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Panther boys surprise Hays Indians
spt_deh_gbhs bball boys v hays.jpg


Great Bend Panther Peyton Duvall gave himself a pep talk prior to tipoff. A positive thought sparked Duvall’s career high 22-point night that upset Hays High 76-67 in Tuesday’s Western Athletic Conference opener.

Duvall knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to ignite a hot shooting night for the Panthers, who held off a furious Hays Indian rally with a 24-point fourth period.

“When I made my first shot, that got my confidence going,” Duvall said. “I kept telling myself I hadn’t played to my potential yet this season. I knew I could play better.”

The Panthers (2-7, 1-1 WAC ) were close to starting with a pair of home WAC wins, but dropped a last-second 39-38 game to Garden City last week.

The Panthers’ signature play had several players fly to the floor for a loose ball that went Great Bend’s way after a timeout. 

Duvall and Dalton Miller (17 points) dug down and converted play-after-play to spark the Panthers. Duvall hit the outside shot and worked the boards, Miller attacked the basket and converted tough shots in traffic with no fear. Alex Schremmer (13) and Alex Olivas (10) also scored in double figures.

“We’ve been so close, but these guys have worked through tough times,” said Great Bend coach Tim Brooks. “We showed the ability to adapt tonight and that’s the mark of a great team.”

Great Bend needed every point when Indian Tradgon McCrae got rolling with a 22-point second half in a stunning 27-point night. Virtually every possession down the stretch worked through McCrae’s impressive drives to the basket to nearly rescue the Indians from a 58-41 deficit.

“He’s so quick, and you can’t ever tell whether he’s passing or shooting,” Duvall said. “He’s a tough one to defend.”

The Panthers answered with 22 free throws after a pair of misses cost them against Garden City. Brooks liked what he saw.

“The best thing we did tonight was pass the basketball to the open player,” Brooks said. “The way Hays plays defense, it gets you sped up, but gives you opportunities to score. We found open players tonight.”

McCrae scored 18 fourth-quarter points and willed the Indians within 69-65. 

Duvall responded with a driving shot and Alex Schremmer sealed the victory with free throws.  The Panthers gained extra shots with hard work on loose balls. Miller keyed a late defensive play when he blocked McCrae’s shot. Hays’ last chance ended when the Indians missed three consecutive 3-pointers down 72-67. 

“Great Bend got 90 percent of the loose balls,” said Hays coach Rick Keltner. "We got beat by our rival. I’m disappointed in our toughness."

Braiden Meyers scored 11 points for Hays High (4-3, 1-1 WAC), which converted 8 of 30 shots from 3-point range. 

The Indians extended the game with aggressive defense that created several turnovers. But every call didn’t go the Indians’ way.

“We act like we’re going to throw a temper tantrum,” Keltner said. “I can’t have guys acting like that. When we got pushed, we want to blame the officials rather than getting tougher. It was a frustrating loss. But they’ll bounce back. They’re used to playing Fornite and if they lose, they’re used to hitting reset.”

Great Bend scored 33 points more than their season average of 43 points per game.

“It goes back to defense too,” Keltner said. “We gave up 76 points to an arch-rival. It’s hard to feel good about that defense.”

Hays High   14 12 14 26 – 67

Great Bend 16 17 19 24 — 76

HAYS HIGH (4-3, 1-1)—McCrae 6-20 12-14 27; Swayne 3-4 0-1 6; Johnson 0-3 1-2 1; Ruder 0-3 0-0 0; Adams 1-4 2-2 4; Meyers 4-8 0-0 11; Munnery 3-8 0-3 6; Scharz 2-2 2-2 6; Krannawitter 2-8 0-0 6; Totals 31-60 17-24 67

GREAT BEND (2-7, 1-1)—Duvall 7-13 6-9 22; Miller 6-9 5-6 17; Schremmer 3-11 3-6 13; Olivas 3-6 3-4 10; Brown 2-3 0-0 4; Stueder 2-5 0-0 4; Sam Ryan 1-2 2-4 4, Blessing 0-0 2-6 2;  Wondra 0-3 0-0 0; Totals 24-51 22-35 76

3-pointers—HH 8-30 (Meyers 3-6, McCrae 3-11, Kranawitter 2-8,Johnson 0-2, Nunnery 0-3); GB 6-23 (Schremmer 3-11, Duvall 2-8, Olivas 1-3, Wondra 0-1) 


Garden City 2-0 7-1

Hays High 1-1 4-3

Great Bend 1-1 2-7

Dodge City 0-0 5-3

Liberal 0-2 5-3

FRIDAY, JAN. 11—Liberal at Dodge City; Garden City at Hays High

GARDEN CITY (2-0, 7-1)—W Guymon, Okla. 57-38; W Coronado, Colo. 60-46; W Park Ridge, Colo. 49-42; W Holcomb 48-46; L Junction City 39-54; W *Great Bend 39-38; W *Liberal 54-45; 1-11—*at Hays High; 1-17—at Valley Center (Wichita Northwest); 1-22—at Ulysses; 1-29—*Dodge City; 2-1—at Guymon, Okla.; 2-5—Hugoton; 2-8—*Great Bend; 2-12—*at Dodge City; 2-15—*Hays High; 2-19—*at Liberal

HAYS HIGH (1-1, 4-3)—W Great Bend 74-58; L Manhattan 56-78; L St. Thomas Aquinas 45-61; W Colby 82-69; W Pratt 67-41; W * Liberal 68-56; L *Great Bend 67-76; 1-11—*Garden City; 1-17-19—at Colby Tournament; 1-25—Salina Central; 1-29—at Salina South; 2-1—*Dodge City; 2-5—*Great Bend; 2-8—*Liberal; 2-12—at Abilene; 2-15—*at Garden City; 2-19—*Dodge City; 2-22--Abilene

GREAT BEND (1-1, 2-7)—L Hays High 58-78; L Millwood, Okla, 48-58; L Hays-TMP 47-50; L Junction City 35-63; L Salina Central 38-56; L Hutchinson 29-39; W Buhler 53-46; L *Garden City 38-39; W *Hays High 76-67; 1-17-19—at El Dorado Bluestem Classic; 1-25—*at Dodge City; 1-29—at Wamego; 2-1—*Liberal; 2-5—*at Hays High; 2-8—*at Garden City; 2-12—Hays-TMP; 2-15—*Dodge City; 2-16—*at Liberal

DODGE CITY (5-3, 0-0)—L Junction City 71-87; W Newton 79-76; L Maize 49-85; W Hugoton 100-77; W Guymon, Okla. 62-39; L McPherson 76-87; W Cimarron 84-44; W Ulysses 65-59; 1-11—*Liberal; 1-17-19—at Dodge City Tournament; 1-25—*Great Bend; 1-29—*at Garden City; 2-1—*at Hays High; 2-5—Ulysses; 2-7—*at Liberal; 2-12—*Garden City; 2-15—*at Great Bend; 2-19—*Hays High

LIBERAL (0-2, 5-3)—W Holcomb 64-55; W Guymon, Okla. 64-55; W Dalhart, Texas 72-70; L Wichita Trinity 38-55; W Scott City 40-37; W Perryton, Texas 47-32; L *Hays High 56-68; L *Garden City 45-54; 1-11—*at Dodge City; 1-17-19—at Salina Tournament; 1-25—*Great Bend; 2-5—Guymon, Okla.; 2-7—*at Dodge City; 2-8—*at Hays High; 2-12—Cimarron; 2-15—*at Great Bend; 2-19—*Garden City