Great Bend High School was well-represented on the All-Western Athletic Conference girls basketball team, with seniors Lexie Brack, Cassidy Tutak and Kalie LeShore garnering first-team honors.
The Lady Panthers finished 9-12 overall, including 5-3 for sole possession of second place in the WAC.
The aforementioned trio spearheaded Great Bend’s late-season surge in conference play, where it overtook Hays for second place in the standings with a road win over the Lady Indians in the regular-season finale.
“Lexie and Cassidy played probably the most minutes through the years on varsity,” Great Bend head coach Jason Tatkenhorst said. “We kind of expected them to have a good year.
“Lexie played all four years on varsity, and she made 29 3-pointers and that’s quite a few 3s for a season. She’s a good perimeter shooter.”
Brack led the Lady Panthers with a 9.3 points-per-game scoring average while also leading the team in assists (60) and free-throw shooting, sinking 38 of 54 at the line for 70.4 percent. She made 30.9 percent of her 3s (29-for-94).
Tutak, who averaged 8.8 points, shot 37.1 percent from the floor, hitting a team-high 65 field goals out of 175 attempts. Brack finished with 64 baskets.
LeShore, who averaged 6.6 points, dealt out 44 assists — second on the team — while finishing just a fraction behind Brack in foul shooting (63-for-90 for 70 percent).
“They came through,” Tatkenhorst said of his trio of seniors. “I thought Lexie was really consistent after Christmas and Cassidy, day-in and day-out, she’s going to make those jumpers and she caused match-up problems for a lot of teams.
“I’m really proud of Kalie. She has really matured this year as a person and a player. She picked up on her scoring and really pushed the ball for us.”
The turning point in the season for the Lady Panthers came on a cold January night during a non-conference road trip to Manhattan. Even though they lost in double-overtime to Class 6A Manhattan, a game where Brack tied a school record with five 3s, it gave them confidence that they could compete with anyone on their slate.
“That’s what we talked about after that game,” Tatkenhorst said. “We could have sat in there and sulked and upset how we lost that game.
Instead, they took the positives from that outing as a confidence booster, which parlayed into some conference wins down the stretch, capped by the road win over Hays.
Dodge City went undefeated in conference play to take home the crown. The Red Demons were eliminated in 6A sub-state play.
The Lady Panthers had their season end with a Class 5A first-round sub-state loss to McPherson, which captured third place at the state tournament in Topeka last weekend.
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
(Selections were made in a vote by WAC coaches)
Coach of the Year: Justin Briggs, Dodge City
Player of the Year: Kesha Buckner, Dodge City
Paige Lunsford Hays Jr.
Justice Norah Liberal Jr.
Kristen Heiman Garden City Jr.
Brenna Briggs Dodge City Jr.
Traci Martinez Garden City Sr.
A’zlynn Thompson Dodge City Sr.
Alexis Brack Great Bend Sr.
Cassidy Tutak Great Bend Sr.
Lindsey Schmeidler Hays Sr.
Kalie LeShore Great Bend Sr.
Emily Pfeifer Hays Sr.
Taryn Temple Garden City Fr.
Teghan Pencis Dodge City Sr.
Ashley Stephenson Dodge City Jr.