GARDEN CITY — Two decisive stretches did in the Great Bend High School Lady Panthers’ basketball team during their Western Athletic Conference opener at Garden City on Friday night.
The Lady Buffaloes, off to their best start in school history, broke a tie ballgame late in the second quarter for a 29-22 halftime lead. And, after the Lady Panthers managed only two fourth-quarter points, Garden City posted a 51-34 victory at The “New” Garden.
“That was what we felt was one of the biggest things,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We couldn’t get the momentum to swing. We felt like we kept making runs and getting back to a point, but when we got to that point, where we just needed that one shot to fall, we just never could get it to go.
“The shots in the second half, I think we made five field goals total, one field goal in the fourth quarter.”
Tarynn Tempel finished with a game-high 18 points and Jaymie Bernbeck scored 17, as the Lady Buffs, who started out the 1988 season with a 5-1 mark before losing their seventh game, improved to 6-1, including 2-0 in conference play.
“Any time you’re playing a good team, especially a team like Garden City, who’s very competitive, they’re going to continue to push at it and you’re going to have to get some shots to fall,” Minton said. “It was unfortunate that we could never get that momentum swing that we feed off of as a team.”
The Lady Panthers, who didn’t score a point in the fourth quarter until Kylee Spray’s basket with 12.1 seconds left, dropped to 3-3, 0-1. Great Bend was led in scoring by Hannah Hildebrand and Kaylie Doll with six points apiece. Tarynn Stueder scored five.
“They’re a very good ball team,” Minton said of Garden City. “I give them a lot of credit, but I feel like we’re a better team than what the final score is going to show. Our shooting percentage in the second half was not anywhere near we wanted it to be.”
Both teams traded baskets during a majority of the first half before Garden broke a 19-all ballgame with eight unanswered points in the midst of a 10-0 surge. It came during a one-minute, 24-second stretch late in the second quarter to give the Lady Buffs a 27-19 lead.
But not before Doll’s 3-pointer at the 5:16 mark in the second period gave the Lady Panthers a 17-16 lead, and Stueder’s basket at the 3:09 mark made it 19-17 GBHS.
Garden post player Johna McClelland answered by scoring in the lane to tie the game at 19, kick-starting the Lady Buffs on their splurge before the break for their eight-point lead.
Great Bend’s McKenna Mauler converted 1 of 2 free throws at the 1:12 mark. After a Garden bucket, Hildebrand hit a shot at the halftime buzzer, pulling the Lady Panthers within 29-22 at intermission.
“That was one of those turning points,” Minton said of Garden’s late second-quarter burst. “It had been a really good back-and-forth, up-and-down-the-court ballgame up until the last couple minutes. It felt like we just had a couple of miscues on defense, and some miscommunication. We let them get open a couple times.”
Tempel scored nine of the Lady Buffs’ first 13 points of the second half, helping them garner a 38-32 lead after three quarters, a lead they extended to 42-32 with 5½ minutes left in the final period. Though still in contention, Great Bend continued to misfire on the offensive end until game’s end.
The Lady Panthers entertain arch-rival Hays on Tuesday night in their home opener, tipping off at 6, followed by the boys game.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
At Garden City
The ‘New’ Garden
Garden City 51, Great Bend 34
GREAT BEND (3-3, 0-1)
Hannah Hildebrand 2 2-2 6, Kelsie Doll 1 0-0 2, Kylee Spray 1 0-0 2, Regan Unruh 2 0-0 4, Kaylie Doll 2 1-2 6, McKenna Mauler 1 1-4 3, Tarynn Stueder 2 1-2 5, Kalee Maneth 0 0-0 0, Morgan Harwood 3 0-0 6. Totals 14 5-10 34.
GARDEN CITY (6-1, 2-0)
Johna McClelland 3 1-1 7, Kristen Padilla 1 0-0 2, Taylor Linenberger 0 0-0 0, Jessica Carrillo 0 0-0 0, Jacksenie Tornero 2 2-2 7, Kennedy Brunson 0 1-3 1, Taryn Tempel 7 3-5 18, Tionna McKee 1 1-1 3, Jaymie Bernbeck 6 1-3 13. Totals 20 9-15 51.
GBHS 14 8 10 2 — 34
GCHS 16 13 9 13 — 51
Three-point goals — Garden City 2 (Tempel, Tornero); Great Bend 1 (Kaylie Doll). Total fouls — Great Bend 17, Garden 14. Fouled out — Great Bend (Mauler).