May 22, 2024

Panthers roar past Buffs


Final Girls Highlights: GCHS vs. Great Bend

Great Bend, Kan ( Great Bend girls coach Carrie Minton pays her team’s long-distance bill from Friday night, she might need some help; it’s pretty steep. 

Morgan Harwood scored a game-high 17 points, and the Panthers drilled a season-high eight threes-shooting Garden City right out of the gym 69-50 in a critical Western Athletic Conference showdown.

“That’s just our luck this year,” Lady Buffs Head Coach David Upton said afterwards. “Teams that normally don’t do something well are doing them against us. We’re playing the percentages.”

On paper, Great Bend (14-2, 5-0) was shooting just 23 percent from downtown on the season. On Friday night, they made a living from beyond the arc. 

In the opening frame, the Lady Panthers buried five long balls, including Lauren Welsch’s buzzer-beater from the short corner. They turned an early two-point deficit into a runaway, outscoring Garden City (10-6, 3-2) 30-8 in the final 10:41 of the first half. The Buffs went more than six minutes without a point before Breece Dreiling split a pair of free throws at the four minute mark of the second. 

Great Bend finished the first half 7-of-14 from three. 

While the outside game was in high gear, Harwood was making the inside her own, personal playground. The senior, who fell five rebounds shy of a double-double, got to the rim at will-scoring 10 first-half points on 5-of-6 from the field. 

The only highlight of the night for Garden City came with under two minutes to play in the third. Taryn Tempel’s contested layup pushed her pass Deana Craft on the Buffs’ all-time scoring list with 944 career points. 

“Honestly I didn’t even know about it until about a week ago,” Tempel insisted after the game. “It really wasn’t on my mind. I mean it’s exciting, but it’s bittersweet to break it in a loss.”

The senior finished with just four points on 1-of-6 shooting. Jaymie Berbeck netted 16 points and four rebounds. Tionnia McKee, who scored the first seven points of the game for the Lady Buffs, totaled 12. 

Tarynn Stueder added 10 points for the Lady Panthers.

Next up: Garden City at Holcomb-Saturday, February 15-6:30 p.m. on KWKR 99.9 FM and

Final Stats: GCHS girls vs. Great Bend


Great Bend boys 48, Garden City 47

Final Highlights: GCHS vs. Great Bend

The last four games, the Garden City boys watched their offensive productivity steadily progress. Unfortunately on Friday night, they reverted back to their old ways. 

Freshman Kody Crosby poured in a game-high 28 points on 10-of-11 shooting; 2-of-2 from 3-point land and the Panthers defense held the Buffs in check in a 48-47 win in front of the home crowd. 

“The one thing we can take away from this game is our resilience,” Head Coach Jacy Holloway said afterwards. “We gave ourselves a chance at the end.”

The problem: Garden City (10-6, 2-3) dug themselves too big a hole; although they started quickly-scoring the first six points of the game. But Shade Wondra’s runner in the lane gave Great Bend (6-10, 1-4) a 12-11 advantage with 5:41 to play in the half. The Panthers would never trail again. 

The Great Bend defense was the catalyst; specifically their 2-3 zone-forcing the Buffs to miss their final 12 shots of the half and holding Garden City without a point for more than 10 minutes. They outscored them 7-0 in the second period. 

“We were just leaving everything short tonight,” Holloway said. “We couldn’t do much against the zone.”

But despite finding themselves down 13 late in the fourth quarter, Garden City made things very interesting down the stretch.

After Crosby’s two free throws made it 41-28, Caleb Tramp wheeled into the lane and dropped in a left-handed dunk. Then Wondra handed the ball back to the Buffs when he stepped over the end line on the inbounds pass. Hunter Delgado took a lob pass from Tramp and laid it in-cutting the Panther lead to nine with 1:30 to play. 

Crosby’s layup pushed the lead back to 11 before Delgado found tramp for an and-one layup. Tramp missed the free throw throw; the Buffs finished 3-for-9 from the line. 

Moments later, Tristan Nanninga stole the ball and found Delgado-who canned an open 3-pointer from the top of the key. The bucket made it 43-37  with 53 seconds remaining. 

After a timeout, Bryce Beck missed two free throws leading to another Delgado three-cutting the deficit to three with 38 seconds left. But the magic was about to fizzle out. 

After Beck split a pair to make it 46-42, the Buffs seemed primed to come down and make it a one-possession game. They never got the chance. Tramp’s pass in the back court was intercepted by Trey Ibarra. The sophomore drilled both free throws seemingly putting the game away. 

Nanninga did nail a running, 30-foot three at the buzzer to round out the final tally-ending a furious rally that saw the Buffs score 27 fourth-quarter points-more than the first three-periods combined. 

Tramp scored 19 points (all in the second half) and pulled down 13 rebounds. Nanninga added 11. 

Ibarra finished with eight for the Panthers. 

Next up: Garden City at Holcomb-Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m. on KWKR 99.9 and

Final Stats: GCHS boys vs. Great Bend


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