By Mike Pilosof
Photos by Adam Shrimplin
Garden City, KS-Most of the time, when a 6-10 team comes into your house, the writing is on the wall. In reality, there's a reason they have a losing record.
Enter Neosho, an up-tempo, quantity-over-quality type team, one that had Charinee Mitchell's team gassed after 40 minutes of basically running suicides. But in the end, Garden City showed that they can adapt on the fly, even if they had to empty the gas tank to do so.
Talia Roberts scored 24 points, Daz'Monique Johnson added 24 and 12 rebounds, and Garden City blew out the Panthers 110-75 Wednesday night at Conestoga Arena. It was the first time since Nov. 7, 2014 that the Broncbusters hit the century mark in game when they routed Lamar 117-87.
"I have to be honest, there were times in this game where we were gassed," Mitchell said with a smile. "I kept telling them that as soon as Neosho grabs a rebound, they're going to get out and run."
Running was an understatement. It was more like a series of 40-yard dashes that took Garden City (9-6, 4-2) some time to adjust.
Neosho (6-11, 3-4) jumped on the Broncbusters early, scoring the first six points. Eventually Mitchell called a timeout to calm her team.
"I told them that they were being too patient," Mitchell said. "I mean they were just standing there while Neosho was off and running."
The Broncbusters eventually got their legs under them, thanks to an 8-0 run that put them up 22-19 with 59 seconds to go in the first. In the second quarter, Roberts split a double team that stretched the lead to nine.
"Eventually we got going," Mitchell said. "We took advantage of their press."
But Neosho made one more push to get back into the game, using a 10-2 spurt, capped by Destiny Stewart's two free throws that tied the game at 41 with 3:29 to play in the half.
"We got up, and then you look up and the game is tied," Mitchell said. "All I know is we did a lot of running tonight."
The Broncbusters then put the clamps down, limiting the Panthers to just three points over the final three minutes while their offense went into hyperdrive. Roberts setup Alyssa Boyce on a beautiful look away before Roberts closed the half with back-to-back buckets, putting Garden City up 10, 54-44.
Neosho stood no chance in the second half.
Over the final 20 minutes, the Broncbusters shot 61 percent (23-of-38) and used runs of 15-2, 9-0 and 8-0 to bury the road squad. When Deborah Ford hit a floater with 48 seconds to go, Garden City had a 38-point lead.
For the game, Garden City shot a season-high 56 percent. They scored 68 points in the paint and tallied a season-best 24 assists on their 45 made field goals.
Kelcey Hinz scored 18 points to pace the Panthers, who lost for the 32nd time in their last 39 road games. Alexis Casher added 13 on 5-of-9 shooting.
Next up: Garden City at Butler-Saturday, Jan. 12-12:45 p.m. pregame; 1 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app