Great Bend High School’s boys’ basketball team built a double-digit lead over Garden City on Friday night at Panther Fieldhouse.
The Panthers needed every point as the Buffaloes nearly rallied, but fell 48-47 in the Western Athletic Conference game.
“Some nights you’ve got to win ugly,” GBHS head coach Chris Battin said. “That’s kind of what we did. We had times where we turned it over, and there were times where we had kids make some really spectacular plays.”
Things didn’t start so well for the Panthers.
After Nick Warren won the tip for Great Bend, Garden City started off the scoring with a 6-0 run. The Buffaloes found success driving the lanes into to the basket.
After a quick time out from Battin, the Panthers started to get things under control.
They opened things up with a 3-pointer from Dillon Reiser, and were able to close the gap to 11-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Turnovers squandered Great Bend’s chances at taking a lead, but Garden City missed its first few shots on the other end.
Shade Wondra made his presence known with a pull-up jumper in the paint to give Great Bend its first lead of the game 12-11 with 5:41 remaining in the half.
The Buffaloes went frigid, missing numerous shots and turning the ball over four times in the first six minute of the second quarter.
Garden City score any points in the eight-minute span.
Still, Great Bend only managed to take a 17-11 lead into halftime after numerous turnovers on their end.
Bryce Beck hit a pair of free throws, Trey Ibarra made 1 of 2 free throws and a pair of baskets from Kody Crosby ended the half for the Panthers.
Caleb Tramp snapped the cold streak for Garden City, making a short jumper to open the third quarter.
The Panthers were still able to outscore the Buffaloes 10-9, leaving them ahead 27-20.
Crosby took over in the fourth quarter.
He scored 10 of his 28 points in the final eight minutes.
“He did a wonerful job,” Battin said of Crosby. “He just has a knack for the basketball, finds ways to get open and hit some shots. I thought our guards did a nice job finding him against their press at times.”
Still the Buffaloes hung on, and with two minutes remaining, found themselves down 11 points.
A quick basket, a couple of jump balls called on inbound plays and a 3-pointer closed the gap to 43-37 with 54 seconds left in the game.
Beck was fouled, but couldn’t make either of his free throws.
Another 3-pointer, and Garden City trailed 43-40.
Ibarra was fouled going the other way, making both of his free throws for Great Bend. The Panthers led 45-40 with 36.7 seconds left.
Garden City’s Tristan Nanninga made it 45-42 with 19.7 remaining.
Beck made 1 of 2 free throws on the other end, and Ibarra got steal on the Garden City inbound pass. Ibarra made both of his free throws, making it 48-42.
“He knocked down some big free throws, but none was bigger than the steal on the sideline,” Battin said of Ibarra. “A tremendous play. We had him up there just to make the guy pick up the ball. They didn’t realize he was there, and he gets it.
“Then he’s strong enough with the ball to get the foul. That was huge.”
After a Garden City layup, Beck was fouled with 3.1 seconds left. He missed both of his free throws, leaving it 48-44.
Nanninga hit a last-second 3-pointer for Garden City, leaving the Buffaloes one point behind.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Western Athletic Conference
At Great Bend
Great Bend 48, Garden City 47
GARDEN CITY (10-6, 2-3)
Caleb Tramp 10 1-6 21, Hunter Delgado 2 0-0 6, Miguel Olivas 1 0-0 3, Jared Koster 1 2-4 4, Mitch Hernandez 2 0-0 4, Tristan Nanninga 4 0-0 9. Totals 20 3-10 47.
GREAT BEND (7-10, 1-4)
Jack Westhoff 0 0-0 0, Trey Ibarra 1 5-6 8, Kody Crosby 9 5-7 28, Quinton Elliott 1 2-2 4, Bryce Beck 1 2-9 4, Dillon Reiser 1 1-2 4, Shade Wondra 1 0-2 2, Wyatt Bryant 0 1-2 1, Nick Warren 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 17-32 48.
Garden City 11 0 9 27 — 47
Great Bend 10 7 10 21 — 48
Three-point goals — Garden City 4 (Delgado 2, Olivas, Nanninga); Great Bend 3 (Ibarra, Crosby, Reiser).