TOPEKA — The Great Bend High School girls’ basketball team took an early lead against Topeka Seaman on Thursday night during a Class 5A State Tournament quarterfinal game.
The Lady Panthers were narrowly outscored in the second and third quarters, but managed to shut down the Lady Vikings down the stretch for a 60-46 win at the Topeka Expocentre.
“It was a game that we knew that we could come out and win,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We knew that we were going to have to come out and play really well. The girls came out and executed both on the offensive and defensive ends.”
Great Bend advances to face Salina Central today in a semifinal game, starting at 6:30 p.m. The Lady Mustangs butchered St. James Academy 63-31 in a quarterfinal game.
The win guarantees the Lady Panthers at worst, fourth place, and two more games.
“It is nice to get that one and you get that comfort in knowing you’re here for two more,” Minton said. “The ladies aren’t satisfied. We have another challenge ahead of us, but they’re ready for it.”
Great Bend got out to an 8-2 run right out of the gate.
Great Bend’s Regan Unruh put in a jumper before Seaman’s Brooke McMillin hooked in a layup on the other end.
Unruh knocked down a pull-up jumper, followed by two free throws from Hannah Hildebrand and a mid-ranged jumper from Morgan Harwood.
Harwood hit several mid-ranged shots, pacing the Lady Panthers in the first half with 10 points.
Great Bend forced eight Lady Vikings turnovers in the first half, leading to 10 points on the other end. Seaman only had four points off turnovers.
Seaman’s leading scorer this season, 5-foot-11 junior Tatyana Legette, got into early foul trouble, sitting most of the first half with three fouls. She only had two points in the first half.
Great Bend went into the locker rooms at halftime leading 25-18.
That changed in a hurry.
Seaman got the first five points in the second half, including a three-point play from Legette, to close the lead to 25-23.
McKenna Mauler responded by knocking down Great Bend’s first 3-pointer of the game.
Legette added the putback to give Seaman its first lead of the game with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, part of a 6-0 run.
“When you’re playing at this level, there is no lead that’s safe,” Minton said. “No lead that will make you feel comfortable, and we knew they were going to keep coming back at us, and that their height would be the key.”
Great Bend responded with an 8-0 run, getting a three-point play from Unruh and a 3-pointer and layup from Kaylie Doll, making it 36-29.
The Lady Panther took a 36-31 lead into the final eight minutes.
Great Bend managed to retake the lead and hold onto it throughout the final quarter.
Great Bend was led by Harwood, who scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Unruh and Kaylie Doll added 13 points apiece.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Class 5A State Tournament
Great Bend 60, Topeka Seaman 46
Delaney Hiegert 0-1 0-0 0, Shayla Podiena 0-0 0-0 0, Tatum Smith 1-1 0-0 3, Cassidy Henry 1-5 0-0 3, Mallory Searcy 0-6 4-5 4, Jeris Thomas 0-1 3-4 3, Dani Spence 0-1 3-4 3, Rachel Heald 2-7 0-0 4, Tatyana Legette 4-7 4-6 12, Tonnia Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Brooke McMillin 5-8 2-6 13. Totals 15-43 13-22 46
Kacee Kasselman 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Welsch 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Hildebrand 1-3 3-4 5, Kelsie Doll 0-1 0-0 0, Kylee Spray 1-5 1-3 4, Regan Unruh 4-10 5-7 13, Kaylie Doll 4-5 4-4 13, McKenna Mauler 1-5 2-6 4, Morgan Harwood 6-10 2-2 14, Madison Unruh 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-45 21-33 60
Seaman 8 10 13 15 — 46
Great Bend 16 9 11 24 — 60
Three-point goals — Seaman 3-6 (Smith 1-1, Henry 1-3, McMillin 1-1, Searcy 0-1); Great Bend 3-15 (Welsch 0-1, Spray 1-4, Unruh 0-4, Ka. Doll 1-1, Mauler 0-1).