Jones' big night leads Garden City past Seward
Garden City, KS-Welcome back Braxton Jones.
The sophomore, who missed the final game of the first semester with a foot injury, returned to score a season-high 33 points, Brody Robinson had 17 points and 13 assists, and Garden City steamrolled Seward County, 102-83 Wednesday night at Conestoga Arena.
Thomas Tut added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Charles Chukwu had 16 points and eight boards for the Broncbusters, which won their third straight game to improve to 9-5 overall and 5-3 in conference play.
"We really worked on moving the ball this week," Robinson said afterwards. "Our goal was for everybody to touch the ball."
And it definitely showed. Garden City produced 24 assists on 34 made baskets, they shot 47 percent from the field and nailed 12 3-pointers, their second most in a game this season and eighth time they've made 10 or more.
"Right now, we are trying to play a little bit faster," Head Coach, Rusty Elmore said. "Our offense was really good tonight."
Instead of devouring Christmas turkeys and sipping on eggnog, Elmore spent the duration of the holiday break in the lab, redesigning an offense that sputtered for the majority of the first semester. What he came up with was an age-old scheme inspired by former Loyola Marymount Head Coach, Paul Westhead, the father of the "Run and Gun" offense.
"We need to go in six seconds or less," Elmore explained.
Wednesday night provided the perfect platform for the pilot program.
Following Ryle Riddlespurger's missed 3-pointer, Robinson, who finished just three rebounds shy of a triple double, raced up the floor before dropping off a no-look dime to Tut for a layup to make it 26-21 with 9:46 to go. The sequence took all of five seconds.
Jones followed with a transition layup, and Jordan Frazier turned an Amir Whitlock missed jumper into a lightning quick deuce on the other end. Moments later, Isiah Dixon grabbed Jones' missed 18-footer and stuffed it home with two hands to give Garden City a 38-31 advantage.
"If we are consistent with what we are running on offense, we will be fine," Elmore said. "We've got the guys to do it, but they have to be consistent."
Once Seward County trimmed the lead to four late in the period, Tut buried a corner 3 at the buzzer, capping off a first half in which the Broncbusters shot 50 percent from the field and 6-of-13 from downtown to lead 53-46 at the intermission.
It was all Garden City from there.
Elijah Roberts, who spent last season on the bowling team at Dallas Baptist, buried a 3-pointer from the wing, Charles Chukwu threw down a vicious dunk off a laser pass from Robinson, and Jones completed a three-point play to put the Broncbusters up 13. They pushed it to 18 after another Jones' triple that made it 79-61 with 10:24 on the clock.
"Defensively, we have to get better," Elmore added. "They were hitting shots all over the place tonight."
Roberts scored 11 points in 16 minutes off the bench in his season debut for Garden City.
Whitlock scored 19 on 7-of-11 shooting for the Saints, which lost its fifth straight game to drop to 3-10 overall and 1-6 in conference. All five losses during this recent stretch have been by double digits.