By Mike Pilosof
Listen to the complete game in our archives section
Garden City, KS-Josh Fleming was pretty antsy sitting at home Tuesday night. Brady Trenkle's star guard was serving the second, of his two-game suspension after being tossed vs. Barton County.
Fleming was finally back on Saturday, and took all his frustrations out on Independence.
The sophomore scored 20 points on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting, Ben Howze finished with 18 and nine rebounds, and Garden City stormed past the Pirates 95-63 at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
"Our guys missed Josh," Trenkle said. "It was good to have him back."
Fleming came off the bench for the first time this season and did not disappoint; promptly scoring eight straight points to give Garden City a 33-21 lead with six minutes to go in the first half.
"We were complete tonight," Trenkle added. "I didn't think we would win by this much."
Whether his team surprised him or not, the Broncbusters offensive assault was something to watch.
Garden City (8-1, 4-1) shot 53 percent in the first half and hit 8 out of their first 11 shots to begin the second. They finished the night 32-of-60 (53 percent).
"We shot the ball well," Trenkle said. "It's funny because before the game I was talking to Coach (Tony) Turner and he said he couldn't figure out our offense. I told him that we are very free on that end as long as my guys play defense."
That defense held Independence (4-4, 1-4) to just 34 percent on 24-of-70 and forced 18 turnovers.
"We did tonight what we were able to do against Allen on Tuesday," Trenkle explained. "We got them out of what they wanted to do."
The two teams went back and forth early on before Aaron Ray ignited a 10-0 run by hitting pullup jumper; converting a three-point play and drilling a 3-pointer to make it 19-9 Garden City with 11:58 to go in the half. That surge prompted Turner to call a timeout.
The Broncbuster lead swelled to 14 at the break 46-32.
"We were consistent all night on both ends," Trenkle said.
The Pirates gave Garden City a little scare in the second half, scoring the first 10 points of the frame to pull to within four 46-42 with 17:45 to go. But Naradain James finally ended the run with a jumper nearly three minutes into the period, and the Broncbusters never looked back.
Garden City put the game away with a 14-0 run midway through the second half, and Howze was the main catalyst. The sophomore splashed home seven straight points before Victor Dukes split a pair at the line, giving the Broncbusters a commanding 80-53 edge with 6:08 remaining.
"It's one game so I'm not sure what it means," Trenkle said. "My guys still aren't satisfied."
Garden City again dominated on the glass, outrebounding Independence 49-32. It was the eighth time this season that the Broncbusters won the rebounding battle.
Ray scored 17 points for Garden City, who has won all eight games this season by double digits. James added 17 points and nine boards.
Tate Turner paced the Pirates with 16 points but sat a good portion of the first half after picking up his second foul. Jaelin Grant poured in 15 including a stretch of eight in a row that cut the Broncbuster lead to single digits late in the first half.
Notes: This was the seventh time this season that Garden City has held their opponent under 40 percent from the field
Next up: Garden City vs. Dodge City-Wednesday, Nov. 30-8 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and mobile app: KWKR