BY MACK McCLURE
EMPORIA — Lexie Brack tied a Great Bend High School record for 3-pointers in a girls’ basketball game on Friday evening at the Glacier’s Edge tournament.
Brack drained five 3-pointers, and the Lady Panthers held off a Derby second-half rally to capture a 45-33 victory in the consolation bracket at Emporia High. They played Hutchinson for fifth place on Saturday.
“We know Lexie can do that,” Great Bend head coach Jason Tatkenhorst said of the senior guard, who made her first four attempts from downtown before finishing the game 5 for 9.
Brack scored 15 of her career-high 20 points in the first half, where the Lady Panthers built a 29-10 halftime lead and held on after the break.
“That fifth 3-pointer actually puts her on the record board. She’s tied with several other girls (in school history) for five 3s in one game, so that’s exciting.”
And, one of those on the list is none other than former standout guard Kelsey Perry, an assistant for Tatkenhorst.
“Coach Perry was pulling for her the most to hit that sixth one,” Tatkenhorst said. “She didn’t mind it if Lexie got the sixth one, but hopefully, Lexie gets another chance to maybe get that.”
Brack’s record-tying trifecta came early in the fourth quarter after winless Derby had outscored GBHS 16-6 to whittle the margin to 35-26 at the end of three periods.
After a Derby basket to start the final quarter, Lady Panthers senior point guard Kalie LeShore sank 1 of 2 free throws at the 6:40 mark to give the Panthers a 36-28 lead.
Brack then popped in a 3-ball from the left-corner pocket at the 6:09 mark to kick the lead back up to 39-28.
“In warm-up, I noticed that I was making them,” Brack said. “I was just spotting up and my teammates would drive and kick it out to me and I was open.”
Both teams canceled each other out until Derby’s Michaela Liebst, who scored a team-high 16 points, hit a jump hook from the right baseline with just over four minutes to go, making it 39-30.
It would be Derby’s final points until Katie Vorderstrasse made a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
But not before Taycee Bunn hit a shot from the baseline, one of only three second-half baskets by the Lady Panthers, followed by LeShore sinking two foul shots and Brack making 2 of 3 free throws after getting fouled shooting a 3 with 47.5 seconds left.
“It feels good to get a win. I think this tournament is bringing us together, too, and making more chemistry,” Brack said.
While the second half was an offensive struggle for the Lady Panthers, the first half was impressive.
“We played really well in the first half,” Tatkenhorst said. “You see a first half like that, you’ve got to think that a lot of people will get confidence in themselves.
“We wish we would have had a better third quarter, but give props to Derby. They’ve lost a lot of games, but they’ve battled every game and they’ve come back and it’s really difficult.”
Senior forward Cassidy Tutak scored six of her eight points in the first quarter and LeShore scored all seven of her points from the free-throw line in nine attempts.
Collectively, GBHS finished 18 for 27 from the line (66.7 percent), one game removed from making an impressive 22 of 27 during an opening-round loss to Topeka High on Thursday.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
At Emporia High School
Great Bend 45, Derby 33
GREAT BEND (5-7)
Alexis Brack 5 5-10 20, Kelsey Crosby 1 0-0 2, Katelyn Henning 0 0-0 0, Olivia Basye 0 0-0 0, Liz Kutina 0 2-3 2, Kaitlee Spray 0 2-3 0, Jennifer Allende 0 2-2 2, Taycee Bunn 2 0-0 4, Cassidy Tutak 3 2-3 8, Kalie LeShore 0 7-9 7, Jordan Haney 0 0-0 0. Totals 11-50 18-27 45.
Mary Rachael Stanton 0-0 0-2 0, Hannah Jimenez 1-4 1-2 4, Kennedy Long 0-7 0-2 0, Shelby Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Katie Vorderstrasse 1-3 0-0 3, Bailey Hanson 1-3 0-0 2, Alyxis Bowens 2-5 0-0 4, Kayla Burke 0-1 0-0 0, Michaela Liebst 8 0-1 16. Totals 15-45 1-8 33.
Great Bend 12 17 6 10 — 45
Derby 4 6 16 7 — 33
Three-point goals — Great Bend 5-14 (Brack 5-9, Spray 0-2, Bunn 0-2, Kutina 0-1); Derby 2-8 (Jimenez 2-3, Vorderstrasse 1-2, Long 0-2, Hansen 0-1).