Morgan Harwood and Tarynn Stueder — two integral parts for the Great Bend High School Lady Panthers — have landed on the All-Western Athletic Conference basketball team.
Harwood, a 5-foot-11 junior post player, was a first-team selection. Stueder, a 5-9 junior guard/forward, was a honorable mention pick in a vote by the league’s coaches.
“Both of those young ladies did a great job, especially during the latter part of the season,” said Great Bend head coach Carrie Minton, who guided the Lady Panthers to a 14-7 record in her first season at the helm, including 5-2 for second place in the WAC.
The Lady Panthers advanced to a Class 5A sub-state tournament championship game, falling to host Salina South 56-46.
Two of the reasons were Harwood and Stueder.
“Between the two of them, they led the team in scoring and rebounding,” Minton said. “They had a great conference season.”
Harwood led Great Bend in scoring and rebounding, averaging almost a double-double with 14.7 points-per-game scoring average and a 9.1 rebounding clip. She made 41 of 73 field goals, shooting a team-best 56.1 percent.
“With Morgan, size-wise, we were a little bit of a mismatch,” Minton said of her tallest player on a team that featured all underclassmen. “But Morgan plays really big and she did a great job for us all season.
“She’s very determined and very hard-working. I was pleased that she was recognized by the WAC coaches as being one of the best in the league.”
Stueder averaged 8.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and was a ball-hawking defender on the perimeter, making 21 steals.
“Tarynn played really well on the outside,” Minton said. “When it came to the conference part of the season, she was very consistent.
“We had people that played really well throughout the year in individual games, and Tarynn was very consistent for us when it came to the conference part of our season.”
It was indeed a memorable season for the Lady Panthers, coming off a dreadful 3-17 campaign, who wound up one win shy of securing their first state tournament berth since the 2008-09 season.
“I was really happy for this group of young ladies,” Minton said. “They worked really hard from the very first day and it was nice to see them have some success.
“Going into next season, they have something look forward to, they know where they want to be and they know what they want to achieve. They also know what it’s going to take to get there. We were knocking on the door this year, and we expect to be playing a little bit later in the season next year.”
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Taryn Tempel Junior Garden City
Kaitlin Schumacher Senior Hays
Jai Chapman Junior Liberal
Morgan Harwood Junior Great Bend
Jayme Bernbeck Soph. Garden City
Ciera Lampe Senior Dodge City
Alexis Sanchez Senior Dodge City
Taylor Herman Senior Hays
Johna McClelland Senior Garden City
Tarynn Stueder Junior Great Bend
Player of the Year: Taryn Tempel, Garden City
Coach of the Year: David Upton, Garden City