson's two freebies, and Shakendra Tilley's three-point play gave Garden City the lead for good 59-57 with 4:50 remaining.
"I like how we responded," Mitchell explained.
Garden City was lights out from the field in the fourth, shooting 58 percent (7-of-12). They were also opportunistic on defense, scoring 23 points off of 17 Allen County turnovers. They outrebounded the Red Devils 33-22 and had 10 assists on their 28 field goals.
"Good job by Abigail Green stepping up for us tonight," Mitchell said. "This showed these girls that we do have the fight to play 40 minutes regardless of the circumstances."
Tilley added 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting for Garden City who improved to 4-0 at Conestoga Arena. McHenry scored eight, Washington tallied five and Jessica Carillo scored, six, pulled down seven rebounds, dished out four assists and had two steals.
Wilson paced Allen County with 17 points in 28 minutes off the bench. Tamera Shaver had 15 and Kamri Summons 12.
Next up: Garden City at Independence, Saturday Nov. 25-3:45 p.m. pregame; 4 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app