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Second-half jolt leads Lady Panthers over Liberal
Western Athletic Conference
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LIBERAL — Great Bend High School’s girls’ basketball team prides themselves on playing an up-paced game with a lot of pressure defense and scoring in transition.
In Friday night’s Western Athletic Conference matchup against Liberal, that wasn’t the case in the first half.
The Lady Panthers shook off a slow start to earn a 56-39 WAC win.
“We got off to a slow start again,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “That was kind of to be expected after such a long drive and coming off a game the night before.
“I have to give the girls some credit, they came out and turned up the defensive pressure in the second half.”
The Lady Panthers were able to turn that pressure into points on the other end.
“We were kind of spread out scoring because someone would get the steal and pass it down the court to one of the other girls to shoot it,” Minton said.
Lauren Welsch led Great Bend with 15 points, going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.
“Lauren did a good job attacking their zone,” Minton said. “She found a way to really attack the middle, and get the free-throw line.”
Jai Chapman led Liberal with 13 points.
“Liberal has improved a lot since last year” Minton said. “They were a good matchup for us. Jai Chapman is just so fast and physical. She’s a great player, and they have a freshman post player, Jada (Mickens), who was a real physical presence for them in the paint.”
The victory puts the Lady Panthers at 4-0 at the midway point of the WAC schedule.
“The girls were really focused on continuing to work toward a WAC title,” Minton said. “They knew coming in that that was on the line.”

                                                 — Kevin Price

Western Athletic Conference



At Liberal

Great Bend 56, Liberal 39
GREAT BEND (12-2, 4-0)
     Lauren Welsch 5 5-6 15, Hannah Hildebrand 1 0-0 2, Kelsie Doll 2 4-4 8, Kylee Spray 2 0-0 5, Regan Unruh 2 2-4 7, Kaylie Doll 1 3-4 5, Tarynn Stueder 2 0-1 4, Hannah Mauler 0 1-2 1, Morgan Harwood 4 1-2 9, Madison Unruh 0 0-2 0. Totals 19 16-25 56.
     Carolina Limon 0 1-2 1, Jai Chapman 3 7-9 13, Jasmine Hernandez 1 1-2 4, Mariela Nunez 1 0-0 3, Megan Besecker 2 00 5, Carley Shelton 1 1-2 4, Jada Mickens 3 3-5 9. Totals 11 13-20 39.
Great Bend    7    13    19    17  —  56
Liberal           6    10    12    11  —  39
     Three-point goals — Great Bend 2 (Spray, Unruh); Liberal 4 (Besecker, Nunez, Hernandez, Shelton).