BY JIM MISUNAS
GREAT BEND — Lauren Welsch sparked the Great Bend’s girls off the bench with 18 points as the Panthers stunned state-ranked Thomas More Prep 51-42 in a non-league basketball game Tuesday.
The Panthers forced 25 Monarch turnovers with aggressive fullcourt pressure that turned into some easy transition points. The Panthers did an effective job pressuring the basketball. Regan Unruh added 10 points for the Panthers.
Great Bend improved to 8-9 heading to a home game Friday against Dodge City High School. TMP, ranked third in Class 4A-Division 2, dropped to 14-3
The Monarchs led 12-5 in the first quarter, but Welsch swung the momentum with nine consecutive Panther points for a 16-15 first-quarter lead. Megan Koeningman kept the Monarchs within 29-27 with a 14-point first half. She ended the half with a 3-pointer.
Great Bend took control with a 13-4 scoring edge in the third quarter for a 42-31 lead after three quarters. Peyton Burkhart, Welsch and Mariah Stein drilled consecutive 3-pointers for a 38-31 lead. Carley Brack and Carly Dreiling ended the quarter with back-to-back baskets,
Megan Koeningsman led the Monarchs with 19 points.
TMP 15 12 4 11 — 42
Great Bend 16 13 13 9 — 51
Great Bend — Welsch 18, Unruh 10, Dreiling 6, Burkhart 4, Brack 5, Stein 3, Mauler 3, Warren 2.
TMP BOYS 65,
GREAT BEND 52
The Great Bend Panthers shot lights out from long distance against Hays-Thomas More Prep. Kody Crosby led the way with a season high 24 points.
The Panthers drilled 11 3-point goals, but the Monarchs dominated in the paint for a 65-52 non-league basketball victory over Great Bend. The Monarchs outscored the Panthers 39-26 in the second half after a 26-26 halftime tie. Shade Wondra also played well at times for the Panthers.
Crosby scored 18 first-half points. The Panthers scored 18 of their 26 points on six 3-pointers. The Panthers tacked on five more 3-pointers for 11 of 24 shooting from long range. But the Panthers managed just 19 points on 2-pointers and free throws.
The Monarchs (11-6) broke the game open with a 15-0 scoring streak to start the second half for a 41-26 lead. TMP started the streak with six easy points off three straight Panther turnovers.
Trey Ibarra broke the run with a 3-pointer for Great Bend (2-15). Peyton Kaufman led TMP with 16 points. Jared Vitztum added 15 points.
The Panthers entertain Dodge City Friday for Great Bend’s Hall of Fame game. The Panthers travel to Liberal Saturday.
TMP 14 12 24 15 — 65
Great Bend 16 10 10 16 — 52
TMP — Hoffman 16, Vitztum 15, Megaffin 12, Schmidt 8, Crittenden 6, Schumacher 5, Flax 2, Schippers 1.
Great Bend — Crosby 24, Sullivan 8, Ibarra 6, Wondra 5, Murray 5, Smith 4.