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WAC co-leader beats Panthers

Crosby leads Panthers' comeback

POSTED February 10, 2017 10:46 p.m.
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From Logan Perry’s back-to-back steals, a charging call from Jacob Murray and a diving save by Ty Esfeld, the Great Bend Panthers were making all the hustle plays.

Great Bend sliced a 13-point deficit to one possession five times in the final four minutes, but came up just shy in a 39-32 setback to Western Athletic Conference co-leader Garden City.

Leading scorer Kody Crosby barely missed a 3-point attempt for the lead down 31-29, but the ball spun in-and-out of the basket.

The Panthers committed four turnovers in the final minutes and missed another potential tying 3-point attempt by Crosby down 33-30.

“Had Cody’s shot gone down, who knows?” said Great Bend coach Tim Brooks. “Good things happen to teams that work hard and our time is coming. We fought and clawed and make big plays to get back into it.”

Garden City sealed a hard-fought victory Friday over Great Bend with six free throws in the final minute.Griff Brunson converted four free throws and Garret Doll added a pair to preserve a narrow lead in the final minute.

Garden City (8-9, 4-1 WAC) is tied with Liberal (14-2, 4-1 WAC) for first place in the Western Athletic Conference after the Redskins survived 43-42 over Hays High.

Great Bend (3-13, 0-5 WAC) was paced by Crosby with 18 points in a fearless effort without double-figure scorer Brayden Smith, sidelined with a shoulder injury.

The Panthers outscored the Buffaloes 13-2 to slice a 29-16 lead to 31-29. Crosby scored eight points, Jacob Murray four points and Konner Ireland’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 31-29.

Garden City’s Zac Karlin stopped the run with a driving shot in the lane for a 33-29 lead. Crosby added a free throw for a 33-30 margin, but the Panthers committed four turnovers in the final four minutes.

“We knew we could do it because we’ve come back before,” Brooks said. “We had our opportunities, but the turnovers hurt us.”

The Panthers nearly rallied from a 19-7 deficit that was sparked by Garden City’s second lineup that scored 10 points off turnovers in the opening 10 minutes. The lineup of Tye Davis, Garret Doll, Carlos Acosta, Jayden Crook and Evan-Allen Mader turned the trick with aggressive full-court pressure defense.

Brooks said the Buffaloes’ switching defenses kept them off balance. The Buffaloes showed off a triangle and two that defended Crosby and Konner Ireland with man-to-man defense.

“We switching our defenses and kept them off-balance,” said Garden City coach Jacy Holloway. “We did that to keep them from getting into a rhythm. When they get comfortable, they start making shots.”

GC 15 6 8 10 – 39

GB 5 9 8 10 – 32

GC—Davis 2-2; Springston 1-4 0-0 2; Garret Doll 2-5 3-4 9; Acosta 1-3 2-2 4; Brunson 1-2 4-4 6; Karlin 4-6 0-0 8; Elliott 3-6 0-2 6; Mader 0-1 0-0 0; Totals 15-31 9-12 39.

GB—Kody Crosby 6-11 5-6 18; Eric Woods 0-1 0-0 0; Ty Esfeld 0-2 0-0 0; Konner Ireland 1-4 0-0 3; Logan Perry 2-7 0-0 4; Koy Brack 0-1 2-1 1; Jacob Murray 3-7 0-0 6; Totals 12-33 6-8 32.

3-point goals—GC 0-6 (Crook 0-1, Acosta 0-2, Doll 0-3), GB 2-10 (Ireland 1-1, Crosby 1-4, Woods 0-1, Brack 0-1, Murray 0-3).



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