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Lady Panthers fall short against Riley County in tournament title game
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Great Bends McKenna Mauler goes up for a layup. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

HAYS — The Great Bend High School girls’ basketball team just couldn’t shut down Riley County’s offense.
The Lady Falcons hit 3-pointers to spread out Great Bend’s defense, and found ways to get the free-throw line early and often to beat the Lady Panthers 74-53 on Saturday night.
“We knew that Riley County was going to be a tough opponent,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “We knew that they had great shooters. We just came out a little flat and couldn’t get shots to fall. That opened up a big lead.
“When you leave their shooters open, they’re going to knock it down. We got a little mixed up on defense a couple times and they made us pay for it.”
It was the third ranked team that the Lady Panthers faced in the Hays City Shoot-out.
Great Bend defeated No. 7 in Class 4A Division-II Colby in the first round. Then it beat 6A No. 6-ranked Garden City to advance to the championship game.
However Riley County, ranked No. 2 in 3A, proved too much as the Lady Panthers finished as runners-up.
“I was really proud of the fact that the girls never gave up,” Minton said. “They played hard for 32 minutes. That’s all that we asked of them. We had a tough draw throughout the entire tournament, and we just need to take what happened today and learn from it.
“It’s big for us. We’re going to come and play in a tournament, you want to play teams that are going to challenge you. For two nights, we stepped up and did a great job. We just ran into an opponent who, today, they were better than us.”
Kylee Spray kept Great Bend from getting shutout in the first quarter nearly single-handedly.
Spray accounted for five of the Lady Panthers’ eight points on a layup and a 3-pointer.
Defensively, Great Bend couldn’t stop Riley County’s aggressive attack.
Great Bend sent the Lady Falcons to the free-throw line for 38 attempts. Riley County made 23 of them.
The Lady Panthers were 17-for-26 from the line.
Riley County also had nine 3-pointers in the game, including five from Madison Vargo, who finished with a game-high 27 points.
The Lady Falcons were up 22-8 after one quarter.
“On offense, when we didn’t get our shots to fall, and we became a little hesitant to shoot,” Minton said. “They’re a team where you can’t let that happen. We got into some foul trouble. They threw 26 first-half free throws. We got to the line to shoot eight.
“When we’re putting a team of good shooters at the free-throw line for free points, it’s not going to help our cause.”
Tarynn Stueder led Great Bend with 11 points, scoring seven in the final quarter that saw the Lady Panthers outscore Riley County 24-12.
Morgan Harwood added nine points.

Great Bend 52,
Garden City 46
HAYS — Garden City led 12-9 after one quarter.
Great Bend turned that around by halftime and held on to beat the Lady Buffaloes in a semifinal game of the Hays City Shoot-out.
“Garden City jumped out quick at the start of the game,” Minton said. “We were up by four by halftime. They tied it up with a little more than three minutes left, and I think they took a one-point lead on a free throw.”
Stueder put in a go-ahead bucket and sank a free throw for a three-point play to give the Lady Panthers the lead, and Garden City never caught up.
Regan Unruh finished with a game-high 16 points to lead Great Bend.
Stueder and McKenna Mauler each finished with six points.

Hays City Shoot-out


At Hays
Hays High


Riley County 74, Great Bend 53
     Kacee Kasselman 1 1-2 3, Lauren Welsch 0 2-2 2, Hannah Hildebrand 0 0-0 0, Kelsie Doll 2 2-7 4, Kylee Spray 2 0-1 5, Regan Unruh 3 0-0 6, Mariah Stein 1 1-1 3, McKenna Mauler 1 4-4 6, Tarynn Stueder 3 4-6 11, Hannah Mauler 1 0-0 2, Morgan Harwood 3 3-3 9. Totals 17 17-26 53.
     Jordan Clouse 1 1-2 4, Madison Vargo 7 8-11 27, Alyssa Kulp 1 5-9 7, Katelyn Thomson 3 6-9 13, Makayla Vargo 4 1-1 10, Taylor Oliver 1 0-0 3, Allie Martin 1 0-0 2, Bri Engle 1 1-2 3, Heidi Prockish 2 1-4 5. Totals 21 23-38 74.
Great Bend       8     11    10    24  —  53
Riley County    22    18    22    12  —  74
     Three-point goals — Great Bend 2 (Stueder, Spray); Riley County 9 (Mad. Vargo 5, Clouse, Thomson, Mak. Vargo, Oliver).


Great Bend 52, Garden City 46
     Lauren Welch 0 0-0 0, Hannah Hildebrand 2 0-0 4, Kelsie Doll 1 3-4 5, Kylee Spray 1 2-4 4, Regan Unruh 5 4-5 16, Kaylie Doll 1 2-2 4, McKenna Mauler 1 3-4 6, Tarynn Stueder 1 4-6 6, Hannah Mauler 1 0-0 3, Morgan Harwood 1 2-4 4. Totals 14 20-29 52.
     Taylor Linenberger 2 1-3 5, Jessica Hinde 0 0-1 0, Jacksenie Tornero 2 2-3 7, Taryn Tempel 4 4-6 12, Tionnia McKee 0 1-2 1,Breece Dreiling 0 1-2 1, Jaymie Bernbeck 6 0-0 12, Jessica Carrillo 3 2-2 8. Totals 17 11-17 46.
Great Bend      9    14    10    10  —  52
Garden City    12     7    11    16  —  46
     Three-point goals — Great Bend 4 (Unruh 2, M. Mauler, H. Mauler); Garden City 1 (Tornero).