GARDEN CITY—The Garden City High School girls’ final home game of the season was played in their old home.
Due to the Class 6A regional wrestling tournament held at the new high school, Garden City held senior night in their old stomping grounds, the first varsity game played there since the 2011-12 season.
But that didn’t help the cause as the home team fell to visiting Hays 46-35, despite multiple Indian miscues.
Hays committed 19 miscues to the Garden City’s 8, but it was a 34-20 win on the boards that helped the Indians come back and get the season sweep.
The Buffaloes jumped out to a 9-4 lead with 3 minutes to play in the opening period, but Hays tied the game after Brooke Denning drained a trey and a jumper on consecutive possessions.
Garden City, leading 14-11 at the first break, scored on its first possession of the second period — but the Buffs wouldn’t score again til Julie Calzonetti’s field goal at the 2:04 mark, her team’s final points of the half.
Meanwhile, the Indians scored on three straight possessions after that, including five points by Savannah Schneider to give Hays a 22-18 lead by intermission.
In the third quarter, despite seven turnovers, Hays built a 31-24 lead over the Buffaloes, holding Garden City to just 2-of-15 from the floor (0-of-7 from beyond the arc).
Hays continued to build on that lead, taking it to 37-27 at 5:51 in the fourth, with the Buffaloes managing just three free throws.
Denning led the Indians with 16 points, the only Hays player in double figures. She also hit the only two treys on the night.
Garden City (10-7, 2-3) will conclude regular season play Tuesday at Liberal.
Hays (11-6, 4-2) will be at Dodge City Tuesday and host Abilene on Friday to end the regular season.
The Indians were 16-of-40 from the field and 12-of-14 from the line.
Garden City, meanwhile, was just 14-of-47 from the floor (1-of-20 from beyond the arc).
Calzonetti led the Buffs with 12 points and seven rebounds.
For Garden City coach Matt Pfeifer, it was just one of those nights.
“We talked about the rebounding at halftime. I think the second half got a little bit better. We played harder,” he said. “We just couldn’t make shots.”
His team got a lot of good shots; they just couldn’t get them to fall.
“I don’t think it’s that we got bad shots,” Pfeiffer said. “I mean, we missed layups, we missed mid-range, we missed from three. Sometimes it happens. We talked about it near the end of the game and told them you can’t let it become like that the next night.”
That next night comes at Liberal on Tuesday, with the Buffs facing the second-ranked team in Class 6A.
For Hays coach Alex Hutchins, it was a pretty good game for his girls, despite his teams’ 19 turnovers.
“Typically we try to fly around a lot and created a lot of turnovers,” he said. “Lately we’ve been trying to lock down in the half court a little bit more, but I thought our second half was one of our better halves as far as driving and sharing the ball.”
His team did a good job of penetrating Garden City’s defense, and different girls stepped up to find open teammates.
“And we did a better job on the boards the second half, too,” Hutchins said. “It was nice to see the girls lock in and do what it takes.”
The Buffs had the upper hand in the first quarter, but Hutchins was pleased with his team’s ability to recover. It also helped that his opponents had trouble finding the net.
“We gave them quite a few open looks from the outside and they didn’t hit any of them,” Hutchins said. “If you look back at the first game (a 41-38 win on Feb. 2), it was kind of the same story. We were plodding along, got up to an 8- or 9-point lead, and they hit two or three outside shots and the game changed.”
Hays 46, Garden City 35
Hays (12-6, 5-2)—Dale 2 2-2 6, Leiker 2 0-0 4, Nunnery 1 2-2 4, Robbins 1 2-2 4, Schneider 3 3-4 9, Hutchinson 0 2-2 2, Denning 6 2-2 16, McCrae 1 1-2 3. Totals 16-40 12-14 46.
Garden City (11-8, 3-4)—Beasley 1 0-0 2, Calzonetti 4 4-6 12, Salazar 4 0-0 8, Tabor 1 0-0 3, Rodriguez 1 0-0 2, Turner 3 1-4 7. Totals 14-47 6-10 35.
3-pt. goals: Hays 2-13 (Denning 2), Garden City 1-20 (Tabor). Rebounds: Hays 34 (Leiker 6, Schneider 6), Garden City 20 (Calzonetti 6). Fouls: Hays 9, Garden City17. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none. Turnovers: Hays 19, Garden City 8.