When Junction City's girls rolled out fullcourt pressure, the Great Bend Panthers responded with defensive intensity of their own. The Panthers' student crowd roared its approval, dressed appropriately in holiday garb.
CENTRAL PLAINS 64, ELLSWORTH 49 – Oiler Alex Hickel scored 21 points and Devin Ryan added 18 points as defending champion Central Plains rolled past Ellsworth 64-49 in the Morris-Stephens Basketball Classic semifinals.
KIOWA CO. 33, ST. JOHN 32 - Sierra Lingafelter's free throw with 5.4 seconds left lifted the Mavericks past St. John's girls in the Keady Classic semifinals. Janessa Zenger scored 16 points. The Mavericks will play the Spearville-Larned winner in Saturday's finals.
ST. JOHN 65, MACKSVILLE 49 - Chase Fisher muscled inside for 18 points and St. John converted 23 free throws to beat Central Prairie League rival Macksville 65-49 in the Keady Classic semifinals. No. 1 ranked Class 2A St. John will play the Spearville-Hoisington winner in Saturday's finals at Larned Middle School.
Great Bend plays Junction City in a home basketball opener at 6 p.m. Friday. Students can enter to win a free pair of Brooks shoes in honor of coach Tim Brooks' first home game at Great Bend. The Great bend High School booster club will pass out free Santa Claus hats.
NATOMA - The Pawnee Heights Tigers (3-0) beat Palco 59-32 Tuesday in the Natoma Basketball Tournament for their best start in recent memory. Kade Scott scored 24 points, including a 10-point first quarter. Spencer VanMeter added 12 points.