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Panthers bail themselves out

Non-conference basketball

POSTED January 31, 2012 11:46 p.m.

The big lead was slipping away in a hurry for the Great Bend High School Panthers during their non-conference basketball battle with Hoisington on Tuesday night at Panther Fieldhouse.
When Great Bend’s Jace Bowman drained a 3-pointer with five minutes left in the third period, the Panthers owned their biggest lead at 45-27.
But a Barton County Blowout never materialized, thanks to some shoddy ball handling by the Panthers that let the Cardinals back in the game.
In crunch time, though, Great Bend converted seven of eight free throws in the fourth quarter, capping a collective 15-for-16 on the night to hold on for a 66-59 victory.
“We made a lot of mistakes down the stretch, but part of that was their effort, too,” Great Bend head coach Chris Battin said. “(Hoisington) never quit and played hard and kept pressuring us and pressuring us.
“But luckily, we had a big enough lead that we could weather that storm.”
Hoisington’s 6-foot-8 center Cody Stetler scored 16 of his 21 points after halftime, including several during the Cardinals’ run to help carve the deficit down to 59-56 with 1:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.
But the Panthers stood firm in the eye of the Hoisington storm of points.
“That was definitely the difference in the game, it really was,” Battin said of his team, which entered the game shooting only 57 percent on the season.
“We’ve been preaching free throws and our kids did a wonderful job knocking them down.”
Junior forward Ethan Henderson scored all 19 of his points in the first half for Great Bend, which led 35-32 at halftime. Jace Bowman, a senior swingman, also finished with 19 points, getting nine of those after the break.
The Panthers made a concerted effort in trying to contain Stetler by running the likes of 6-5 Wyatt Bayless and 6-4 Chad Touslee at the Cardinals’ top player.
“I thought our bigs did a really good job in the first half of defending,” Battin said. “We limited (Stetler’s) touches and forced him into some tough shots when he did get the basketball.”
Bayless came up big after halftime, scoring seven of his nine points, including five in the fourth quarter.
It was the third straight win for the Class 5A Panthers, who improved to 5-9. Hoisington, which is ranked No. 5 in 3A, fell to 11-4.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Non-Conference

Tuesday

At Great Bend
Panther Fieldhouse

BOYS

Great Bend 66, Hoisington 59
HOISINGTON (11-4)

     Trent Schremmer 2 2-2 6, Jacob Durrett 0 1-4 1, Cody Stetler 8 4-5 21, Ryan Becker 1 1-3 3, Darin Poland 0 0-0 0, Anthony Broeder 2 4-6 8, Taylor Crawford 2 2-2 6, Derrick Kaiser 7 0-0 14. Totals 22 14-22 59.
GREAT BEND (5-9)

     Connor Sell 2 0-0 5, Matt Marshall 0 4-4 4, Chad Touslee 2 0-0 4, Brock Ibarra 0 0-0 0, Bryce Beck 0 0-0 0, Gabe Joiner 2 0-0 4, Jace Bowman 5 6-6 19, Ethan Henderson 7 4-4 19, Blaise Cain 1 0-0 2, Wyatt Bayless 4 1-2 9. Totals 23 15-16 66.
Hoisington     12  13  15  19  —  59
Great Bend    20  15  18  13  —  66

    Three-point goals — Great Bend 5 (Bowman 3, Henderson, Sell); Hoisington 1 (Stetler). Total fouls — Great Bend 22, Hoisington 16. Fouled out — None.

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