By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Independence, KS-Garden City did their best to weather several storms on Wednesday night. But in the end, a 25-point third quarter eventually put an end to the Broncbusters season.
Kierra Crockett and Mychaell Gray each scored 14 points, the Pirates dished out 16 assists, and Independence advanced to the Region VI quarterfinals with a 64-56 victory over Garden City at ICC Field House. They will play Hutchinson at 5 p.m. Saturday at Hartman Arena.
"I'm really proud of how our team played tonight," Broncbusters Coach Charinee Mitchell said. "It was fun to coach them in this game."
Garden City trailed by three after one and were down 28-27 at the break. But the third quarter is where the game completely flipped.
After the Broncbusters grabbed a one-point lead, Independence ripped off an 11-2 run, capped by Crockett's layup that put the Pirates up 39-31 with 5:37 to play in the period. That was the prelude to an even bigger avalanche, where Independence scored the final seven points of the third while holding Garden City scoreless the final 2:52. In all, the Pirates outscored the Broncbusters 25-15 in the frame and led 53-42 going into the fourth.
"We just turned the ball over way too much again," Mitchell said. "We did this to ourselves tonight. We'd make great stops on defense and then come down on the other end and travel, or come down and set a moving screen. We took the game from ourselves."
Garden City did not go quietly. Daz'Monique Johnson made a pair of layups, and Talia Roberts drilled a 3-pointer to finish off a 9-0 blitz that had the Broncbusters within two, 53-51 with 5:45 remaining. But Garden City could never grab the equalizer and were held to just five points the rest of the way.
Roberts finished her Broncbuster career with 14 points in 37 minutes, but was just 5-of-17 from the floor. Johnson recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Victoria Mikkelsen chipped in 12 points for the Pirates. Brittany Reeves scored 10 and ripped down 13 rebounds in 25 minutes.
Garden City finished the season at 14-17.