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Panther boys lose overtime heartbreaker



GARDEN CITY – The Great Bend boys basketball team held Garden City to two points over a 11-minute, 30-second stretch. The Panthers missed 11 chances to take the lead in the fourth period and overtime.

The Panthers’ brilliant defensive effort failed to overcome a lack of scoring in a heartbreaking 37-35 Western Athletic Conference overtime setback to Garden City Friday night.

Griff Brunson scored the game-winning basket on a driving shot with 5.7 seconds left after the Panthers missed on 11 chances to take the lead in the final 11:30.

A final tying attempt by Konner Ireland missed and Garden City escaped despite scoring four points in the final 12 minutes.

Veteran Great Bend coach Tim Brooks was pleased with the effort, but disappointed the Panthers were unable to find a way to score to win the game. The Panthers’ switching defenses kept the Buffaloes off balance.

“Our guys deserved to win. I feel bad for our guys,” Brooks said. “Our defensive effort was incredible. We displayed toughness in so many ways. We showed more toughness than Tuesday.”

The Panthers shut out Garden City after Evan Allen-Mader scored for a 35-33 lead to start the fourth quarter. Great Bend controlled the final quarter after Kody Crosby’s 3-pointer was followed by Brayden Smith’s field goal for a 33-33 tie. The Panthers missed four chances to lead in the final minutes of regulation.

Great Bend started overtime with two turnovers. Garden City’s Zac Karlin scored the Buffaloes’ first basket in 10 minutes for a 35-33 lead. Smith made a free throw and Crosby was fouled so hard by Karlin that it could’ve been called an intentional foul.

Crosby made his first free throw for a 35-35 tie, but missed the second free throw with 15 seconds in overtime. Brunson drove through traffic and muscled in an inside shot for a 37-35 lead.

The Panthers committed ill-timed turnovers when one score would’ve given them the lead 11 times in the final 12 minutes.

“We didn’t get a shot to fall,” he said.

The hard-luck Panthers (1-6, 0-2) lost close back-to-back road games to Garden City (2-6, 1-0) and Dodge City this week. The Panthers won an earlier meeting 65-62 over Garden City in double overtime at the Hays City Shootout. Great Bend returns home Tuesday to play WAC favorite Hays High.

GB 8 7 13 5 2 – 35

GC 11 10 10 2 4 – 37

GB—Kody Crosby 2-9 4-6 10; Brayden Smith 5-9 2-4 12; Konner Ireland 3-4 0-0 9; Logan Perry 2-5 0-0 4; Koy Brack 0-2 0-0 0; Eric Woods 0-1 0-0 0; Jacob Murray 0-6 0-0 0; Totals 12-36 6-10 35.

GC—Tye Davis 1-4 2-2 4; Jarrod Springston 1-4 0-1 2; Garret Doll 2-8 2-2 6; Carlos Acosta 1-2 0-1 2; Jayden Crook 1-2 0-0 3; Griff Brunson 2-4 1-3 5; Zac Karlin 3-10 2-2 9; Evan Allen-Mader 2-4 0-0 4; Demarcus Elliott 1-2 0-0 2; Totals 14-40 7-11 37.

3-point goals—GB 5-8 (Ireland 3-3, Crosby 2-4, Murray 0-1); GC 2-11 (Crook 1-2, Karlin 1-4, Acosta 0-1, Springston 0-1, Doll 0-3). Rebounds—GB 29 (Crosby 9); GC 27 (Ellliott 6). TO—GB 13, GC 8.