HAYS — Carrie Minton’s debut as Great Bend High School’s girls’ head basketball coach found the Lady Panthers going toe-to-toe with De Soto in a first-round game late Thursday afternoon at the Hays City Shoot-Out.
After falling behind 17-8 through one period, the Lady Panthers, behind an increased tempo and the inside play of junior post player Morgan Harwood, were able to cut into the Lady Wildcats’ lead, closing the gap to 21-19 at halftime. But De Soto outscored GBHS 7-2 in the third quarter for a 28-21 lead and pulled away for a season-opening 44-28 victory.
“The girls played so hard for a full 32 minutes,” Minton said. “It was impressive seeing them flying all over the floor and we knew going into the game that we had speed that we could utilize, and size isn’t exactly in our favor when you’re playing a team like De Soto.
“We felt like, from top to bottom, we did a few things that, looking back, we know we can fix. We left a ton of shots down around the basket hanging on the rim and I think we counted up 25 cutbacks or bunnies that we missed. It’s easy to go in and fix something like that as opposed to trying to go back in and try to make adjustments to an entire offense.”
The Lady Panthers are playing in the consolation bracket at 3 today.
On Thursday, trailing 19-12 in the second period, the Lady Panthers surged into the dressing rooms at intermission down by only two points after outscoring De Soto 7-2 during the final two minutes, 52 seconds of the second quarter.
Harwood, who finished with a team-high 10 points, converted a pair of free throws, and then junior wing shooter Tarynn Stueder knocked down a 3-pointer at the 2:21 mark to make it 21-17. Junior guard Kaylie Doll later followed by driving for a layup in the final seconds of the half, pulling the Lady Panthers within two points at the break.
But it went south for the Lady Panthers in the second half after they started committing turnovers and missing shots from point-blank range.
Megan Bonar, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, the daughter of DeSoto head coach Jim Bonar, led the Lady Wildcats with 12 points. Paige Williams, a 5-9 senior forward, added 10 points for the Lady Wildcats, who advance to today’s semifinals.
“Our girls knew we were going up against a really tough team and Bonar was a tough matchup,” Minton said. “She proved to be a great player. We felt like our best bet was going to be play hard on her and make some of those other girls beat us.
“She got her looks, and we didn’t get some of those short shots to fall. To me, it’s a deceiving loss in that it was 16 points, but when you leave 30 or 40 points hanging around the rim, nothing outside the paint, it’s promising and looking at us from the outside in, we’re a very tough and scrappy team and we need to continue to play that way.”
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
30th Annual Hays City Shoot-Out
Hays Middle School
De Soto 44, Great Bend 28
DE SOTO (1-0)
Katie Gehrt 0 3-3 3, Shelby Deghand 1 0-0 3, Mackenzie Lancaster 1 0-0 3, Kristen Saucerman 1 2-2 5, Paige Williams 2 6-9 10, Megan Bonar 5 2-6 12, Elaine Price 0 0-0 0, Megan Brashears 2 0-0 6, Melissa Lambert 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 13-20 44.
GREAT BEND (0-1)
Hannah Hildebrand 0 0-3 0, Kelsie Doll 1 0-0 2, Kylee Spray 1 0-0 2, Regan Unruh 1 1-2 3, Kaylie Doll 2 0-0 4, McKenna Mauler 1 0-4 2, Tarynn Stueder 1 2-2 5, Kalee Maneth 0 0-0 0, Morgan Harwood 3 4-6 10. Totals 10 7-17 28.
De Soto 17 4 7 16 — 44
Great Bend 8 11 2 7 — 28
Three-point goals — De Soto 5 (Brashears 2, Saucerman, Lancaster, Deghand); Great Bend 1 (Stueder). Total fouls — De Soto 19, Great Bend 16. Fouled out — None.
Hays City Shoot-Out
De Soto 44, Great Bend 28
Hays 43, Colby 33
Newton 47, Riley County 38
Kearney, Neb. vs. TMP Marian (n)