It’s nothing that arriving early to an early-morning team shootaround can’t cure.
After going into the tank in the second half after building a 25-16 halftime lead before losing to De Soto High School 52-44 in an opening-round game of the Hays City Shoot-Out on Thursday, the Class 5A Great Bend Panthers set out early to right their wrongs from their season-opening loss.
So the Panthers took it upon themselves to arrive a half-hour early at Panther Fieldhouse on Friday morning before school for a shootaround. As it turned out, it paid big dividends.
Taking on Thomas More Prep Marian late Friday afternoon in a consolation game, Great Bend started its manhandling of the 3A Monarchs early, leading 14-2 after one quarter and building a substantial 32-8 halftime edge en route to pummeling TMP 53-27 at the Hays Middle School gymnasium.
“I was really happy with the way our kids responded,” Great Bend head coach Chris Battin said. “We were pretty down after (Thursday night) and they came out with a whole new attitude. It showed when we had kids show up at 6:45 a.m. for a 7:15 shootaround, so that shows the attitude of this team.
“I was really happy with the way they came out and played super-hard. They did all of the things they needed to do to win.”
Great Bend (1-1) advanced to Saturday’s consolation winners’ bracket game.
The Monarchs (0-2) proved to have little fight after the Panthers delivered the early haymaker, coming in the form of a 12-point lead after the opening eight minutes. TMP never got up off the mat, falling behind by 24 points at the break and 45-18 after three periods.
GBHS continually attacked the basket against the undersized Monarchs, who also struggled mightily in not being able to run an offense against the Panthers’ zone defense, let alone contain them on the defensive end of the floor.
While turnovers were a bugaboo on Thursday, the Panthers’ defense was the instigator against TMP, forcing numerous Monarchs turnovers and turning them into easy baskets.
“I felt like defensively our guys were getting after it,” Battin said. “Our guards were creating havoc there and I felt like our bigs, they were boxing out and going to go glass for every rebound. That was a big difference.”
The Panthers had a balanced scoring attack, led by senior guard Brock Ibarra with 10 points. Senior post player Nick Warren and shooting guard Dillon Reiser each finished with nine points, Reiser’s points coming on a trio of 3-pointers.
“He’s really been stepping up in practice,” Battin said of Warren. “(Thursday night) after watching film, I thought to myself, ‘He’s got to be in the game more,’ and he did. He stepped up and got some putbacks. He did a super job.
“Dylan is going to have to step up and it was good to see him knock down those 3s. I like this team’s attitude. They really don’t care who scores and they really don’t care who gets the credit. They just want to win.”
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
30th Annual Hays City Shoot-Out
Hays Middle School
Great Bend 53,
Thomas More Prep Marian 27
Tanner Unrein 0 1-2 1, Blake Dreher 0 0-0 0, Kameron Schmidt 0 0-0 0, Shane Zimmerman 1 0-0 3, Max Megaffin 0 0-0 0, Taylor Wasinger 1 0-0 2, Matt Mindrup 0 0-0 0, Ryan Schippers 0 1-2 1, Cameron Fouts 3 0-0 6, Kade Megaffin 3 0-0 6, Jordan Gottschalk 4 0-0 8. Totals 12 2-4 27.
GREAT BEND (1-1)
Matt Marshall 3 0-0 6, Chad Touslee 3 3-4 9, Brock Ibarra 2 4-4 10, Cole Mulch 0 0-0 0, Bryce Beck 0 3-4 3, Dillon Reiser 3 0-0 9, Gabe Joiner 1 0-0 3, Tristan Titus 0 0-0 0, Ethan Henderson 1 0-0 2, Wyatt Bryant 0 0-0 0, Josh Lutz 0 0-0 0, Nick Warren 2 5-6 9. Totals 16 15-22 53.
Monarchs 2 6 12 7 — 27
Panthers 14 18 13 8 — 53
Three-point goals — Great Bend 6 (Reiser 3, Ibarra 2, Joiner); TMP 1 (Zimmerman). Total fouls — TMP 16, Great Bend 12. Fouled out — Fouled out.