There was no clear winner until the buzzer sounded.
On free throws from Kaylie Doll, Great Bend High School’s girls’ basketball team took a 60-58 lead with 7.2 seconds left against Manhattan.
Regan Unruh poked the ball out of the Lady Indians’ hands as they crossed mid court and the Lady Panthers scooped up the loose ball to secure the win 60-58 win on Saturday afternoon at the Panther Fieldhouse.
“It’s nice Kaylie Doll stepping up and hitting two big free throws right there at the end,” GBHS head coach Carrie Minton said. “It’s that maturity and that composure that we’ve gained since last year.
“It was just an all-around team effort. That’s what we talked about after the game is that everyone contributed in some fashion. That was absolutely what it took to get that win.”
Manhattan held a two-point lead throughout most of the first half, with both teams answering when the other scored.
The Lady Indians led 29-26 at intermission.
Great Bend took a 39-33 lead, the largest advantage by either team in the game, on a 13-2 run early in the third quarter.
After Darby Price hit a layup for Manhattan to open the second half, McKenna Mauler responded with a layup of her own.
Unruh stole the ball on the next in-bound pass and drove to the basket, getting the bucket and sinking the free throw for a three-point play.
Kylee Spray hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Manhattan’s Caroline Ballard hit a jumper under the basket. Morgan Harwood, who finished with a team-leading 13 points, capped the run with a layup on the other end.
“We just knew that we needed to make sure that we forced the tempo and keep running on them,” Minton said. “I think hitting those 3s and opening it up a little bit just allowed us to take a sigh and a deep breath and get back to not playing so tense.
“We needed that little bit of a cushion because they came back and hit some big shots in the lane, and they have very good post players, so for us being down one post, I thought we played very well.”
The Lady Indians regained the lead before the end of the third quarter, leading 43-42.
The fourth quarter became a back-and-forth battle for a two-point lead as neither team could find a hold on the game until Kaylie Doll was fouled coming down with a rebound. Her two free throws with seven second remaining produced the final margin.
Spray finished with 12 points on four 3-pointers, and Unruh added 10 points.
The Lady Panthers, who have a 4-1 record heading into the holiday break, was 16-for-17 (94 percent) collectively from the free-throw line.
Great Bend is ranked. No. 10 in Class 5A in the latest Kansas Basketball Coaches Association poll and is 3-1 against ranked teams as Manhattan is ranked No. 6 in 6A.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
At Great Bend
Great Bend 60, Manhattan 58
Amara Ehie 2 2-5 6, Molly Fiser 3 1-2 9, Savannah Roberts 0 4-4 4, Savannah Thaemert 2 0-0 4, Par McNair 1 1-2 3, Caroline Ballard 8 2-4 18, Darby Price 7 0-0 14. Totals 23 10-17 58.
GREAT BEND (4-1)
Lauren Welsch 3 1-2 9, Kelsie Doll 0 2-2 2, Kylee Spray 4 0-0 12, Regan Unruh 3 4-4 10, Kaylie Doll 2 4-4 8, McKenna Mauler 1 0-0 2, Tarynn Stueder 1 0-0 2, Hannah Mauler 0 2-2 2, Morgan Harwood 5 3-3 13. Totals 19 16-17 60.
Manhattan 13 16 14 15 — 58
Great Bend 12 14 16 18 — 60
Three-point goals — Manhattan 2 (Fiser 2); Great Bend 6 (Spray 4, Welsch 2).