Great Bend, KS-Garden City Coach Jacy Holloway figured something had to give.
In their first two meetings this season with Great Bend, it took overtime to decide things with the Panthers winning in December in double overtime before Garden City returned the favor a month later with a thrilling extra-session victory.
On Friday, Holloway’s team finally got rid of the Panthers in four quarters; though Great Bend nearly pulled one out of the hat again.
Garrett Doll led a balanced attack with nine points, Zac Karlin added eight, and Garden City beat Great Bend 39-32 at Panthers Field House.
“We stuck to our game plan,” Holloway said. “This was one of those games where they knew what to expect. And I thought they did a really good job of adjusting to that.”
The Buffaloes dominated things early on, breaking open a 5-5 game with a 10-0 run to take a 15-5 advantage into the second. Garden City (8-9, 4-1) held Great Bend scoreless the final 3:15 of the opening frame.
“Our defense was really good tonight,” Holloway said. “When that’s going, everything else kind of falls into place.”
The Buffaloes built their lead to as many as 12 in the second quarter before Great Bend (3-13, 0-5) held Garden City without a field goal the final 2:00, cutting the deficit to seven at the break.
“As always, Great Bend made a run at us, and we cut it off,” Holloway said. “That’s the key.”
Demarcus Elliott hit back-to-back buckets to stretch the Garden City advantage to 29-16 with 5:06 to go in the third. But the Buffaloes would not score again for the next seven minutes.
Meantime the Panthers closed the third on a 6-0 run, and Konner Ireland’s 3-pointer with 4:51 to go in the final period pulled Great Bend to within two 31-29. Then, Kody Crosby had a chance to give Great Bend their first lead of the second half, but his trey from the top of the key spun out. Back-to-back turnovers ensued, and the Buffaloes canned six free throws over the final 48 seconds to earn their fourth conference win of the season.
“We’ve played some really close games with them this year,” he said. “We had to put the game away.”
Garden City held Great Bend to just three points over the final 4:51, handing the Panthers their fourth straight loss.
The Buffaloes won the game despite going 0-for-7 from downtown and being outrebounded 18-17.
Crosby led Great Bend with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The rest of the team scored 14 points on a combined 6-of-22 from the floor.
Griff Brunson finished with six points and seven rebounds for Garden City, who won for the eighth time in their last 11 games. Elliott chipped in six points and two blocks.
Next up: Garden City at Dodge City-Tuesday, Feb. 14-7:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app
Great Bend, KS-Over the final two quarters, Garden City looked primed and ready to knock off conference-front runner Great Bend. But a miserable first half was just too much to overcome.
Camryn Dunekack scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half, Carley Brack added 14 points on 6-of-12, and the Panthers held off a late rally to beat Garden City 46-36 Friday night at Panthers Field House.
“If we erase the first half, we probably win the game,” Garden City Coach Matt Pfeifer said. “But that’s how it’s been all year. They started listening to us in the second half and look at the results.”
Great Bend (10-6, 5-0) hit on 9 of their first 16 shots from the field and used a 12-0 spurt midway through the first quarter, capped by Dunekack’s back-to-back treys that held build a 16-6 advantage.
“Everything that we didn’t want them to do we allowed them to do,” Pfeifer said. “But that wasn’t the case in the second half.”
Garden City was just 2-of-11 shooting in the second quarter and turned the ball over six times. They were held scoreless the final five minutes of the first half.
The final 16 minutes was a totally different story. The Buffaloes, who trailed by as many as many as 17 in the first half, cut the deficit to single digits when Josie Calzonetti buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:10 left in the third. They were down eight going into the final period.
“We were right there,” Pfeifer added. “But you can’t give them a two-quarter head start.”
Abbie Dart nailed a 3-pointer two minutes into the fourth and then added a sensational driving layup with 2:24 to play that pulled Garden City to within six 41-35. But the Buffaloes scored just two points over the final two minutes, and Great Bend hit five of their final six free throws to put it away.
“It’s so frustrating,” Pfeifer said. “We had a plan that worked. It was just too little, too late.”
Dart scored 14 to lead the Buffaloes, but missed 12 of her 18 shots. Calzonetti added nine points and seven boards while Lexi Hogan chipped in seven and four boards.
Carly Dreiling recorded a season-high 10 rebounds to go along with seven points for Great Bend, who beat Garden City for the 10th time in their last 11 meetings.
Next up: Garden City at Dodge City-Tuesday, Feb. 14-5:45 p.m. pregame; 6 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and KWKR mobile app
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