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Sadie Spray sparks Panthers' victory
Sadie Spray rebounds.jpg


JUNCTION CITY — If Friday's opener is any indication, Great Bend's Sadie Spray is headed for a banner basketball season. Spray tied a career high with 24 points, and scored after converting steals in the Panthers' 47-28 non-league basketball victory over 6A Junction City.

Spray distributed her points evenly with a 12-point first and a 12-point second half. Spray converted a 3-point, added two baskets and passed to Makenzie Premer for an 18-10 halftime lead. Spray deflected numerous passes to ignite the Panthers' hustling defense.

"Sadie played well and kept us in the game," said Great Bend coach Cindy Beck. "Whether she was was defending or playing offense, she was playing both of the basketball. Sadie is long." 

The Panthers committed 13 first-half turnovers that was offset by Junction City's 15 ballhandling errors.

"Our first-half wasn't pretty," Beck said. "We turned it over too many times. It was errors that we did ourselves. Some of that is first-game jitters. We weren't in rhythm and missed some shots. Their zone took us out of what we wanted to do."

The Panthers put together a solid second half with a 29-18 scoring advantage after halftime. Junction City's hot-shooting Jeter sparked the Bluejays with four 3-pointers for 12 points.

"We made adjustments and played better the second half, which is what you want to see. We played more comfortable as the game went along. We capitalized on some of those turnovers."

Panther Kara Feist converted a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points. Paige Thexton, Emilee Hall and Makenzie Premer each netted four points.

Beck prefers man-to-man defense, but the Panthers showed off a zone that also forced turnovers.

"Tonight, we played zone really well," Beck said. "My heart-and-soul is man-to-man defense that wears them out."

Great Bend (1-0) plays two-time defending 2A state champion Sterling Thursday at the Kingman Tournament. 2A powerhouse Hillsboro roared past Sterling 44-18 by forcing 28 turnovers 

Great Bend 7 11 16 13 — 47

Junction City 4 6 10 8 — 28

GREAT BEND (1-0)—Spray 9 5-7 24, Kara Feist 3 0-0 8, Hall 2 0-0 4, Premer 2 0-0 4, Thexton 1 2-3 4, Reimer 1 0-0 2, Totals 18 7-9 47

JUNCTION CITY (0-1)Jeter 4 0-0 12, Hatcher 2 2-4 6, Cebula 2 2-2 6, DeGuzman 2 0-0 4, Totals 10 4-8 28

3-pointers—GB 3 (Kara Feist 2, Spray 1), JC 4 (Jeter 4)