Cathey, Busters club Conqs in key road win
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
DODGE CITY — On Sunday, Garden City Community College head men's basketball coach Brady Trenkle was in church praying that his star post player Jade Cathey was not seriously injured during Saturday night's loss at Cloud County, when he suffered a possible broken wrist.
Three days later at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City on Wednesday night, the sophomore led the Broncbusters to a 76-63 win over the Conquistadors, scoring a game-high 19 points.
Trenkle described Cathey's effort in one word — "resiliency."
The 6-foot-5 forward was 8-of-12 shooting, while falling one rebound short of a double-double with nine as the Busters increased their overall record to 17-5 and got back to even in the Jayhawk Conference West at 3-3.
It was a big win for Trenkle for another reason. It was his first trip back to Dodge City after spending four years at the helm of the Conqs before coming to Garden City a year ago as an assistant coach.
But Trenkle downplayed that aspect of the win.
"This is a game we needed to win because we needed a road win in the league," the first-year head coach said. "I'm happy where I'm at. I'm so happy to be in Garden City."
The Busters led wire-to-wire, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. They extended that lead to 23-11, the largest of the first half, at the seven-minute mark. But the Conqs kept in it with some timely 3-pointers and small runs to stall any of the Busters' attempts to stretch the lead further.
At half, the Busters led 31-22.
For the first part of the second half, it was more of the same. The Busters extended their lead to 14 and 16 points, and the Conqs would go on a mini-run to get it back down to 10. That's when Cathey was at his best, though, as he scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half, including seven in the final 10 minutes.
Cathey scored on two straight driving lay ups right before the 10-minute mark in the second half to push the lead to 58-43, and then did the same four minutes later after the Conqs had cut the lead to 10 at the six-minute mark.
Trenkle said it was not just Cathey's ability to get to the rim that made the difference, but the way the entire team dominated the paint against the Conqs.
"We tried to go at their weaknesses, and their weakness is depth in the post probably," Trenkle said.
Sophomore forward Jeremy Wilson took advantage of that weakness, as well, scoring 15 points on 5 of 9 from the field. The Busters' center position combined for 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a surprising eight points from Miles Banks, who came into the game only averaging 3.6 points.
"He's a raw player," Trenkle said of the 6-9 freshman. "But he's getting better every day, and we work every day and he gets in the gym and works hard at it and he's proving himself to be something pretty special next year."
Banks was a perfect 4-for-4 shooting, while his counterpart Talan Whitaker had six points on 2 of 5.
"I think these guys just showed me what they're made of," Trenkle said of his entire squad. "They kept their emotions in check, which hurt us a little bit at Cloud."
Trenkle said he tried to set an example early on in the game as he was noticeably less animated with both the refs and his team. He explained later that he thought he let his emotions get the best of him at Cloud (Saturday overtime loss), and that rubbed off on his team.
"At Cloud, I started talking to an official way early in the game and my team feeds off me," he said. "And if I get negative, they're going to get negative and I recognize that. Tonight, I wasn't going to let it get the best of me."
Instead, the Busters got the best of the Conqs in a pivotal KJCCC rivalry contest.
"I mean it felt good," Trenkle said. "I wanted the guys to just come out and play as hard as they could."
The Busters return home on Saturday after the short two-game road trip to Cloud and Dodge to take on Barton County at 7:30 p.m. at Perryman Athletic Complex.
Garden City (17-5, 3-3)--King 3-5 0-0 8, Variste 1-5 0-2 2, Wilson 5-9 4-5 15, Johnson 3-5 0-0 8, Whitaker 2-5 2-3 6, Bell 0-4 1-2 1, Oyugi 2-3 3-3 7, Taylor 1-3 0-0 2, Cathey 8-12 3-5 19, Banks 4-4 0-0 8. Totals 29-55 13-20 76.
Dodge City (13-8, 2-4)--Jackson 2-7 5-8 9, Eaves 2-10 4-4 8, O'Neil 0-5 2-2 2, Beckett 4-8 2-3 10, Haist 0-2 0-0 0, Brock 4-12 1-2 12, Duley 1-3 0-0 3, Clark 3-5 0-0 7, Carpenter 3-6 6-7 12. Totals 19-58 20-26 63.
Halftime--Garden City 31-22. 3-points goals--GCCC 5-13 (Bell 0-1, King 2-4, Wilson 1-2, Johnson 2-4, Taylor 0-1, Cathey 0-1), DCCC 5-20 (Brock 3-9, Jackson 0-1, Eaves 0-2, O'Neil 0-3, Duley 1-2, Clark 1-3). Rebounds--GCCC 37 (Cathey 9), DCCC 35 (Clark 7). Assists--GCCC 12 (Wilson 4), DCCC 9 (O'Neil 4). Technical fouls--none. Fouled out--none. Total fouls--GCCC 22, DCCC 20.