By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Coming off their most impressive road victory of the season, Garden City Coach Charinee Mitchell warned her team of a letdown.
"I hate to hear all the numbers that show Neosho isn't very good because we see something totally different," she said.
Garden City heeded to their coach's advice, and did something they had not done in nearly two years.
Shakendra Tilley posted her second double-double of the season, Jada Washington added 13, and Garden City topped Neosho County 63-53 Saturday afternoon at Conestoga Arena for their fourth straight victory; their longest streak since the 2015-2016 season.
"We competed, and I like that," Mitchell said. "We played with really good energy."
The Broncbusters trailed for all of 2:26. Abigail Green banked home a layup, Kala Jones and Daz'Monqiue Johnson each hit two free throws, and Talia Roberts drilled an outside jumper that put the Broncbusters up 18-8 with 8:30 left in the first half. It was one of two, double-digit leads for Garden City (9-6, 6-5) over the first 20 minutes. They led by seven at the intermission.
"These kids haven't had a day off since they got back," Mitchell said. "They know we have a little streak going, and we wanted to keep it going."
The Panthers made things a little too close for comfort in the third quarter with an 8-0 run that made it a three-point game. But the Broncbusters closed the period by scoring six straight, capped off by Washington's basket that made it 47-38 going into the final stanza.
"This was a really good team win," Washington said. "We attacked really well in this game."
Garden City stretched the lead back to 12 midway through the fourth, thanks to Tilley's three-point play that put the brown and gold up 56-44.
"Shakendra played well, but she missed a lot of close shots," Mitchell said. "So it was a little surprising to see that she got a double-double. But that's what type of kid she is. She is always looking to get better."
The Broncbusters outscored Neosho County (6-9, 3-8) 26-10 in the paint while tallying 17 second-chance points. They also defended at a high level again, holding the Panthers to just 30 percent shooting. It was the fifth straight game that Garden City held their opponent under 40.
"Our defense is starting to come around," Mitchell said. "Now it's onto the next one."
Green added 13 points for the Broncbusters, who improved to 6-1 at home. Johnson scored six and grabbed seven rebounds, and Jones splashed home 10 off the bench.
Beth Hawkins hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points for Neosho County, who lost their 11th straight road game. Don'Tajah Jones totaled 12 points in 24 minutes.
Next up: Garden City at Colby-Wednesday, Jan. 10-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app