Buffs swimmers make finals at state; boys wrestling qualifies 9; girls basketball bests Hays; boys basketball falls in OT

BUFFS ROUNDUP: Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020


In just its third year back as a re-instated varsity sport, the Garden City Buffaloes boys swimming team broke through the barrier of preliminaries on Friday to qualify several relays for Saturday’s B-Finals, which included teams that qualified in the 9th through 16th positions.

The highest finish came from the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Devin Chappel, Jeremiah Bunce, Kobe Otero and Esai Morales, all underclassmen, with a season best time of 3:25.92.

The remaining two relay teams placed 14th among 16 teams, or sixth among the eight teams in the B Finals. The 200-yard medley relay team of Otero (back), senior Lane Durst (breast), Connor Cupp (butterfly) and Bunce (freestyle) clocked a time of 1:44.58. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Chappel, Bunce, Cupp and Morales swam a time of 1:33.33 for its 14th place finish.

“The boys had an exciting weekend and I think we out-swimmed our expectations in most cases,” head coach Brian Watkins said. “The time cuts from our previous efforts were awesome.”


Watkins said two of the Buffs’ swimmers had battled illness all the previous week, yet still performed admirably at the state meet.

Two Buffs were qualifiers for the Saturday finals — Bunce, who finished 15th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.89 seconds, and the second was Cupp in the 100-yard butterfly where he placed 16th in a time of 57.31 seconds.

“The 200-yard freestyle was one of the biggest shockers for our team,” Watkins said. “We were seeded 22nd, qualified 11th and placed 14th in the finals. We just didn’t transition well in the finals as we did in the prelims.”

With Durst as the lone senior who qualified for state, Watkins is excited about the 2021 prospects.

“We’ve got a lot of quality kids who are just going to get better and better by next year,” Watkins said. “They worked very hard to get as many qualified, and to be able to swim on Saturday we now have an idea of what we need to do to improve.”


Class 6A State

at Topeka Capital Federal Natatorium

Team Scores

  1. Blue Valley West, 345; 2. Olathe East, 344; 3. Shawnee Mission East, 191; 4. Blue Valley North, 186; 5. Lawrence-Free State, 160; 20. Garden City, 25.

Garden City Final Results

200y medley relay (B Final) – 14 (of 16 teams): Otero, Durst, Cupp, Bunce, 1:44.58; 200y freestyle – 22. Devin Chappel, DNQ, 1:53.63; 200y IM – 30. Kobe Otero, DNQ, 2:12.83; 50y freestyle – (B Final) – 15. Bunce, 22.89; 100y butterfly – (B Final) – 16. Cupp, 57.31; 500y freestyle – 27. Chappel, DNQ, 5:21.04; 200y freestyle relay – (B Final) 14. Chappel, Bunce, Cupp, Esai Morales, 1:33.33; 100y backstroke prelims – DNQ, 21. Otero, 58.24; 34. Morales, 1:00.92; 100y breaststroke prelim – DNQ, 26. Cupp, 1:06.48; 400y freestyle relay – (B Final) – 12. Chappel, Bunce, Otero, Morales, 3:25.92.


Seniors Jacob Holt and Jared Arellano brought home first-place finishes at 138 and 160 pounds on Saturday to pace the Garden City Buffaloes wrestlers at the Class 6A Super Regional held at Topeka-Washburn Rural.

Holt, a two-time state champion and a one-time runner-up, went 4-0 with a pair of pins, a major decision and then a dominating 11-5 decision over Xavier Sisco of Derby in the title match. Holt improved his season record to 27-2.

Arellano, meanwhile, had his best showing of the season, also going 4-0 by pinning his first three opponents and then also dominating in the title match with a 7-1 decision. His season record improved to 17-9. His title match triumph came against Cole Wells of Washburn Rural.

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Those two, along with seven other Buffs, advance to the 6A state tournament on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 28-29, at Hartman Arena in Park City. Overall, the Buffs finished in fourth place in the team standings with 165.0 points. Washburn Rural took first with 240.5 points.

Freshman Ryan Heiman placed second at 126 pounds, winning three matches before a loss to Tate Sauder of Manhattan (38-7). Heiman is now 35-14 this season. Steven Sellers placed fourth, finishing 3-2 and improving his record to 27-13. Erick Dominguez took third at 145 pounds, winning four of his five matches to improve to 28-15 this season. Junior Josh Janas also placed third, winning five of his six matches to see his record increase to 35-10.

Alex Rodriguez was runner-up at 170 pounds, winning his first three matches before dropping a tough 7-4 decision to top-seed Malachi Karibo of Wichita South (38-1). Rodriguez will take a 21-7 record to the state tourney. Matt Smith was the next qualifier in sixth place at 220 pounds. He went 2-3 and is now 22-11. Isaiah Barrett won three of his five matches at 285 pounds to place seventh and earn the final state qualifying spot for the Buffs.

The Buffs’ biggest casualty in the regional qualifying event was senior Silas Pineda, a defending state champion who had reached the championship match at 120 pounds against Manhattan’s Easton Taylor. Pineda (39-12) was disqualified in the match, thus eliminating him from any placing in the regionals as well as qualifying for the state. The Buffs also lost the 20-plus points he would have earned.

Head Coach Carlos Prieto, obviously stunned by the chain of events, declined to comment, but did say that the Buffs had never had a wrestler disqualified in any tournament during his eight seasons as the head coach.

Garden City’s girls, meanwhile, had qualified six girls, including gold medalist Anjelina Serrano at 130 pounds for the upcoming Thursday first Girls State Wrestling Championship at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina.


6A Super Regional at Topeka-Washburn Rural

Team Scores: 1. Washburn Rural, 240.5; 2. Dodge City, 190.0; 3. Derby, 177.0; 4. Garden City, 165.0; 5. Manhattan, 151.0; 6. Junction City, 125.0; 7. Haysville-Campus, 90.5; 8. Liberal, 90.0; 9. Wichita West, 86.0; 10. Lawrence-Free State, 84.5. There were 18 teams competing

Garden City Individual Results

106-Trae Torres, 0-2, DNP; 113-Alex Hands, 1-2, DNP; 120-Silas Pineda, DQ’d in championship match, did not place; 126-Ryan Heiman, 3-1, 2nd; 132-Steven Sellers, 3-2, 4th; 138-Jacob Holt, 4-0, 1st; 145-Erick Dominguez, 4-1, 3rd; 152-Josh Janas, 5-1, 3rd; 160-Jared Arellano, 4-0, 1st; 170-Alex Rodriguez, 3-1, 2nd; 182-Alan Chairez, 0-2, DNP; 195-Ryan Wessels, 0-2, DNP; 220-Matt Smith, 2-3, 6th;; 285-Isaiah Barrett, 2-2, 7th.



At halftime of Friday night’s Western Athletic Conference game at Hays, the Garden City Lady Buffaloes were clinging to a 2-point lead, 24-22.

Then, the Lady Buffs exploded for a 16-5 third-quarter run that put them up 40-36 and they cruised to a 54-38 over the Lady Indians.

Friday’s victory came with junior Keyhana Turner getting a career-scoring night with 22 points, 14 of those in the first half and the final eight in the fourth quarter. Amaya Gallegos added 13 to the winning cause. Turner scored 6 of her points in the first quarter as the teams finished tied at 12-all. She added 8 in the second stanza with the Buffs taking that 2-point edge in at intermission.


The win improved the Lady Buffs’ season record to 10-9 overall and 4-3 in the Western Athletic Conference. They finish their regular season on Tuesday with Senior Night against the unbeaten Lady Liberal Redskins with a 6 p.m. tip-off at The Garden.

With just the one regular season game left, the Lady Buffs find themselves tied for the No. 8 seed with Wichita Southeast. Depending on the final week’s results, they could find themselves seeded anywhere from seventh to 10th.


Garden City (10-9/4-3) 12  12  16  14  — 54

Hays (5-13/1-6) 12  10  5  11  —  38

Garden City (54) – Beasley 3 3-3 9, Calzonetti 0 1-2 1, Becerril 1 0-0 2, Franco 1 2-2 5, Gallegos 6 1-2 13, Meng 1 0-0 2, Turner 8 6-6 22. Totals 20 13-15 54.

3-point goals (1) – Franco 1.


Garden City’s Buffaloes boys basketball team had a golden opportunity to play spoiler in the Western Athletic Conference title race, but came up short in Friday’s 59-50 overtime road loss at Hays.

After trailing 17-11 at the end of one quarter and 28-20 at halftime, the Buffs used a 15-4 third-quarter surge to take 35-32 lead into the final eight minutes only to be outscored 17-14 and have the game sent to overtime on a last-second 3-pointer by the Indians.

In the four-minute overtime, the Buffs managed just a single free throw by Tae Rosales.

The Buffs got 16 points from Azavier Williams and 12 from Rosales to lead the scoring attack. Hays saw its record improve to 12-6 overall and 6-1 in the WAC, with one league game with Dodge City remaining. The Indians can grab a share of the WAC title with Great Bend if they beat the Demons. Great Bend has completed its regular season at 16-4 and 7-1.


Friday’s loss left the Buffs with a season record of 9-10 and dropped them to 2-5 in the WAC. The final regular season and WAC contest will be Tuesday at The Garden when it will be Senior Night. Tip-off for the boys’ game will be approximately 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. after the girls game.

After Friday’s game, the Buffs’ season record left them in a tie with Wichita East for the No. 9 seed in the 16-team Class 6A West Division. Teams will be seeded on Wednesday, Feb. 23, for sub-state play the following week. The probably is that the Buffs will either be the No. 9 or 10 seed, indicating a matchup with No. 8 Manhattan or No. 7 Wichita Southeast.


Garden City (9-10/2-5) 11  9  15  14  1  — 50

Hays High (12-6/6-1) 17  11  4  17  10  —  59

Garden City (50) – Rosales 4 3-4 12, Williams 7 0-3 16, Flores 1 3-4 5, Tolbert 3 0-0 8, Wiese 1 1-4 3, Guevara 2 0-0 6. Totals 19 7-17 50.

3-point goals (7) – Rosales 1, Williams 2, Tolbert 2, Guevara 2.

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