February 3, 2023

Great Bend takes two from Garden City

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Great Bend, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-In their first six games, the Great Bend boys were miserable shooting 3-pointers. But you know what they say about trends and statistics.

The Panthers drilled six treys in the first 16 minutes, junior Kody Crosby finished with 25 points and nine rebounds, and Great Bend ended a 10-game home-court losing streak and a nine-game Western Athletic Conference skid with a 66-54 victory over Garden City on Friday night.

“We gave up way too many 3-pointers,” Buffaloes Coach Jacy Holloway said afterwards. “But give them credit, they stepped up and made them.”

As hot as Great Bend (3-4, 1-1) was from downtown, Garden City (3-5, 0-1) was ice cold. The Buffaloes finished just 3-of-25 from beyond the arc (12 percent).

“We missed a lot of shots that we normally hit,” Holloway said. “That’s the frustrating part about it.”

Jared Koster was a perfect example of that. After hitting his first 3-point attempt from the left wing, the senior missed his last six, finishing 1-of-7 from deep and 6-of-17 from the field.

“We’re a better offensive team this season; I firmly believe that,” Holloway said. “But if we’re not hitting shots, it could be a long night.”

Garden City connected early, and held a 12-11 lead with eight seconds left in the first quarter. But Jacob Murray canned a 3-pointer from the left corner to beat the buzzer, and the Panthers never looked back. Great Bend drained four treys in a row before Murray hit a layup, capping off a 14-0 spurt that gave Great Bend a 25-12 lead with 4:49 remaining in the first half.

“When it rains it pours,” Holloway explained. “Our defense is giving up way too many points right now.”

And they could not stop Crosby all night. The two-time, first-team All-WAC player tallied 11 second -quarter points, and at one point scored eight straight to give the Panthers a 15-point edge. They led by 17 at the half.

“He (Crosby) was good tonight,” Holloway said. “But we have to do a much better job defending the paint and the perimeter.”

Great Bend continued their stranglehold in the second half, and only once did the Buffaloes manage to trim the deficit to single digits, and that came with less than two minutes to play when Garrett Doll hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 58-49. That was the last field goal made by the Buffaloes, who went the final 1:50 without one.

Murray finished with 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting for Great Bend. Trey Ibarra, who was questionable coming in because of an injured hamstring, scored eight and pulled down a season-best 14 rebounds.

Koster, who scored a career-best 33 points in an eight-point loss to Denver South before the break, netted 20, 12 of those coming in the second half. He was the lone Buffalo in double figures.

Tip ins: Great Bend outscored the Buffaloes 21-8 in the second quarter going 4-of-7 from downtown (57 percent) and 6-of-12 from the field…The Buffaloes were 3-of-25 from 3 and 15-of-31 (48 percent) from 2…Garden City was 18-of-56 from the field (32 percent)-it’s the sixth time this season that they’ve shot under 40 percent…The Buffaloes were outrebounded 40-31-it’s the sixth time they’ve lost the battle on the glass…The win was Great Bend’s first at home since beating Liberal on Feb. 22, 2014

Next up: Garden City vs. Liberal-Tuesday, January 12-7:30 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR

 

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Great Bend, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Panthers Field House in Great Bend is to Garden City as kryptonite was to Superman.

Nothing changed to dispute that fact on Friday night.

Lauren Welsch pulled off her best Willis Reed impersonation, seeing her first action of the season after tearing her ACL during the summertime, scoring 13 points, Carley Brack added 12, and the Panthers held off a furious Buffalo rally to beat Garden City 48-35 on Friday night.

“We did not play well the first three quarters,” Buffalo Coach David Upton said afterwards. “It’s hard to explain.”

After a sluggish first half that saw the two teams combine to go 9-of-51 from the field with 34 turnovers, the Panthers went to work in the third, connecting on 8 of their 12 shots in the period, outscoring the Buffaloes 18-9 to build a 34-19 advantage.

“We let their pace dictate the tempo,” Upton said. “We built too big of a hole early.”

Abbie Dart did her best to bring the brown and white back.

The junior, who was 1-of-7 shooting entering the final quarter, took over, scoring 12 points in the final frame, including nine in a row to pull the Buffaloes to within two 37-35 with 2:02 remaining. But Garden City simply ran out of gas. The Panthers followed with the final 11 points, spearheaded by Carly Dreiling’s 3-point play, and Great Bend beat the Buffaloes for the seventh time in their last eight meetings.

Garden City was held scoreless the final 2:02.

“We changed things up in the fourth quarter,” Upton said describing his team’s comeback efforts. “We use our press to change games, and I think we did that early-we just turned the ball over too much. In the second half that changed.”

Carley Brack scored 12 points for the Panthers. Kate Werren had nine and Dreiling dropped in eight and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Joslyn Munoz scored six points and Josie Calzonetti ripped down nine boards for Garden City.

The Buffaloes only lead was 1-0 after Dart split a pair of free throws with 7:12 to play in the first quarter. But Garden City went the next three minutes without a field goal, and Brooklyn Burkhart’s bucket at the 6:11 mark gave the Panthers the lead for good.

Tip ins: Welsch, who was not expected to play until next week, made her way to the scorer’s table midway through the first quarter; it was her season debut…The two teams combined for 18 turnovers in the second quarter…Garden City shot 15-of-57 (26 percent) from the floor-it was the second worst shooting performance of the season and second time that the Buffaloes shot less than 30 percent