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Great Bend girls defeat defending league champion Dodge City

DODGE CITY – The Great Bend girls basketball team started the Western Athletic Conference race by knocking off Dodge City 52-37, the two-time defending WAC champions.
Panther Carley Brack scored a career high 27 points as she sliced through Dodge City’s defense on 8-of-12 shooting. Brack contributed a team high four steals and three assists.
“Dodge City was the only team that beat us in league last year,” said Great Bend coach Carrie Minton. “The girls stepped up and played great basketball in our first conference game. Carly Brack did a fantastic job taking what the defense gave her. She stepped through some double teams.”
Brack scored the Panthers’ first seven points and netted 16 points by halftime. The Panthers’ effective pressure scored 23 points off 17 Dodge City turnovers. Dodge City finished shooting 26 percent on 12 of 46 field goals.
“We applied pressure from the start and set the tempo,” Minton said.
Carly Dreiling and spunky Keely Ireland shared the key defensive assignment on Dodge City guard Tia Bradshaw. She made two of 12 field goals and had to work hard for her 12 points.
“Our goal was to keep the basketball out of her hands,” Minton said. “Carly and Keely did a great defensive job on their assignment. They really handed it well.”
When Bradshaw gave the ball to teammates, they were pressured defensively.
“When she gave the ball up, we did a good job trapping and pressuring their other players,” Minton said. “Our pressure defense was the key to the game.”
Camryn Dunekack scored 13 second-half points against Dodge City’s 1-3-1 zone defense.
“We showed good team play that second half when we found an open teammate,” Minton said. “It was great to see the girls step up and see their teammates.”
Dodge City’s Tara Nelson added 10 points.
Great Bend (4-2, 1-0) broke an 18-game Dodge City winning streak in league play dating back to 2013 when the Panthers beat the Red Demons. Great Bend continues its road swing at an improving Garden City team Friday night.
The Panthers were on the verge of coasting to an easy victory with a 23-8 lead with the Red Demons shooting 3 of 20.
But Dodge City closed on a 9-0 run for a 23-17 halftime deficit. The Red Demons’ bench delivered when Hannah Sowers, Alexis Ontiberos and Rachel Garcia scored in the final minutes. Coach Minton drew an ill-time technical foul that handed Dodge City a free throw and an extra possession.
Dodge City (2-3, 0-1) lost a league game for the first time in three years after capturing the past two WAC titles with 8-0 records.

GB 11 12 14 15 – 52
DC 6 11 11 9 – 37
GB—Carley Brack 8-12 10-12 27; Carly Dreiling 2-4 0-0 4; Keely Ireland 1-3 0-0 3; Shailey Clark 0-2 0-2 0; Camryn Dunekack 4-9 4-7 13; Kaylee Unruh 0-1 0-0 0; Brooklyn Burkhart 1-2 1-4 3; Jenna Mauler 0-1 0-0 0; Kate Warren 1-2 0-0 2; Totals 17-36 15-25 52.
DC—Tia Bradshaw 2-12 8-13 12; Ashley Nelson 5-12 0-0 10; Madison Armstrong 0-7 0-0 0; Kaylyn Maple 1-2 0-0 3; Hannah Sowers 2-5 2-2 6; Reiyna Cecil 0-3 0-0 0 Alexis Ontiberos 1-3 2-4 4; Rachel Garcia 1-2 0-0 2; Totals 12-46 12-19 37.
3-point goals—GB 3-10 (Ireland 1-3, Dunekack 1-3, Mauler 0-1, Brack 1-3); DC 1-13 (Bradshaw 0-3, Maple 1-1, Armstrong 0-5, Nelson 0-1, Sowers 0-1, Cecil 0-2). Technical—GB coach Minton. Rebounds—GB 29 (Dreiling 6); DC 34 (Bradshaw 10). TO—GB 16, DC 17. Assists—GB 8 (Brack 3), DC 7 (Bradshaw 4). Steals—GB 9 (Brack 4), DC 7 (Nelson 3, Bradshaw 3).

GREAT BEND NINTH-GRADE 33, DODGE CITY 29 – Alyssa Herter drilled the go-ahead basket and game-clinching free throws for a 33-29 victory.