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Garden City surges past HHS girls

By BRETT MARSHALL

Special to The Daily News

GARDEN CITY -- Even when the Hays High School girls' basketball team had pulled within four points late in the first quarter of Friday's Western Athletic Conference game against Garden City, HHS coach Kirk Maska knew it would likely be a long night for his squad that was searching for its first win of the 2013-14 season.

And the Indians' head coach was certainly prophetic in his assessment as the Buffs used a late second-quarter blitz and a dominant second half to produce a 69-27 victory and send the Indians home 0-9 for the season and 0-3 in the WAC.

"We spotted them an 8-0 lead and we're just not good enough to fight our way back against a team as talented as Garden City," Maska said. "The effort was good, the hustle was good, but we just don't execute well enough to hang with that kind of team."

Garden City managed a 14-8 lead after that first quarter, with the Indians getting four points from freshman Audra Schmeidler on a couple of short to mid-range shots. But she only scored two more points the rest of the night.

Still, when the clock showed 2:40 in the second quarter, Haley Wells' layup brought the Indians to within nine at 24-15. That's when the roof caved in.

Garden City answered with a 15-3 run to finish out the half, providing them with a 39-18 halftime bulge.

The Buffs' nearly unstoppable junior, 5-11 Jaymie Bernbeck, had six of those points en route to a game-high 18 while also grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.

"She's awfully impressive," Maska said of the Garden City forward, who has produced four consecutive double-doubles since the holiday break. "We just couldn't find an answer for her. She gets down low, moves so well, that you just almost have to double or triple team her. Then, if that happens, they have others who can score, too."

The second half wasn't much better, either, as Garden went on an 18-3 spree in the third quarter to lead 57-21. And the Buffs emptied their bench in the fourth quarter to finish out the final quarter with a 12-6 advantage.

Mattison Schlaefli had scored six of her team-high 10 points in the first half, but went without a field goal in the final 16 minutes, making 4-of-9 free throws to reach double figures.

Turnovers, too, proved costly to the Indians, as they were guilty of 29 miscues to just 14 for Garden City.

"Sometimes, when we come down and things don't work quickly, we get in panic mode," Maska said. "I thought at times in the first half, we ran our offense and were able to get a nice shot. In the second half, we were just standing around at times. I don't know if we were tired."

The Indians were a chilly 10-of-35 shooting from the field for 28.6 percent while Garden City put up 73 shots, making 28 for 38.3 percent. The rebounding was also lopsided as Garden won that battle, 45-29. Schmeidler had five to pace the Indians.

The Indians will try to notch their first win of the season on Tuesday when they face Dodge City to finish out the first half of the double round-robin WAC schedule. Garden City improved to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the WAC.

Garden City 69, Hays High 27

Hays High -- Smith 1-3 1-2 3, Schlaefli 3-6 4-9 10, Wells 2-5 0-0 5, George 0-1 0-0 0, Kleweno 0-2 0-0 0, Russell 1-7 0-0 2, Dinkel 0-0 1-2 1, Keller 0-0 0-2 0, Schmeidler 3-9 0-0 6, Younger 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 10-35 6-15 27.

Garden City -- Padilla 2-10 3-4 8, Hinde 0-2 0-1 0, Dart 0-0 0-2 0, Tornero 2-8 0-0 6, Brunson 1-3 0-0 2, Tempel 5-13 14, McKee 3-6 2-2 8, Dreiling 2-5 1-1 5, Bernbeck 9-18 0-1 18, Carrillo 3-7 0-0 6, Elliott 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 28-73 9-15 69.

Hays High 8 10 3 6 -- 27

Garden City 14 25 18 12 -- 69

3-point goals--Hays 1-4 (Wells 1-2, Kleweno 0-1, Russell 0-1), Garden City 4-15 (Padilla 1-4, Hinde 0-1, Tornero 2-5, Brunson 0-2, Tempel 1-2, McKee 0-1); Rebounds--Hays 29 (Schmeidler 5), Garden City 45 (Bernbeck 10). Turnovers--Hays 29, Garden City 14. Fouls--Hays 14, Garden City 16. Fouled out--none.