By Mike Pilosof
Photos by Adam Shrimplin
Garden City, KS-Charinee Mitchell said the most disappointing aspect about her team's last two losses was the hustle game.
"I felt like we got outworked," she said before Wednesday night's game. "And that doesn't sit well with me."
While they dealt with some in-game adversity in this one, the Broncbusters steadied the ship, eventually pulling away from Colby.
Talia Roberts scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, Deborah Ford added a season-high 12, and Garden City put away the Trojans 72-59 at Conestoga Arena. The win snapped a two-game losing streak.
"Overall, I'm pleased we got the win," Mitchell said. "At this point in the season, you take them anyway you can get them."
On Saturday, the Broncbusters built a 10-point first-half lead and lost the game. A few days later, Garden City was off and running again early, closing the opening period on an 18-3 run to take a 22-11 advantage. In the second, Garden City appeared to put their foot on the Trojans' throat when Ford hit a spinning layup, Felicity Houston knocked down two free throws, and Taneigh Boyd connected on a hook giving the home team a 38-22 lead going into the locker room. Garden City held Colby scoreless the final 2:40 of the first half.
"That third quarter, we just took our foot off," Mitchell said. "We got way too sloppy with the ball."
After stretching their cushion to 19 on Jaleah Bellany's 3 from the top of the key early in the second half, the Trojans went on the attack. Sia Williams answered with a 3, Jordan Dixon finished a three-point play, and Imari Grayson knocked down a midrange jumper, fueling a 12-0 blitz that was all part of a 17-2 run that had Colby within four, 43-39 with 3:17 to play in the third.
"We have to figure out a way to come out stronger in the second half," Mitchell said. "We didn't play well at all in that third quarter."
Give Mitchell's club a lot of credit. When Dodge City stormed back to erase that double-digit lead on Saturday, the Broncbusters lost their composure. On Wednesday, Garden City matched Colby's run with one of their own, pushing their lead back to seven at the end of the third. In the final period, Daz'Monique Johnson made it a 10-point game with a layup on the block before Roberts nailed a 3 and hit a midrange jumper to pad their advantage back to 16 with 1:48 remaining.
"We figured out how to get back on the gas in the third quarter," Mitchell said. "That's all that matters."
Roberts finished 7-of-18 from the field in 39 minutes for Garden City, who won for the 17th time in their last 20 meetings vs. Colby. Alyssa Boyce chipped in 16 points, five assists and five steals.
Williams paced the Trojans with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Nyrobi Pillers tallied a season-high 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Next up: Garden City at Barton County-Saturday, Feb. 2-5:15 p.m. pregame; 5:30 p.m. tip on AM 1030; westernkansasnwes.com/kbuf and KBUF mobile app