GARDEN CITY — After building an early 12-2 lead at the end of one quarter Friday night, the Hays High School girls' basketball team apparently thought they had the game won.
In the second stanza, Garden City outscored the Indians 15-13 to trim the deficit to 25-17 by intermission.
HHS coach Kirk Maska had seen enough, and at the halftime locker room talk, the girls heard what their coach had to say.
“I told them they were standing around waiting for something to happen,” Maska said after watching his team go on a 23-2 run in what proved to be a decisive third quarter en route to a 54-30 thrashing of the Buffaloes. “I’m pleased with the way we came out in the third quarter and played great defense.”
Indeed, the Indians forced the mistake-plagued Buffs into 11 miscues, accounting for 15 transition points.
“The girls played a great third quarter, and I’m pleased with that,” Maska said. “We played better team ball, and we weren’t standing around like we did in the second quarter.”
Balance has been the trademark of the Indians this season, and Friday night was no exception.
Junior Savannah Schneider topped the offensive chart with 12 points while junior Mattie Hutchinson and sophomore Tasiah Nunnery followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively. In all, nine different players scored.
“The scariest part about them is that you don’t know where the scoring is going to come from,” said Garden City coach Matt Pfeifer. “They do a good job of finding the open player and pass the ball extremely well.”
Garden City finished the night with 23 turnovers, while the Indians were guilty of 18 miscues.
Hays was 19-of-44 shooting for a respectable 43 percent. Garden City, meanwhile, was about as cold as the outdoor temperature, finishing only 10 of 40 for 25 percent. The Buffs did win the rebounding battle, 36-28. Keyhana Turner had six boards for the Buffaloes, while Isabel Robben’s five was high for the Indians.
The Indians will be idle for another 10 days as they will next host Salina Central on Jan. 23 before heading to the McPherson Invitational on Jan. 25 to 27.