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Panther girls ride defense to victory
spt deh gbhs girls bball defense no 2
Panther defender Keely Ireland (2) plays defense against Junction City's Imari WIlliams (10). The Panthers forced 30 turnovers to beat the Blue Jays 57-42. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

BY JIM MISUNAS
jmisunas@gbtribune.com

When Junction City’s girls rolled out fullcourt pressure, the Great Bend Panthers responded with defensive intensity of their own. The Panthers’ student crowd roared its approval, dressed appropriately in holiday garb.

Great Bend forced 30 Blue Jay turnovers to roll past the Blue Jays 57-42 in Friday’s non-league basketball game. It is the Panthers’ lone home game until January. The Panthers’ defense converted several of the turnovers and converted them into easy transition baskets. Great Bend (2-2) plays at Hutchinson High Dec. 16.

“That’s our best defensive game we’ve played in a long time,” said Great Bend coach Carrie Minton. “We played good pressure defense. We were happy with the way we played tonight. We’re usually the shorter team, and we’re used to playing at a fast pace.”

Leading scorer Carley Brack netted 23 points and running mate Camryn Dunekack scored a season high 15 points to spark the Panthers.  

The Panthers never lost control after leading 27-20 at halftime. The best play of the night saw Dreiling and Brack combine for a give-and-go score that Dreiling converted for a 33-22 lead.

Camryn Dunekack and Brack finished off the Blue Jays with back-to-back 3-point plays for a 50-32 lead.
Rylee Zimmerman led Junction City with nine points. The Blue Jays made 14 of 51 field goals, 27 percent. The Blue Jays’ scrappy style led the officials to call a tightly-called game.

“It’s hard to get into an offensive flow when the game is constantly stopping,” Minton said. “We always like to run the basketball up the floor. With four guards on the court, we like when teams pressure us. We feel that’s to our advantage.”
After Junction City led 7-3, Brack and Dreiling combined for 11 points for an 18-8 lead. Brack scored twice after steals. Dreiling and Camryn Dunekack had nifty assists for two more scores.

Great Bend led 27-20 at halftime. The Bluejays committed 15 first-half turnovers with shaky ballhandling and passing.
Brack scored 11 points and Dreiling netted 10 points by halftime. The Panthers scored easy layups after Blue Jay turnovers. The Panthers led despite eight of 31 shooting, 26 percent.
PANTHERS 57, BLUE JAYS 42
JC 8 12 10 12 — 42
GB 18 9 15 15 — 57
JC—Petty 0-2 0-0 0; Williams 3-5 1-3 7; Battiste 2-5 1-4 5; Sarah Kim 0-0 0-0 0; Kramer 1-8 1-2 3; Nixon 0-2 0-0 0; McKenzie 3-7 0-2 7; Adams 1-5 1-4 3; Jensen 1-6 2-2 4; Zimmerman 1-7 7-12 9; Moberly 1-2 0-0 2; Dotson 1-1 0-0 2, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0; Totals 14-51 13-29 42.

GB—Carley Brack 9-19 5-9 23; Camryn Dunekack 4-9 6-7 15; Carly Dreiling 4-12 4-4 12; Keely Ireland 0-1 0-0 0; Shailey Clark 1-4 0-1 2; Kaylee Unruh 0-2 0-0 0; Annie Mills 0-1 2-4 2; Brooklyn Burkhart 0-3 1-2 1; Jenna Mauler 1-4 0-2 2; Totals 19-55 18-29 57
3-point goals—JC 1-10 (McKenzie 1-4, Jensen 0-4, Petty 0-2); GB 1-7 (Dunekack 1-2, Brack 0-1, Ireland 0-1, Unruh 0-1, Dreiling 0-2)