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TRIUMPH AT LAST

Great Bend foils second-half rally to win first game

POSTED January 17, 2012 11:10 p.m.
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LARNED — It was a long time in coming, but Great Bend High School’s girls’ basketball team finally broke into the win column.
In a slow-paced and low-scoring non-conference game on Tuesday night, the Lady Panthers, clinging to a 19-16 lead after three quarters, held off a second-half Larned rally to hang on for a 24-20 victory.
It was the first win of the season for Great Bend, which lost its first nine games and found itself in a cliffhanger against the Lady Indians. But Great Bend made several key defense stops in the final minutes after Larned reeled off an 11-0 run and held on down the stretch.
“I know the girls were saying, ‘Here we go again,’ and we can’t deny that we were saying, ‘Here we go again,’” said a relieved Great Bend head coach Jason Tatkenhorst. “There’s some smiles and a few deep breaths, that’s for sure.
“We told the girls before the game that we needed to come out of this building with a win, whether the score was 5-4 or 42-41 or win by 20.”
Larned’s Jodie Skelton capped its 11-0 run that extended from the third quarter into the fourth with a basket in the lane, giving the Tribe their only lead at 20-19 with 6:18 remaining. Maci Perez sank a foul shot to start the run, Katie Seeman added a basket and then four straight free throws by the host team preceded Skelton’s bucket.
But Great Bend’s Morgan Harwood answered with a short-range basket on the other end at the 5:58 mark, giving the lead back to the Lady Panthers at 21-20.
Then came a series of missed opportunities for both teams over the next few minutes before Great Bend’s Emily Cruse made a steal with 3:32 left. Cruse then was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws for a 22-20 GBHS lead.
A few more missed chances transpired as the game clock dissolved inside the final minute. Great Bend’s Kaylie Doll stole an entry pass in the lane after Larned milked the game clock to 21 seconds, and then the Lady Panthers’ Brandi Schneider was fouled with 18.7 seconds left. The senior calmly sank both free throws to make it a four-point game and fix the final margin.
“Brandi stepped up to the line and hit some big free throws,” Tatkenhorst said. “It was just enough. The girls deserve it and they have stuck together through this thing.
“We work just as hard as any other team, and I am really proud of their effort.”
Senior post player Elizabeth Kutina led the Lady Panthers with nine points.
“We played so well, but we didn’t reward ourselves throughout the game,” Tatkenhorst said. “In the first quarter, we got the ball inside to Elizabeth Kutina several times and she rewarded herself with a few baskets.”
Skelton and Seeman led Larned (2-9) with six points apiece.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Non-Conference

At Larned

GIRLS

Friday

Great Bend 24, Larned 20
GREAT BEND (1-9)

     Brandi Schneider 0 4-4 4, Emily Cruse 0 1-2 1, Olivia Basye 0 0-0 0, Katelyn Henning 1 0-0 2, Hannah Hildebrand 0 0-0 0, Kelsie Doll 0 0-0 0, Liz Kutina 4 1-4 9, Kaylie Doll 1 0-2 2, McKenna Mauler 0 0-0 0, Tarynn Stueder 0 0-1 0, Morgan Harwood 2 0-3 4, Kelsey Crosby 1 0-3 2. Totals 9 6-19 24.
LARNED (2-9)

     Roxy Foster 0 0-0 0, Reagan Quick 0 0-0 0, Jodie Skelton 2 2-2 6, Kristal Duft 0 0-1 0, Maci Perez 0 3-4 3, Katie Seeman 2 2-3 6, Danette Unruh 0 4-7 4, Tiara Diaz 0 0-0 0, Jessie Johnson 0 1-2 1. Totals 4 12-19 20.
Great Bend                            8   9   2   5  —  24
Larned                                   2   7   7   4  —  20

     Three-point goals — None.

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