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Great Bend boys rally falls short
spt deh gbhs boys bball defense no 11 web
Konner Ireland (11) of Great Bend High School Panther boys basketball squads stares down Junction City High Blue Jay Lonnie Autry (1) Friday night at GBHS. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Junction City’s basketball team had an answer to every Great Bend defensive plan that spoiled Tim Brooks’ home coaching debut.
The Blue Jays drilled nine 3-pointers against the Panthers’ zone and dominated the inside game in the final quarter when the Panthers played man-to-man defense in a 67-54 victory Friday night.
Great Bend coach Tim Brooks crafted a nifty game plan that gave the Blue Jays the perimeter shot.
The Blue Jays shot the 3-pointer with accuracy, making 9 of 18 attempts from long range. A.J. Dickerson led the way with 23 points and Aaron Hamilton converted a trio of 3-pointers for 14 points.
“We took away their inside game because they had not shown accurate outside shooting in their first two games. We had to pick our poison because Junction City has really good inside players,” Brooks said. “Our guys battled and stuck to our game plan.”
The Blue Jays led 12-0 with a flawless opening minute. Supersub Koy Brack contributed 10 first-half points to lead the Panthers’ rally. The Panthers sliced the lead within three points five times in the second and third periods.
Kody Crosby battled against exceptional defense by Eli Gardner, who hounded his every move. Crosby managed 15 points, just off his 17-point average. Brayden Smith scored 13 points off aggressive inside moves.
Brooks liked how his team moved the basketball and made confident plays to the basket.
“We eventually found the open shooter and had answers to their defense,” Brooks said. “We had guys step up with confidence and make plays. Hopefully, that will continue as the season progresses. We showed good improvement.”
The Blue Jays responded with a key outside shot or an efficient offensive possession each time. Dickerson started the fourth quarter with a 3-point play and followed with a rebound basket for a 46-39 lead.
“Give them credit because they made a basket every time we got close,” Brooks said.
Brooks’ scouting report proved accurate when the Blue Jays’ leading scorer A.J. Range scored eight fourth-quarter points against the Panthers’ man-to-man defense. The Blue jays scored 10 second-chance points in the final period.
“You could see that Range is a very good player,” Brooks said. “

JC 12 15 14 26 — 67
GB 5 16 18 15 — 54
JC—A.J. Dickerson 7-15 5-6 23; Aaron Hamilton 5-6 1-2 14; Lonnie Autry 2-8 4-4 10; Eaves 1-2 0-0 2; Range 4-8 1-2 9; Gardner 2-3 4-6 8; Magee 0-0 1-2 1; Totals 21-42 16-22 67.
GB—Kody Crosby 6-16 2-3 15; Brayden Smith 6-13 1-5 13; Koy Brack 3-4 2-2 10; Eric Woods 0-0 0-2 0; Konner Ireland 1-3 0-0 2; Logan Perry 3-6 2-3 8; Jacob Murray 1-5 3-4 6; Totals 20-47 10-18 54.
3-point goals—JC 9-18 (Hamilton 3-3, Dickerson 4-10, Autry 2-5); GB 4-8 (Brack 2-2, Murray 1-1, Crosby 1-4, Ireland 0-1).