The three-pronged combination of Garden City High School’s Jaymie Bernbeck, Taryn Tempel and Johna McClelland made for a long Friday night for the Great Bend Lady Panthers.
Bernbeck scored 19 points, Tempel pumped in 16 and McClelland totaled 14, leading the Class 6A No. 8-ranked Lady Buffaloes to a 63-49 victory at Panther Fieldhouse in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Athletic Conference.
Garden City’s full-court pressure induced 13 GBHS turnovers in the first quarter alone, as the WAC first-place Lady Buffs built a 20-4 lead en route to their 14th victory in 17 games. They’re now 5-0 in league play.
“We knew that they were going to create a matchup problem,” said Great Bend head coach Carrie Minton, referencing the 6-foot-2 post player McClelland, the 6-foot Bernbeck and the athletic Tempel. “But we also knew that we’ve had a lot of confidence in our shooting, coming out of the last couple of games, and we really felt like matchup-wise, we could get in and help off a little bit on a couple of their players.
“We knew the Tempel girl is a great athlete and she’s a tough matchup any time, but we feel like, defensively, we have the players that can match up one-on-one. When we had to help off, unfortunately, that hurt us a little bit.”
Morgan Harwood scored 19 points, Kelsie Doll added a season-high 14 points and Tarynn Stueder finished with 10 for the Lady Panthers, who dropped to 10-6, 3-2.
Garden City led 8-0 out of the gate, and pair of baskets by Harwood later cut the margin to 11-4 at the three-minute mark.
But the Lady Buffs scored the final nine points of the opening period for a commanding 16-point lead, one that was ultimately too much to overcome for GBHS.
“We dug ourselves a bit of a hole there in the first few minutes of the first quarter,” Minton said. “We almost played against ourselves a little bit and looking back, you can always second-guess.”
Great Bend outscored Garden City 15-13 in the second quarter, but still trailed 33-19 at halftime. The Lady Panthers then went on a 17-14 run in the third period, but still trailed 47-36 entering the final eight minutes.
“Our girls finally settled down,” Minton said. “We want to play a full ballgame, obviously, but we won the second quarter and won the third quarter. You throw that first quarter out and it makes for a pretty good ballgame.
“Our girls played so hard, and I don’t want overlook the fact that it would have been so easy, looking up at the scoreboard at the end of the first quarter and seeing 20-4 and calling it a night. We started to finally get some momentum and chip away at the lead. The girls took a lot of pride in going out and trying to get back into the ballgame.”
Tempel nailed five of her first six shots from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers, for 12 opening-half points.
While McClellan scored the first four points of the third quarter, Stueder hit a 3 on the other end and Harwood scored off a putback and then converted a three-point play to cut Garden’s lead to 37-27 at the 4:57 mark.
It was still a 10-point game at 46-36 after Kaylie Doll’s trey with nine seconds left in the third quarter, but a Garden free throw made it an 11-point game entering the final period.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Western Athletic Conference
At Great Bend
Garden City High School 63, Great Bend 49
GARDEN CITY (14-3, 5-0)
Johna McClelland 7 0-0 14, Kristen Padilla 1 0-0 2, Taylor Linenberger 0 0-0 0, Jessica Carrillo 0 0-0 0, Jackie Tornero 4 0-0 9, Taryn Tempel 6 2-4 16, Tionna McKee 1 1-1 3, Jaymie Bernbeck 7 5-6 19. Totals 26 8-11 63.
GREAT BEND (10-6, 3-2)
Hannah Hildebrand 0 0-0 0, Kelsie Doll 6 1-4 14, Kylee Spray 0 0-0 0, Regan Unruh 1 0-0 2, Kaylie Doll 0 2-2 2, McKenna Mauler 1 0-0 2, Tarynn Stueder 3 2-4 10, Morgan Harwood 8 3-5 19. Totals 18 8-15 49.
Garden City 20 13 14 16 — 63
Great Bend 4 15 17 13 — 49
Three-point goals — Great Bend 5 (Kel. Doll 3, Stueder 2); Garden City 3 (Tempel 2, Tornero). Total fouls — Garden City 13, Great Bend 11. Fouled out — None.