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Lady Panthers handle arch-rival Hays, improve to 4-3 on season
Western Athletic Conference
spt mm 22Mauler defends
Great Bends McKenna Mauler (22) defends on a Hays out-of-bounds play on Tuesday night at Panther Fieldhouse. - photo by Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune

It’s always nice winning your home opener.
It’s always nice beating your arch rival, too.
The Great Bend High School Lady Panthers did both on Tuesday night, surpassing their win total of last season in the process. GBHS defeated Hays 54-40 in Western Athletic Conference play at Panther Fieldhouse, improving to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in WAC play after last season’s 3-18 finish.
The Lady Panthers rode one of their top offensive outputs of the young campaign, scoring 17 first-quarter points and building on it from there, answering every challenge the Lady Indians put forth the remainder of the game.
“That was what we wanted to see,” Great Bend head coach Carrie Minton said. “After coming out against Garden City a little slow (during a loss in the WAC opener last Friday night), we just told the girls that we really wanted to make sure that we got back to playing the style of basketball that we play.
“That’s forcing the tempo and getting up and down the court. In order to do that, we have to have a lot of defensive pressure and the defensive pressure was in our favor in the first quarter. We jumped out to that big lead, and we knew that Hays was going to fight their way back and wasn’t going to roll over.”
In scoring its 17 first-quarter points, GBHS needed every bit of it as Hays outscored the Lady Panthers 16-7 in the second period to pull within 24-22 at intermission.
Early on, the Lady Panthers hit of eight of their first 13 shots, building a 15-2 lead at the four-minute mark while forcing Hays into six turnovers in that span. They stretched the lead to 17-6 after one quarter.
The Lady Panthers’ Kelsie Doll then knocked down a 3-pointer 14 seconds into the second period to expand the margin to 20-6 before Hays started getting back into contention.
The third quarter found the two teams trading baskets, with GBHS taking a 39-36 lead into the final period.
But the Lady Panthers’ defense tightened up from there and pulled away, keeping Hays scoreless in the final period before Kaitlin Gulley’s basket from the wing with 1:42 left made it 50-38.
GBHS post player Morgan Harwood scored 14 points, Tarynn Stueder added 13 points and Kaylie Doll finished with 11, the first time the Lady Panthers have had three players in double figures.

Western Athletic Conference


At Great Bend
Panther Fieldhouse


Great Bend 54, Hays 40
HAYS (4-4, 1-1)
    Mattie Schlaefli 0 0-1 0, Janae Gagnon 5 0-0 10, Taylor Herman 3 0-0 6, April Johnson 0 0-0 0, Kaitlin Gulley 3 2-2 10, Megan Bird 0 0-0 0, Emily Braun 1 1-4 3, Katelyn Schumacher 4 3-6 11, Hannah Hearld 0 0-0 0 Emily Pechkham 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 6-13 40.
GREAT BEND (4-3, 1-1)
    Kacee Kasselman 0 0-0 0, Hannah Hildebrand 0 0-1 0, Kelsie Doll 2 0-2 5, Kylee Spray 1 0-0 3, Kaylie Doll 3 4-9 11, McKenna Mauler 4 0-2 8, Tarynn Stueder 3 5-6 13, Morgan Harwood 5 4-4 14. Totals 18 13-24 54.
Hays      6   16   14    4   —  40
GBHS    17    7   15   15  —  54
    Three-point goals — Great Bend 5 (Stueder 2, Kelsie Doll Spray, Kaylei Doll); Hays 2 (Gulley 2). Total fouls — Hays 19, Great Bend 18. Fouled out — Great Bend (Spray); Hays (Bird).