By Mike Pilosof
Coffeyville, KS-It was one quarter of dominant basketball; one that Garden City desperately needed.
Talia Roberts bounced back from her 1-of-13 showing on Saturday at Cowley to finish with 18 points, her team scored 26 points in the first quarter, and Garden City beat Coffeyville 58-47 Wednesday night at Nellis Hall. It was Broncbusters second straight victory in the Red Ravens' gym.
"We just have to keep building," Garden City Coach Charinee Mitchell said afterwards. "I told the team that they needed to go into the new year as winners. It wasn't pretty, but they did it."
The first period sure was. Garden City scored 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting and was 3-of-5 from deep. The quarter included a 16-0 run where the Broncbusters held Coffeyville (1-12) scoreless for nearly five minutes. They then finished the frame by scoring the final eight, including back-to-back triples from Jaleah Bellany and Talia Roberts that put Garden City up 26-7.
"We did a lot of really good things in that first quarter," Mitchell said. "After that, not so much."
The second quarter was a polar opposite. As hot as the Broncbusters were over the first 10 minutes was just how cold they were over the final 10 of the half. After building their largest lead on Sarah Alsabbaheen's 3-pointer from the corner that gave Garden City a 34-12 cushion, the road team went totally silent. A near six-minute scoring drought ensued while Coffeyville rattled off nine straight points to trim the lead to 13. Alsabbaheen finally ended the dry spell with a layup with two seconds remaining, giving Garden City a 36-21 lead at the intermission.
"We definitely got out to a good start," Mitchell said. "But it's just a thing where I guess we're going to have to build it piece by piece."
The Broncbusters shooting struggles continued in the third quarter where Coffeyville made it a single-digit contest once Regina Brown hit 1-of-2 free throws to bring the Red Ravens to within nine, 45-36. But in the fourth, one particular sequence put a stamp on this game.
Boyce grabbed two offensive rebounds for the Broncbusters before zipping a pass to the right wing for Roberts, who maneuvered left for a smooth 15-foot pullup that gave Garden City a 13-point edge with 2:21 on the clock. Moments later, Felicity Houston buried two free throws, and Garden City was up 15.
"I think, because the first quarter went so well, we got shell shocked," Mitchell said. "When we weren't making shots, we started forcing stuff."
After starting the game 9-of-15, Garden City finished just 11-of-43 (26 percent). Boyce scored 12 points and dished out three assists, and Daz'Monique Johnson pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Lasheicka Joseph, Coffeyville's 6-6 post, finished with 12 points and nine boards in 22 minutes.
Notes: Garden City turned it over a season-high 28 times…Coffeyville's bench outscored Garden City's 29-13
Next up: Garden City vs. Independence-Saturday, Jan. 5-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app