Robinson's 24 pushes Garden City past McCook on opening night
Garden City, KS-After a stellar prep career at prestigious Houston Christian, Brody Robinson reclassified before signing with Tennessee Chattanooga in 2022. After playing in 33 games as a true freshman, the Texas native rerouted his plans to Garden City.
Second-year Head Coach, Rusty Elmore is sure thankful that he did.
The sophomore finished with 24 points, eight assists, and six rebounds, Saint Peter's transfer, Thomas Tut posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards, and 16th-ranked Garden City held off McCook, 79-73 on Wednesday night at Conestoga Arena.
"We practice so hard every single day," Robinson said after the game. "We've been through a lot up until this point, and I know I can count on my brother next to me to get the job done."
While Robinson was the main attraction on opening night, he had plenty of help; mainly from Tut, whose steal and rim-rattling two-handed jam with 4:17 to go, gave Garden City a 67-63 lead.
"I know I can count on other guys to make the right play," Robinson explained.
For game one of the season, this was as high-level as it gets. There were 14 lead changes and five ties, with neither team able to break away.
The Broncbusters used a 9-1 run capped by a Robinson 3-pointer and two free throws to build a 35-28 advantage with 2:45 left in the first half. Moments later, Tut grabbed Seydou Tamboura's missed triple and slammed it home for a 37-30 cushion. But the Indians closed with a strong surge, scoring the final six points including a controversial Zeki Calvi 3-pointer at the buzzer that trimmed Garden City's lead to one, 37-36 at the break. However, video replay would later show that the shot should never have counted.
"We have to finish halves stronger than that", Elmore said.
Garden City came out sluggish to begin the second period. Louie Tucker's transition layup off a Robinson turnover gave McCook a one-point edge. Ty Foster added two free throws; then found Noah Boyed for a two-handed dunk, giving the Indians their largest lead of the night, 43-38 with 17:50 to play.
"At times, we lost our composure a bit," Elmore said. "But we answered every one of their runs."
Robinson though quickly answered with a 3 on the other end, Cooper Autry buried one from long distance, and Garden City regained the lead, 46-45. Tut added a driving layup, and Robinson roped a pretty pass to Tamboura, who finished at the rim with authority, and the Broncbusters were up by five.
"We did some really nice things tonight, but I felt like we left some opportunities out there," Elmore added.
After McCook battled back to take a 63-62 lead with 5:16 remaining, Robinson responded with a 25-foot bomb from the left sideline to give Garden City the lead for good. The sophomore drained two free throws, and Jones hit a clutch jumper from the slot to make it 75-69 with 90 seconds to play.
"I like how we finished this game, but we have to be better from the line," Elmore said.
The Broncbusters were just 11-of-21 from the stripe, but they made up for it with 10 3-pointers while shooting 45 percent from the field.
Boyed, who holds offers from a slew of Power-5 schools including Nebraska, had 18 points and eight boards for McCook. Calvi tallied 15 in 28 minutes off the bench.