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Panthers plummet in Friday's game
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 EL DORADO — Great Bend High School’s boys’ basketball team hit a low-water mark late Friday afternoon in the 2011 Bluestem Classic.

The Panthers, one year removed from winning the 2010 Bluestem Classic championship, dipped into the seventh-place game after falling 41-39 to Haysville-Campus.

 Great Bend (4-6), which lost its third straight and second straight in the tournament, fell to a Campus team (3-7) the Panthers knew they could beat, providing they played up to their capabilities.

“We didn’t execute very well,” Great Bend head coach Chris Battin said. “We threw the ball away and had no effort and no enthusiasm. We were feeling sorry for ourselves, and we don’t deserve to be in the consolation game (for fifth place).

“It’s on me. I’m the head coach and I’ve got to put the guys on the floor that can win and I’m not doing that right now, so I’m going to do some soul-searching and find the combination that wants to play hard, wants to win and put it together.

Instead of pushing the issue, Great Bend was content on playing down to Campus’ level, where both teams spent most of the game running their offenses and getting off very few shots.

“We got out-coached, out-hustled and outplayed and that’s frustrating and that’s what we have to deal with,” Battin said. “They beat us in every phase of the game and give credit to their kids and coaching staff.

“They were ready to go and we weren’t, and that’s what we’re going to have to deal with.”

The Panthers also had a deal with another hot-shooting team from the free-throw line. Campus made 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter and 14 for 16 in the second half  after clinging to a 14-13 halftime lead. Campus led 28-22 after three periods.

In a fourth quarter filled with missed opportunities on both ends, Great Bend, amazingly, still had a shot to win the game at the end, despite trailing 41-36 with eight seconds left after Campus’ Brett Thomas converted the final two of his six straight free throws in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers’ Jace Bowman knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner with 1.7 seconds left to make it 41-39. They quickly called timeout.

Campus, which had the ball out underneath the Great Bend basket, trying to avoid a five-second call, threw its inbounds pass near midcourt. The Panthers’ Connor Sell intercepted the pass, turned and threw up a half-court shot that bounded off the backcourt as the buzzer sounded.

Sell’s putback off a Bowman miss with 11.5 seconds left had pulled the Panthers within 39-36 with 11.5 seconds left.



At El Dorado

2011 Bluestem Classic

Consolation bracket




Haysville-Campus 41,

Great Bend 39


     Connor Sell 2 0-0 4, Brock Ibarra 0 0-0 0, Jace Bowman 1 4-4 7, Sam Hafner 0 0-0 0, Greg Hildebrand 0 4-4 4, Cameron Casey 1 0-0 2, Jeff Pike 1 0-0 2, Will Gray 3 2-4 8, Dakota Ellis 3 0-0 8, Roderick Frise 1 0-0 2, Wyatt Bayless 1 0-2 2. Totals 11 10-14 39.


CAMPUS (3-7)

     Chase Blaha 1 0-0 3, Brett Thomas 2 8-10 12, Jordan Sparks 2 0-0 4, David Lauxman 0 0-0 0, Bryce Haight 1 2-2 4, J Emerson 0 0-0 0, A. Vader 0 0-0 0, Jacob Pike 1 0-2 2, Alec Meier 2 3-4 8, Colton Flax 2 3-4 8. Totals 11 17-22 41.

Great Bend    7       6       9     17 — 39

Campus        11      3      14    13 — 41

     Three-point goals —Great Bend 3 (Ellis 2, Bowman); Campus 2 (Blaha, Meier).





(The Top 10 players in the tournament as voted by the coaches.)

Morgan Burns – Wichita Trinity

Austin Kessinger – Wichita Trinity

Jordan Phillips – Circle

Tanner Webb – Gardner-Edgerton

Michael Martin – Kapaun Mt Carmel

Nick Warren – Circle

Keaton Lewis – Kapaun Mt Carmel

Raymond Taylor – Wichita Collegiate

Trace Clark – Wichita Collegiate

Bubba Starling – Gardner-Edgerton