For the second consecutive game, the Garden City Broncbusters let a big lead slip through their hands as the Seward County Saints rebounded from a 12-point first half deficit to edge the Busters, 75-74. Wednesday night in Liberal.
The Busters (9-15, 4-11) had a shot at their second upset of the conference season, having downed Hutchinson earlier this season. But since that one-point win over the Dragons, Garden City has gone 1-5.
The Busters fell behind 6-0 early to a Seward County team (18-5, 11-3) that has only lost one game at home all season. Garden City woke up and stormed back for an 11-0 run to take an early lead over the Jayhawk West Division-leading Saints.
By about the halfway mark of the first half, the Busters extended their lead to 12 point. Seward County was able to settle down a bit, after the slow start, and cut the lead to 34-30 at the intermission.
In the second half, Garden City continued to put pressure on Seward County, but the Saints wouldn't go away. The tides seemed to turn around the 5:50 mark of the second half when the Saints tied it up at 59, and Seward County held Garden City in check offensively with full-court pressure.
There were eight lead changes in the last five minutes, but the Saints took the lead for good with 1:50 to play, connecting on 1 of 2 free throws for a 69-68 lead. A late 3-pointer from Jakobi Pearson was not enough for the Busters as the Saints ran the remaining two seconds out.
Garden City’s Jamir Thomas tied for game-high scoring honors with 18 points.