By Mike Pilosof
Coffeyville, KS-Heading into their showdown with Coffeyville, Garden City Coach Nick Salazar believed the two teams were very evenly matched. And while that appeared true on paper, the game never played out that way.
Instead, the fourth-year head coach was left wondering what could have been.
Desiree Nelson hit five treys and finished with 17 points, Lucy Burke drilled three 3-pointers, and Coffeyville rolled to a 79-56 victory Wednesday night at Red Ravens Field House.
"It's all about toughness," Salazar said. "We have to have mental toughness; especially when we play on the road."
Neither team looked sharp at the start, but it was Garden City (6-8, 4-6) who scored the first four points of the game. However, their lead was short lived. Antionette Daniels hit a pair of free throws and Burke connected from long distance giving the Red Ravens a lead they would never relinquish.
"I felt like we matched them pretty well," Salazar said.
Coffeyville surged in front with a 13-0 run and never looked back. And when the first-quarter buzzer sounded, the Broncbusters were staring at a 16-point deficit.
"We have stretches where we look really good," Salazar explained. "But then we have the times where we don't look so good."
The second quarter was definitely the good side of Garden City. The Broncbusters outscored the Red Ravens 24-15, fueled by an 11-3 run to close the half as the brown and gold pulled to within seven at the break.
But that brief glimpse of greatness disappeared after halftime, and an 11-0 Coffeyville spurt, sparked by Nelson's three triples in the third quarter, put the game out of reach.
"We have to get this thing figured out," Salazar said.
Garden City shot 34 percent from the floor. It was the ninth time this season that they shot under 40.
"Our shots aren't falling right now," Salazar said. "It's not like we are taking bad shots. We are getting the shots that we want. We just have to knock them down. "
Akula led the Broncbusters with 12 points on 4-of-9 from downtown. Jessica Carrillo added nine points and 11 boards and Angel Muir played one of her most complete games with nine points and nine rebounds. But Monica Barefield missed 16 of her 19 shots and DeRae Lewis was on the bench for most of the game in foul trouble. She tallied six.
Alaine Fisher scored 15 for Coffeyville, who won their third straight game. The Red Ravens also nailed 10 3-pointers; it was their fifth straight game hitting 10 or more.
Next up: Garden City at Neosho County-Saturday, January 7-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and mobile app: KWKR