Pirates Grind It Out At Garden City For First Win Of 2019
By Jay Henry
January 5, 2019
GARDEN CITY, Kan. - With the arrival of the new year, the Independence Pirates took to the road against the Garden City BroncBusters. The game became close toward the end, but perseverance of the Pirates led another victory, 70-65.
The Pirates had two players in double figures as Jibril Harris posted 14 points and Tyreece Berry with 11 points. Harris also posted his fourth double-double of the season with 12 rebounds.
"Tonight was a great road win," coach Tony Turner said. "Garden City has a really talented team and we hit shots early to take a big lead, but we have to continue to hit the shots to protect the leads and stick to what got us there."
In the first half, Jibril Harris delivered a layup for the early Independence lead, but a shot by Russhard Cruickshank tied the contest at 2-2. A floater by Harris gave the lead back to the Pirates, but free throws from Jamir Thomas tied the game at 4-4 at the 16:30 mark.
"The win tonight was great and there are still some details for us to iron out, but we continued to trust the system and each other to come out on top," said Harris. "We play Seward County Wednesday and they're really talented, but if we continue to work hard together, there's no one we can't beat."
A layup by Sean Pollack gave the Pirates a 6-4 advantage, but Garden City found Steven Samuels on a breakaway for the tie. The Pirates found Kori Guest for a quick score and a foul sent Tyler Williams to the line where he made both shots to give the Pirates a four-point lead.
Pollack found the basket again with a quick floater making the score 12-6 and a three-pointer by Derrick Redmon pushed the Independence lead to nine at the 10:49 mark. A 4-2 run capped by a three-pointer from Guest made it an 11-point advantage for the Pirates, but a floater from Cruickshank made it 19-10 just before a layup by Alex Torres at the 7:35 mark.
Three points between Thomas and Jaleel Simmons followed by a layup from Harris had the score at 23-13 in favor of the Pirates, but a layup from Jakobi Pearson cut the lead down tonight points just before a mid-range shot by Tyreece Berry.
A three-pointer from Ricky Edwards made the score 28-15, but the Busters found Tony Hopkins for a quick layup at the 4:18 mark. Garden City's Simmons cut the lead down to nine, but a three from Berry had the Pirates ahead 31-19.
"We took care of business in the first half and made shots along with some really good rebounding," said Berry. "We slowed down some in the second half, but we fought through and finished the game."
"Wednesday will be a tough contest and we'll have to rebound a lot against Seward County, but just like tonight we'll have to come out and show that we have what it takes."
Independence added to its total with a layup from Harris and a three-pointer by Tonje Durham for a 36-19 advantage. Garden City would outscore the Pirates the remainder of the half 3-2, but it was a 38-22 lead for Independence at the half.
The second half began with a quick bucket by Berry, but Thomas answered quickly for the Busters followed by Hopkins moments later with a three-point play cutting the lead down to 13 points. A three-pointer by Simmons brought the Busters within 10 points and a breakaway layup by Cruickshank made the score 40-32 with 14:47 remaining.
A layup by Durham pushed the lead back to ten, but Pearson converted a three-point play making it 42-35 with 13:30 remaining. A layup by Schneider Casseus cut the Pirates lead to five, but a layup from Harris made it 44-37.
Following a free throw, the Busters got a huge three from Cruickshank, but Independence answered with a bucket from Guest and a three-pointer from Edwards to lead 49-41 with 9:49 remaining. Another layup by Cruickshank cut the lead down to six but a bank shot by Anquaevious Pollard had the score at 51-43.
A bucket from Berry pushed the lead to ten just before free throws from Tralynn Spencer and Hopkins made the score 53-47 Pirates with 6:43 remaining. A free throw by Mamady Djikine made it a seven-point advantage for Independence but a quick shot from Hopkins had the score at 54-49 with 5:45 remaining.
A long-range jumper from Cruickshank cut into the lead, but Djikine matched it with one of his own just before Cruickshank hit another three-pointer taking the lead down to two points. Free throws by Pollard made the score 59-55 and the freshman delivered down low again to push the lead to six.
Free throws by Simmons cut the lead to four and a three-point play by Cruickshank had the Busters within one with 2:56 remaining. A layup by Hopkins gave Garden City is first lead, but Durham answered for a 63-62 advantage with 1:55 remaining.
Durham torched the net from downtown to give the Pirates a four-point lead, but a free throw from Pearson made it 66-63 with 45 seconds remaining. A layup by Pearson cut the lead to one, but a breakaway by Harris who was fouled made the shot along with a technical foul shot to seal the deal.
Independence (10-5, 5-1) returns to ICC Field House Wednesday January 9 hosting the Seward County Saints with tipoff set for 8 pm.