HAYS — The Great Bend Middle School boys A and B basketball teams traveled to Hays to battle two Liberal middle schools teams. Three of the four games went down to the final play of the game.
The Panthers’ A team had a tough game against Liberal Eisenhower Middle School in a 38-35 setback. Great Bend rallied from a 15-point deficit.
“Our defense really turned it up a notch late in the third quarter and into the fourth,” said Great Bend coach Dale Kuhlman. “We dug ourselves too deep of a hole. We had some great steals in the fourth quarter that helped us get back into it.”
Sage Koelsch and Joseph Moeder each had two steals. Moeder scored 15 points while Koelsch added eight points. Gavin Haberman grabbed three rebounds.
Against Seymour Rogers Middle School, it was much of the same. The Panthers trailed by 11 points before a charge late in the game made it interesting. A last-second shot gave Seymour Rogers the victory.
“Again, we just put ourselves in a tough situation with too many unforced turnovers,” Kuhlman said. “I was very pleased how the boys never gave up and turned on the defensive pressure late in the fourth quarter to give us the lead.”
Moeder had five steals and Koelsch had three steals to spark the comeback. Laken Webb hit a late three to pull the Panthers closer. With 15 seconds, the Panthers took the lead only to have SRMS drive the length of the court and make a last second prayer for the win. Moeder scored nine points. Koelsch added six points and Webb five.
GREAT BEND B — The Great Bend B-team edged past Liberal Eisenhower 24-19. Tyler Stein led the team with 10 points and Rafael Gomez added six points.
“The team really stepped up their defense making Eisenhower take off balance shots and we pulled down the rebounds,” said coach Matt Rorabaugh.
The Panthers lost a last-second 26-25 decision to Liberal Seymour Rogers. The Panthers battled hard with the game coming down to a last-second shot that barely missed the mark as time expired.
Despite a solid defense and few turnovers, the Panthers came up just shy. Carlos Batres scored eight points. Evan Wedel and Tyler Stein added six points apiece.