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Buffaloes' fourth-quarter rally beats Panthers
Emilee Hall shoots1.jpg

Buffaloes rally past Panthers


GARDEN CITY — Once Garden City sharpshooter Aileen Becerril got rolling, Great Bend's girls had no defensive answer in the final minutes.

Becerril converted three consecutive 3-pointers to spark a game-ending 22-7 scoring run for a 49-40 Western Athletic Conference basketball victory over Great Bend Friday. The Buffaloes swept their eighth consecutive game over the Panthers by forcing turnovers on six of eight late-game possessions.

Melyne Fletchall passed to Taryn Warren for a 33-27 lead when the Panthers lost momentum.

The Panthers had defended Becerril with four players and shut her out the first half. She hit her first 3-pointer against a zone defense that ignited a lightning-quick 11-point fourth quarter.

Great Bend's Emilee Hall (15 points) and Makenzie Premer (11 points) scored career highs as the Panthers played with confidence for three quarters. Hall and Premer each scored baskets to counter Becerril’s third 3-pointer for a 37-36 Panther lead.

But Amaya Gallegos dished to Kristin Roth for a 38-37 lead. Gallegos converted a turnover into a layup for a 40-37 lead. Taryn Warren fed Hall for a basket to slice the lead to 40-39. But Garden City’s MaKenzie Lucas sealed the Panthers’ fate with a banked 3-point shot for a 43-39 lead.

The Panthers misfired offensively with six turnovers in eight possessions in the late going.

Great Bend coach Cindy Beck was disappointed because the Panthers played solid basketball until the final few minutes when the offense and defense broke down.

"When we were challenged, we shied away," said Great Bend coach Cindy Beck. "We have pieces to the puzzle, but we played nervous and scared."

The Panthers (2-5, 0-1 WAC) converted 12 of 37 field goals and 14 of 21 free throws with 21 turnovers. The Panthers return to play rival Hays High Tuesday on the road. Hays (3-4, 0-1 WAC) downed the Panthers 41-32 in their first meeting.

Beck believes the Panthers were so close to turning the corner. The Panthers controlled the rebounding with aggressive play.

“There are things that we can grow from,” she said. “Rebounding was a big focus and we got that done. We got the shots we wanted.”

Great Bend 6 13 12 9 — 40

Garden City 10 5 12 22  — 49

GREAT BEND (2-5, 0-1)—Hall 5-13 5-6 13, Premer 4-7 2-4 11, Warren 2-3 4-7 8, Fletchall 1-3 0-0 3, Spray 0-3 2-2 2, Kaiser 0-3 1-2 1, Emma Loomis 0-5 0-0 0, Totals 12-37 14-21 40.

GARDEN CITY (1-7, 1-0)—Beccerril 5-11 2-2 15, Gallegos 5-14 5-6 15, Roth 3-7 2-5 8, Lucas 3-4 1-3 8, Tesch 1-3 0-0 3, Mesa 0-4 0-0 0, Totals 17-43 10-16 49.

3-pointers—GB 2-12 (Premer 1-2, Fletchall 1-3, Kaiser 0-2, E. Loomis 0-2, Spray 0-3); GC 5-19 (Beccerril 3-5, Lucas 1-1, Tesch 1-2, Roth 0-2, Mesa 0-4, Gallegos 0-5).