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Panther girls race past Indians, 43-24
Reagan Krehbiel takes a charge on a Mersadie Spray drive..jpeg
Larned's Reagan Krehbiel draws a charging foul on a Mersadie Spray drive Tuesday. - photo by Janet Fleske Courtesy Photo


LARNED –Great Bend's Mersadie Spray sparked the Panthers to back-to-back wins with an inspired 13-point effort in a 43-24 non-league basketball victory over 3A Larned Tuesday. Spray scored six points in the first half and seven after halftime. Spray scored a rebound basket and off a steal for a 3-point play

Emilee Hall chipped in 10 points and Taryn Warren scored six points and helped the Panthers dominate the offensive and defensive boards. The Panthers converted 19 of 56 field goals to 5 of 25 attempts by Larned.

"We've been focusing on knocking some shots down," said Great Bend coach Cindy Beck. "We've worked for better shots and worked a good inside-and-outside game tonight." 

The Panthers played solid defense and dominated the boards. The Panthers grabbed 19 offensive boards and controlled the boards by 20. The Panthers have yielded 15 and 24 points the past two games.

"We got some offensive boards and earned some easy shots," Beck said. "Sadie Spray got us going on the boards and our other players chipped in."

Larned opened the game with 3-pointers by Liz Herrera and Jayme Hagerman for an 8-6 lead. Spray and Hall each scored two second-quarter baskets for a 20-11 halftime lead. The Indians missed seven field goals in the second quarter. 

The Panthers controlled the game after halftime by outscoring the Indians 23-13. 

Stylish Akielah Collins played terrific with nine points, six consecutive free throws and a solid all-around floor game for Larned (1-4) . The Indians shot 76% on 13 of 17 free throws.

Larned coach Jerrod Smith was pleased with progress from last season. 

"We're looking for progress and we showed that," Smith said. "We came out with energy that first quarter and guarded them well. But that takes energy. We've got to be in better shape to play the way we'd like to play. We had a hard time scoring that second quarter"

The Indians committed 28 turnovers.

"Great Bend was pressuring us," Smith said. "We were standing around too much rather than moving. When we stood around, it turned into turnovers."

Great Bend (2-3) plays No. 6 5A state-ranked Emporia at home Friday. Larned (1-4) improved 16 points from last year's 56-21 setback to the Panthers.

Great Bend 6 14 12 11 – 43

Larned 8 3 6 7 – 24

GREAT BEND (2-3)–Spray 6-9 1-1 13, Hall 5-12 0-0 10, Hall 3-8 0-0 6, Warren 2-12 2-4  6, Hannah Loomis 2-5 0-0 4, Fletchall 0-3 0-0 0, Emma Loomis 0-2 0-0 0, Reyes 0-1 1-2 1, Tinkler 1-1 0-0 2, Kaiser 0-1 1-2 1, Kurth 0-2 0-0 0, Totals 19-58 5-9 43.

LARNED (1-4)–Collins 1-5 6-6 9, Kathryn Holt 0-2 0-0 0, Maddie Reinert 0-0 3-4 3, Herrera 1-4 2-3 5, Jayne Hagerman 1-3 1-2 3, Mackenzie Reinert 0-3 0-0 0, Lemuz 1-7 1-2 3, Totals 5-25 13-17 24.

3-pointers–GB 0-4 (Kurth 0-1, Premer 0-1, E. Loomis 0-2), L 2-11 (J. Hagerman 1-1, Herrera 1-4, Maddie Reinert 0-1, Collins 0-1, Mackenzie Reinert 0-2, Holt 0-2).