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Bluejays' skill, speed overwhelm Panthers
GBHS Panther logo clr
Panthers finish ninth at hutch.

BY JIM MISUNAS
jmisunas@gbtribune.com

JUNCTION CITY – A running clock helped the Great Bend boys basketball team hit the road earlier than expected.

Junction City overwhelmed the Panthers 69-38 Friday with an effective mix of pressure defense and accurate shooting. Chris Dixon highlighted a stunning 26-point night with a slam dunk and 20 first-half points. Howard Johnson added 13 points.

The Bluejays roared to a 22-7 first-quarter lead behind Dixon's 12-point quarter. Junction City converted several of Great Bend's 18 turnovers into easy scores, highlighted by Dixon's slam dunk.

Junction City's pressure totally disrupted the Panthers' offensive rhythm with excellent quickness and anticipation. The Bluejays pressured the Panthers into turnovers and created quick shots.

Point guard Sage Koelsch played a solid game with 15 points and a trio of 3-pointers. Sam Hall worked patiently in the post for nine points. The Panthers converted 14 of 35 field goals for 40 percent.

Junction City shot a red-hot 66 percent on 29 of 44 field goals. The Bluejays were consistent, shooting 66 percent the first half (18 of 27) and 11 of 17 after halftime, a 65 percent clip.

The Bluejays led 61-31 after three quarters, triggering a running clock. The Bluejays outscored the Panthers 8-7 in the final quarter.

Great Bend (1-2) will welcome Larned at home Tuesday before traveling to Emporia next week. The Panthers played their first three games without head coach Tim Brooks.

Great Bend 7 10 14 7 – 38

Junction City 22 19 20 8 – 69

GREAT BEND (1-2)–Koelsch 6-11 0-0 15, Sam Hall 3-7 3-3 9, Hernandez 0-0 1-2 1, Council 1-1 0-0 3, Streck 1-6 0-0 3, Dunekack 1-4 1-2 3, Spray 2-6 0-0 4, Totals 14-35 5-7 38

JUNCTION CITY (2-0)–Dixon 11-15 0-0 26, Johnson 5-10 3-3 13, Tedder 4-5 0-0 8, Smith 3-5 0-0 7, George 3-3 0-0 7, Roale 22-2 1-2 5, Clark 1-3 0-0 Baker 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 29-44 4-5 69

3-pointers–GB 5-17 (Koelsch 3-5, Council 1-1, Streck 1-6, Dunekack 0-2, Spray 0-3); JC 7-16 (Dixon 4-6, George 1-1, Smith 1-2, Clark 1-2, Tedder 0-1, Baker 0-1, Johnson 0-3)