Things started off slow for both teams, neither shooting better than 33 percent from the field in the first half.
Great Bend High School’s girls’ basketball team got things heated up, thanks in large part to the post play of Morgan Harwood, to pull ahead down the stretch for a 58-40 win over Hoisington on Thursday night at Panther Fieldhouse.
“Morgan played really hard tonight,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We knew they were going to be a tough matchup or a tough opponent for us. They came out and got some shots off of some screens.
“Offensively, we struggled to get into our tempo of the game.”
Whether it be the cold weather or playing on a night neither team is accustomed to playing on, both Hoisington and Great Bend started slow.
The Lady Cardinals held a slight advantage after one quarter, 14-13.
The Lady Panthers put some distance in between themselves and Hoisington in the second quarter.
Great Bend outscored the Lady Cardinals 15-9 for a 28-23 lead at intermission.
“We like to run and we like to open things up, and it seemed a little bit slow in the first half,” Minton said.
Kylee Spray opened up the third quarter with a pair of 3-point daggers to help Great Bend outpace the Lady Cardinals.
Harwood put in a couple buckets in the paint, Tarynn Stueder dropped in a jumper and Great Bend managed to lead by as much as 10 points in the third quarter.
Hoisington cut it back to eight points on a steal and basket from Rylie Koester, leaving the Lady Panthers ahead 42-34 after three quarters.
Koester finished with a team-leading 17 points.
Great Bend’s defense held Hoisington’s leading scorer, Jordin Greer, to only nine points.
A couple of turnovers and an errant shot from Great Bend, but Hoisington could only make the Lady Panthers pay for one of them in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
Then in a 30-second period, McKenna Mauler went to the line and made 1 of 2 free throws, a steal led to a Lauren Welsch basket and a second steal resulted in a Harwood three-point play. Great Bend led 48-36 with 5:04 remaining in the game.
“That was the plan, to get it inside to Morgan, in the first half, but we kept getting wide open looks at 3s, so we were taking them,” Minton said. “If a few more of those fell, it’d be a different story.
“But Morgan continues to work hard for us, and she came up big in that second half.”
Harwood, who scored a season-high 21 points in the game, really kicked things into gear. She scored 10 points in the final quarter and grabbed 10 rebounds in the game for a double-double.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
At Great Bend
Great Bend 58, Hoisington 40
Karisa Schremmer 1 0-0 2, Jordin Greer 4 1-2 9, Rylie Koester 3 10-12 17, Abbi Demel 3 0-0 6, Presley Smith 2 1-2 5, Melissa Pata 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 13-18 40.
GREAT BEND (11-2)
Lauren Welsch 3 0-0 7, Hannah Hildebrand 2 0-0 4, Kylee Spray 3 0-0 9, Regan Unruh 3 0-0 7, McKenna Mauler 2 0-2 5, Tarynn Stueder 2 0-0 5, Morgan Harwood 9 3-5 21. Totals 24 3-7 58.
Hoisington 14 9 11 6 — 40
Great Bend 13 15 14 16 — 58
Three-point goals — Hoisington 1 (Koester); Great Bend 6 (Spray 3, Unruh, Welsch, Stueder).