It was a sloppy game with 59 turnovers between the Great Bend High School girls’ basketball team and Junction City.
The Lady Panthers took a strong lead in the second quarter and kept their distance for a 57-49 win at the Panther Fieldhouse on Friday night.
“We have to appreciate a win because every win is important, but walking away from it, we need to make sure we learn from those things that are prohibiting us from being the team that we can be,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “The little turnovers, the fouls on defense when we’re getting those reach fouls.
“It’s holding us back from being that explosive team that we know that we can be.”
Great Bend was hurt by turnovers early on, committing five in the first 2 1/2 minutes.
At the end of one quarter, Great Bend had 13 turnovers and Junction City had eight.
With the many turnovers for both teams, neither really took advantage with Great Bend holding a slight lead after eight minutes, 10-8.
Things opened up for the Lady Panthers in the second quarter.
Kelsie Doll opened the second period with a 3-pointer from the right wing.
Junction City’s Cassidy Meadows put in a layup, but Morgan Harwood, who had 18 points and 17 rebounds, answered with a putback on the other end.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well in the Hays City Shootout, and we just told the girls that we need to keep shooting because that pulls the defense out,” Minton said. “Anytime when we’re afraid to shoot, that allows teams to sag in a little bit, and we need to pull them out so we can open things up in the middle a little bit for Morgan.
“It wasn’t an easy 18 points, either. She had to work really hard in there. (Kori) Kamm from Junction City is a very strong player, so that was a battle all night.”
The Lady Bluejays turned the ball over again, leading to a Kylee Spray 3-pointer for the Lady Panthers. Spray hit two 3s on her way to eight points in the game.
Shadaja Gamble hit a jumper for Junction City before Great Bend really opened it up with a 9-2 run to end the quarter.
Harwood sank one of two free throws twice and a putback, Lauren Welsch put in a layup and Tarynn Stueder, who finished with 10 points, drove to the hoop for a layup.
Junction City’s Kamm scored to break it up, but Great Bend outscored the Lady Bluejays 17-6 to close out the first half.
The Lady Panthers opened it up to 32-14 in the second half on a Stueder jumper and a Spray trey.
Junction City cut back into the lead, but couldn’t get it to single digits until the final three minutes of the game on a 3-pointer from A’Kia Fain and a trey and one of two free throws from Kaelee Rains.
The Lady Bluejays finished with 31 turnovers. Great Bend had 28.
“We just need to make sure that we value every possession a little bit more,” Minton said. “It doesn’t bother me that we shoot. We take a lot of shots and that’s fine. When we don’t value possessions and we turn the ball over by making silly passes or the traveling, those are the things that are frustrating.”
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
At Great Bend
Great Bend 57, Junction City 49
JUNCTION CITY (1-1)
Kaelee Rains 3 3-4 10, Abryana Dixon 0 2-7 2, Shadaja Gamble 3 0-7 6, Cassidy Meadows 2 1-2 5, A’Kia Fain 3 2-4 9, Kori Kamm 8 1-2 17. Totals 19 9-26 49.
GREAT BEND (3-1)
Lauren Welsch 1 3-5 5, Kelsie Doll 1 0-1 3, Kylee Spray 3 0-0 8, Regan Unruh 1 0-2 2, Kaylie Doll 1 5-6 7, Tarynn Stueder 4 2-6 10, Hannah Mauler 0 2-2 2, Morgan Harwood 6 6-8 18, Madison Unruh 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 20-32 57.
Junction City 8 6 13 22 — 49
Great Bend 10 17 19 11 — 57
Three-point goals — Junction City 2 (Rains, Fain); Great Bend 3 (Spray 2, Ke. Doll).