By Mike Pilosof
Photos by Adam Shrimplin
Garden City, KS-While the Broncbusters search for their 3-point stroke in the early part of the season, their inside game has been as efficient as ever.
Monday night at home was no different. Jamir Thomas had 16 points, including two, rim-rocking dunks, Taylynn Spencer added 12 and seven rebounds, and Garden City shot 55 percent from the floor in a 99-51 rout of On Point Academy at Conestoga Arena.
"Our offense is going to be there, but I wanted to see how our defense would respond," Head Coach Patrick Nee said. "I think our zone is getting better and better. To hold somebody to 51 points in an up-tempo game is pretty impressive."
On Point led for all of 60 seconds in the game. That's when the Broncbusters exploded. Jaleel Simmons hit a layup, Jamir Thomas knocked down a midrange jumper, and Garden City (2-0) never looked back, scoring 18 straight points to take a 24-7 advantage with 12:06 to play in the first half. They pushed that to 21 later in the period when Simmons soared for a monster slam to make it 36-15. Russhard Cruickshank buried a 3-pointer moments later, and the Broncbusters had a 47-28 lead at the half.
"We still have things to correct here and there, but I was pleased overall," Nee said. "We had more than 10 dunks, and we had some guys leaking out."
Garden City did not take their foot off the accelerator to begin the second half. Nee's squad opened on an 18-4 run, punctuated by Claiborne Kyles 3-pointer from the top of the key that opened up a 65-32 advantage. Eventually that lead swelled to as high as 50 after Schneider Casseus's layup with 2:24 to go.
"That was high-octane basketball, and it was fun to watch," Nee admitted. "It felt good to get some guys in there that didn't play the other night. Claiborne and Casseus got a chance to play, so that was great."
Thomas pulled down seven rebounds, blocked two shots and added three assists for Garden City. Simmons had 12 as did Cruickshank. Jakobi Pearson poured in a game-high 18 points off the bench, going 5-of-6 from the field and 2-of-3 from deep.
Eli Durham was the only player in double figures for On Point, tallying 18 points on 6-of-17 from the field. They shot just 29 percent and were 5-of-21 from 3.
Notes: Garden City outscored On Point 66-22 in the paint and outrebounded them 37-34
Next up: Garden City vs. Sterling-Wednesday, Nov. 7-7:15 p.m. pregame; 7:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app