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Buffaloes rally past Panthers 39-38
Great Bend Panthers Brock Blessing (5), Dalton Miller (10) and Alex Schremmer (14) hustle for a tie ball with Garden City's Devon McGee (5). The Buffaloes rallied for a 39-38 Western Athletic Conference basketball victory. - photo by BY DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune


Buffaloes steal road victory



In a perfect world, Great Bend’s Trent Stueder would’ve celebrated in camo gear as a conquering basketball hero on Panther Camo Night.

But Great Bend’s fans left with a sad ending on an emotional Friday night, a heart-stopping 39-38 Western Athletic Conference loss to rival Garden City.

After a spectacular night, Stueder wrote his final chapter with a missed free throw when two free throws would’ve likely secured his hero status. Stueder was fouled on an inbounds play with two seconds left.

“Trent was a warrior for us tonight,” said Great Bend coach Tim Brooks. “There wasn’t anyone else we wanted at the line.”

Steuder was a passing and scoring machine with three key assists and nine points. The Panthers led 38-32 off Stueder’s perfect assist to Alex Schremmer with under four minutes left, but they never scored again.

Great Bend rallied from a 21-15 halftime deficit with a flawless 23-11 second-half run. The Panthers scored on direct assists on seven of nine second-half baskets.

“Trent passes the ball really well,” Brooks said. “Offensively, we did some good things tonight. We shot the ball really well. We played well that second half.”

Buffalo Jackson Dirks converted a 3-point play. Kyler Lamb added two free throws after three offensive rebounds for a 38-37 deficit. The Panthers committed two turnovers and missed a 3-pointer on their three prior possessions.

Panther Dalton Miller missed a free throw with 16 seconds left to give the Buffaloes a golden opportunity to steal a road victory. The Panthers had three fouls to slow down the Buffaloes’ last shot, but did not try that strategy.

Stueder’s foul on a blocked shot sent Jarrod Springston to the free throw line with six seconds left. He converted the tying and go-ahead free throws with six seconds left.

Four ineffective minutes at the finish line cost the hard-luck Panthers (1-7, 0-1 WAC).

“The guys are down. We had a chance for a great start in league,” Brooks said. “We played really good defense. You hold a team to 39 points, you should win. Little things add up. It wasn’t quite good enough to win.”

Garden City (6-1, 1-0 WAC) was led by Springston with 12 points and Carlos Acosta and Devon McKee added seven points apiece.

GC 10 11 6 12 – 39

GB 9 6 14 9 –38

GC (6-1, 1-0)—Springston 5-10 2-2 12, Acosta 3-8 0-0 7, McKee 3-5 0-0 7, Shaddix 0-1 0-0 0, Lamb 2-7 3-4 8, Dirks 1-3 1-1 3, Muniz 1-1 0-0 2, Totals 15-35 6-7 39

GB (1-7, 0-1)—Miller 5-8 0-1 10, Schremmer 4-9 0-0 10, Stueder 3-5 3-5 9, Sam Ryan 0-1 5-5 5, Blessing 1-4 0-0 2, Wondra 0-3 0-0 0, Widiger 1-4 0-0-0 2, Duvall 0-2 0-0 0, Olivas 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 14-37 8-11 38

3-pointers—GC 3-13 (McKee 1-2, Lamb 1-4, Springston 0-3, Acosta 1-4), GB 2-14 (Schremmer 2-5, Duvall 0-1, Olivas 0-1, Miller 0-1, Blessing 0-1, Ryan 0-1, Wondra 0-3)