HAYS — When a high school basketball team commits as many turnovers as it scores points, it means big trouble.
Couple that with a five-minute, 34-second scoring drought to open the game, and it made for a long Friday night for the Great Bend Panthers in a Hays City Shoot-Out semifinal game at Hays High.
The Panthers turned the ball over no fewer than 23 times and was dealt a 47-27 loss to DeSoto, denying GBHS a repeat berth in the shoot-out championship game. They lost to Kearney, Neb., in the title game a year ago.
“We didn’t have any fight to us early on to start the game,” Great Bend head coach Chris Battin said of Friday night, “and that nine-point lead is what they kept us at most of the game.
“We just couldn’t get over that hump. It just goes to show ... every night we need to show up and play or it could get ugly. The bottom line is that we have to take care of the basketball. When you turn it over 23 times, that means you don’t get 23 shot attempts. It’s hard to score when you don’t get a shot at the basket.”
DeSoto, behind University of Missouri-Kansas City signee Mason Wedel, a 6-foot-1 guard, bolted to a 14-0 lead before the Panthers knew what hit them.
Wedel scored nine points during the early burst, including a pair of driving layups, a 3-pointer, a baseline jumper and another 3 for a 14-0 edge just five minutes into the game. Wedel finished with a game-high 22 points, capping his flourish by scoring 11 of the Wildcats’ 13 fourth-quarter points on a pair of baskets and 7-for-8 free-throw shooting.
Great Bend’s Blaise Cain came off the bench to score a team-high eight points, including a pair of 3s, but had very little help.
“We’ve got to get some other guys stepping up and knocking down some shots,” Battin said. “Blaise did a good job tonight.
“We’re just going to have to have people step up, night-in and night-out, and we’re going to get better. We just made some mistakes.”
It certainly didn’t help matters that returning leading scorer Jace Bowman is out until January as he recovers from knee surgery. Moreover, junior Matt Marshall, the Panthers’ most experienced returning guard, sat out the game as he was nursing a slight hamstring injury.
“We can’t rely on one guy to be our full team,” Battin said.
At the start, Brock Ibarra’s mid-range baseline jumper at the 2:26 mark finally got the Panthers on the scoreboard, making it 14-2. They closed to 16-7 at the end of the first quarter after Wyatt Bayless scored on a post move and Gabe Joiner nailed a 3-pointer from the left baseline with 39.8 seconds left in the period.
After a sloppy second quarter resulted in DeSoto outscoring the Panthers 5-3 for a 23-10 halftime lead, Great Bend trailed 34-22 entering the final period after outscoring the Wildcats 12-11 in the third.
Yet GBHS could never chisel the margin down under nine points after halftime, and DeSoto pulled away in the fourth quarter.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Hays City Shoot-Out
Hays High School
DeSoto 47, Great Bend 27
Mason Wedel 7 7-8 22, Braiden Turner 1 0-0 2, Gage Carroll 0 0-2 0, Alan Maxville 0 0-0 0, Jason Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, TJ Crow 6 2-4 15, John Williams 0 0-0 0, Joey Johnson 1 0-2 2, Noah Cardiff 0 0-0 0, Ryan Stallbaumer 1 0-0 2, Issac Lueth 1 2-3 4. Totals 17 11-19 47.
GREAT BEND (1-1)
Connor Sell 0 0-0 0, Mauricio Uribe 0 0-0 0, Chad Touslee 2 0-3 4, Brock Ibarra 1 0-0 2, Bryce Beck 2 0-2 4, Gabe Joiner 2 0-0 5, Ethan Henderson 1 0-0 2, Roderick Frise 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Bayless 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 0-5 27.
DeSoto 18 5 11 13 — 47
Great Bend 7 3 12 5 — 27
Three-point goals — Great Bend 3 (Cain 2, Joiner); DeSoto 2 (Crow, Wedel).
HAYS CITY SHOOT-OUT
Great Bend 44, Newton 36
Riley County 63, Colby 46
DeSoto 57, TMP-Marian 34
Kearney, Neb. 73, Hays 55
DeSoto 47, Great Bend 27
Newton 46, TMP 37
Kearney 69, Riley County 55
Hays High 57, Colby 54
Kearney 74, DeSoto 63
Riley County 61, Great Bend 42
Hays High 40, Newton 37
TMP 63, Colby 38