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Great Bend 7th-grade girls shock the world
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The Great Bend Middle School 7th-grade girls A-team capture the middle school Western Athletic Conference basketball championship. Front row—Paige Thexton, Ashton McMillen, Ava Gregg, Sadie Spray; back row—head coach Connie Claussen, Samantha Mayer, Emilee Hall, Makenzie Premer, Lauryn Davis, Macy Nachtigal, coach Stacey Magnett.


Great Bend girls capture WAC title


The Great Bend Middle School will have another banner to hang up thanks to the hard work and dedication of the 7th-grade girls’ basketball A-team. 

The Great Bend Middle School 7th-grade A team girls achieved a goal by avenging two regular-season losses to capture the middle school Western Athletic Conference basketball title.

The Panthers avenged an 11-point loss with a 31-29 victory over Liberal Eisenhower before shocking Hays Middle School 37-20 in the championship game.

"It was a fabulous season," said Great Bend coach Connie Claussen. “This group of girls, worked hard, and are one of the most selfless group of girls I have ever had the privilege to coach. They are always worried about one another. I’m confident they will see success in the future as they continue to gain experience and improve their skills. 

From the very first tip of the season against Dodge City Comanche Middle School, the team has controlled their destiny as well as the outcome of almost all their games. 

The Lady Panthers (13-2) outscored their opponents 507-275. Emilee Hall led the team with 197 points followed by Macy Nachtigal with 81 points. 

“The success of the team laid heavily upon the defense and many team could not get the ball past Lauryn Davis, Ashton McMillen and Ava Gregg,” Claussen said.

Claussen said Emilee Hall, Makenzie Premer and Samantha Mayer played strong on the boards allowing very few extra shots. 

Annah Baldwin, Macy Nachtigal and Paige Thexton kept the perimeter shooters off balance and caused multiple rushed shots.  

The team motto, ‘Together we stand; together we fall, together we’re winners and winners take all.’ exemplifies the season for the team.’ “ 

Securing the MSWAC championship, the team will be honored at Monday night’s Great Bend USD 428 school board meeting. 

SEASON RECAP—Great Bend 41, DC Comanche 2; Great Bend 34, Hays 20; Great Bend 29, Holcomb 18; Great Bend 38, Salina South 8; Great Bend 39, Abilene 12; Liberal Eisenhower 31, Great Bend 20; Great Bend 36, Liberal Seymour Rogers 7; Great Bend 27 DCMS 14; Great Bend 38 GC Ken Henderson 12; Great Bend 40, GC Horace Good 22; Great Bend 27, Scott City 22; Great Bend 33, DCMS 22; Hays 36, Great Bend 34

MSWAC—Great Bend 31, Liberal Eisenhower 29; Great Bend 37, Hays 20

SEASON POINTS—Baldwin 38; Davis 31; Gregg 8, Hall 197; Mayer 8; McMillen 17; Nachtigal 81; Premer 26; Maleigha Ribordy 2; Spray 66; Thexton 33