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Panthers batter Independent 11-1
spt kp GBHS Rodriguez
Noel Rodriguez (10) races past the Wichita Independent defense on Thursday at Memorial Stadium. The senior midfielder recorded a hat trick in an 11-1 victory to close the regular season. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

The Great Bend High School boys’ soccer team closed out regular-season play with a decisive win over Wichita Independent on Thursday at Memorial Stadium.
The Panthers invoked the 10-goal rule with 21:39 remaining, beating Independent 11-1.
The scoring barrage started with a left-footed goal from senior Noel Rodrgiuez, who finished the game with a hat trick to lead the Panthers.
“It feels great, but like I’ve said before, I just want to win,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t really keep track of goals. It does feel awesome.
“I think this game pumps us up for regionals. So far, we’re the No. 1 seed, and we play Tuesday. We’ll give it all we got.”
Oscar Torres got the assist on the play. Torres finished the game with two goals and two assists. Torres finishes the season with a team-leading 17 goals.
“Oscar, he has some problems the last three games scoring,” GBHS head coach Gus Prieto said. “He played a lot today. He needs to score to get some confidence and start playing a little bit more for the team. It is the most important part of this game. We’re going to need him in the regional game.”
Enrique Guyton scored a pair of goals in the first half, taking several shots on goal.
The Panthers finished the game with 19 shots on goal.
Alexander Urias scored two goals, one in the first half and one in the second.
Leo Espino scored on a penalty kick, and Jose Espino finished the game with the 11th goal of the night.
Chris Lohnes scored the lone goal for Independent on a penalty kick against junior goalkeeper Claudio Sanchez. Sanchez replaced senior goalkeeper Ramon Garcia at halftime.
“I saw them play before, and knew it was going to be kind of an easy game,” Prieto said. “We practiced hard this week. I know we can win this game, but next week, it’s going to be different.”
Great Bend is 13-3 heading into Tuesday’s Class 5A regional game, making it the No. 1 seed. The game will be held at Cavanaugh Field at 6 p.m.
The Panthers’ opponent will be decided in a play-in game on Monday night.