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Bowman rebounds from knee surgery to make first team

POSTED March 15, 2012 11:33 p.m.

The painful road to recovery for Jace Bowman began shortly after the Great Bend High School senior injured his right knee in football practice.
“It was Sept. 20, on a Tuesday,” said Bowman, recalling his injury, which occurred in a practice during the regular season. “There was an 80-percent tear in the meniscus.”
Only three days earlier, Bowman, a wide receiver for the Panthers, had caught a game-winning touchdown pass, a 19-yarder from quarterback Mitch Kottas with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter during a 14-7 victory over Western Athletic Conference rival Garden City at Memorial Stadium.
Yet, Bowman found his high school football career cut short not even 72 hours later. He wondered to himself if he would be able to play basketball that winter and baseball in the summer, for that matter.
“It seemed really long to me,” Bowman said of his extensive rehabilitation. “It seemed like it was six months, but it was only three.
“It was really frustrating. All of the work and rehab. At first I had limited movement and I wasn’t able to things at first that I thought I should be able to.”
Bowman, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, finally recovered from the surgery and was ready to go before Christmas. He was finally cleared on Dec. 22.
“I was really excited to finally get back to practice, helping my team and getting back to playing some games,” Bowman said. “I had a lot of work to do to get back in shape and it took a while to get my legs.”
Bowman would go on to establish himself as a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection in a vote by the league’s coaches.
Bowman averaged a team-best 13.9 points and buried 30 of 75 3-pointers for 40 percent, becoming a top threat in the conference for the Panthers (5-15). He also led the team in foul shooting, sinking 41 of 51 free throws (80.4 percent).
“His average in conference games was even higher at 14.8 points per game,” GBHS head coach Chris Battin said. “He shot the 3 at 46.3 percent in conference play and did a nice job. The All-WAC team is now only five kids now instead of 10 and it’s a lot tougher to get on the first team.
“He’s got a nice mid-range game where he was able to shot-fake it at times, get to those 15-foot spots and knock those shots down.”
Perhaps it goes without saying that Bowman never met a perimeter jump shot he didn’t like.
“My freshman year, I always liked scoring,” Bowman said, “and since my sophomore year, my role has kind of been to be a shooter and taking open shots when they came my way.
“I’m always looking for my shot and trying to find ways to score.”
Bowman praised his teammates in receiving his first-team honor.
“Our point guard Matt (Marshall) and Connor (Sell), also Chad (Touslee) and Wyatt (Bayless), too,” he said.  “They got me a lot of open looks.”
“Matt did a good job, I felt like, running our offense.”
On Sunday, March 25, Bowman will represent Great Bend in the inaugural Central Kansas All-Star Classic, which will be played inside Kirkman Activity Center at Barton Community College.


First Team
Pos      Name                         Yr.       High School

  G       Trey Hallman              Sr.        Dodge City
 G-F    Jake Curran                Sr.        Garden City
 G-F    Jace Bowman             Sr.        Great Bend
   F      DeVondra Livingston  Sr.        Liberal
  G      Derek Bixenman          Jr.        Hays

Honorable Mention
Jace Larson, So., Garden City; Osvaldo Villareal, Sr., Liberal; Austin Terpstra, Jr., Garden City; Isaiah Bradshaw, Sr. Dodge City; Braden Taylor, Sr., Garden City

WAC champion — Dodge City (7-1)
 Player of the Year  — Trey Hallman, Dodge City
Coach of the Year — Dennis Hamilton, Dodge City


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