By Mike Pilosof
Pratt, KS-Garden City Coach Charinee Mitchell wanted her team to be angry going into Wednesday night's game with Pratt. After all, the Broncbusters were coming off their most heartbreaking loss of the year.
"We need to just take care of business and be mad about it," she said before the tip.
And the with the exception of a two-minute stretch in the first quarter, Garden City endured a drama-free game, something that was definitely need after losing on a buzzer beater to Cloud County.
Abigail Green hit four more 3's and finished with 20 points, Jessica Carillo recorded her first double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Garden City ran Pratt off the floor, 71-39 at the Beaver Dome.
"We did what we had to do," Mitchell said afterwards. "And coming off a game like Saturday, this is exactly what we needed."
The loss dropped Pratt to a conference-worst 3-22. It was their eighth defeat in their last nine games.
"We had to focus on us," Mitchell said. "That was our approaching coming in."
After Kelcy McHenry jumpstarted Garden City's (16-10, 13-9) attack by scoring seven of their first nine points to help build a 9-2 lead, the Broncbusters endured their only anxiety of the night. Adrianna Wesley hit a triple followed by back-to-back 3's by Tanesha Lewis, and the Beavers had an 11-9 advantage with 3:15 to play in the first period.
"It wasn't great because we were behind early," Mitchell said. "But we found our groove again and took it from there."
More specifically, Carillo found her groove.
The sophomore post converted a three-point play to close the first, then scored eight straight points to begin the second, fueling a 14-0 surge that put Garden City up 23-11 with 7:58 to go in the half.
"Anytime you have other players step up their game, it's always big," Mitchell said. "Tonight, Jesse was very good."
Carillo scored 13 of her 17 points in the first 20 minutes of action. Her and-1 hook with 6:47 to play until the break bumped the Garden City lead to 27-14. In all, the Broncbusters finished the half on a 36-8 tear, scoring 11 of the final 14 points in the second quarter for a 45-19 halftime advantage.
"Besides that first quarter, we didn't mess around," Mitchell said. "And that's exactly how I wanted this team to come out."
Garden City led by 33 once DJ Graves hit a 3-pointer with 1:00 left in the third, and the Broncbusters polished off their fifth win in their last six games.
"We have a tough matchup on Saturday," Mitchell said. "That's where our focus is now. We beat Coffeyville at their place, so we know they are going to come out hungry."
McHenry scored 15 points for Garden City on 7-of-11 shooting, while Kala Jones grabbed six rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.
Lewis paced the Beavers with 12 points and tied a season-high with three triples.
Next up: Garden City vs. Coffeyville-Saturday, Feb. 17-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app