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Hays girls drop Panthers, 47-33
Taryn Warren saves .jpg


HAYS — The Great Bend girls basketball team battled hard as always. 

Rival Hays High took advantage for a hard-fought 47-33 Western Athletic Conference basketball victory. Hays (4-4, 1-1 WAC) won the first WAC showdown while Great Bend (2-6, 0-2) has lost to two teams that will battle the Panthers for third place in the WAC. The Panthers play at Hutchinson High Friday.

The Panthers' Allyson Kaiser converted her second 3-pointer to slice the Indians' lead to 28-27 near the end of the third quarter. The Panthers' key was committing one turnover in seven minutes in the third quarter. 

Emilee Hall scored a Panther basket, but Indian Katie Linenberger scored back-to-back baskets for a 32-29 lead after three quarters.

The turnover-plagued Panthers gave away eight times in the fourth quarter to ruin any chance of a comeback victory. Great Bend finished with 27 turnovers. Jersey Johnson hit a 3-pointer and Carly Lang and Aleyia Ruder scored layups off Panther turnovers for a 39-29 lead.

Great Bend's Sadie Spray ended a 6-minute scoreless streak after the Indians built a 42-31 lead, the identical score of the first meeting. 

The Panthers simply didn't protect the basketball. In fact, the Panthers are trying too hard offensively, forcing plays instead of taking what the defense gives them. The Panthers also played passive defense, never challenging the Indians' offense as they committed zero fouls in the first 12 minutes of the second half. 

"Turnovers was something we talked about at halftime," said Great Bend coach Cindy Beck. "There were times where we threw it to the other team. We've got to get shots. That really hurt us."

Kaiser led the Panthers with a pair of 3-pointers for eight points. Taryn Warren added seven points. The Panthers converted 12 of 33 field goals and 7 of 14 free throws. The best aspect was Kaiser (8), Melyne Fletchall (4) and Paige Thexton (2) delivered points off the bench.

"We had girls step up to keep us in the game," Beck said. "They kept us close."

Leading Hays scorer Molly Martin scored 11 points despite outstanding Panther defense. Johnson added nine points and lang scored eight points. Hays made 16 of 32 field goals and 13 of 21 free throws.

Great Bend 8 12 9 4 — 33

Hays High 11 17 10 15 — 47

GREAT BEND (2-6, 0-2)—Kaiser 3-7 0-0 8, Warren 2-5 3-6 7, Spray 2-6 0-4 4, Fletchall 0 4-4 4, Hall 2-9 0-0 4, Premer 2-4 0-0 4, Thexton 1-1 0-0 2, Emma Loomis 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 12-33 7-14 33.

HAYS (4-4, 1-1)—Martin 2-3 7-8 11, Johnson 3-10 2-2 9, Lang 3-4 2-6 8, Linenberger 3-4 1-3 7, Engel 2-5 0-0 4, Humphrey 0-2 0-0 0, Melvin 1-1 0-0 3, Ruder 2-3 1-2 5,  Totals 16-32 13-21 47.

3-pointers—GB 2-4 (Kaiser 2-4); H 2-11 (Melvin 1-1, Johnson 1-6, Engel 0-1, Ruder 0-1, Humphrey 0-2)