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Sadie Spray's career night ignites Panther girls
Great Bend basketball player Mersadie Spray dribbles to the basket against Buhler.jpg



Buhler’s Maren Lackey knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Crusaders within 44-38 when Great Bend Panther Sadie Spray had seen enough.

After a 17-point first half, Spray returned to her Superwoman form with a steal, two baskets and three free throws to cap a career best 24-point night in the Panthers 57-38 non-league basketball victory. The Panthers shut out Buhler 13-0 over the final six minutes. 

Spray enjoyed a spectacular game with 19 rebounds, eight steals and five blocks, including a a trio of blocked 3-point attempts by the Crusaders by anticipating their shots.

“I watch their eyes and when they shoot I put my arm up. I’ve got long arms and that helps,” Spray said. “I try and read where they’re going on offense. I watch a lot of basketball.”

The Panthers (5-9) nearly upset state-ranked Liberal Friday. That momentum carried over with another solid effort. Emilee Hall scored 17 points inside with another huge game inside.

“We called some set plays from the start and did a great job executing it,” said Great Bend coach Cindy Beck. “We knocked down a lot of shots, which gave the girls confidence.”

Spray hit a trio of 3-pointers as the Panthers converted 4 of 6 3-pointers in the opening quarter.  

“They gave me the 3-pointer and they happened to go in,” Spray said. “We ran our offense really well tonight and hit five 3-pointers.”

When the Crusaders made their run, the Panthers responded with specatular defense, pitching a shutout in the final six minutes. Charley Baxter scored 12 points and Lackey hit a pair of 3-pointers for Buhler (3-12).

“We did a nice job with our pressure,” Beck said. “We called a timeout and we buckled down and played great defense. We had hands in their faces. We didn’t leave them wide open.”

Beck said the Panthers are building late-season momentum heading to a homecoming game against Garden City.

“It was a great night playing hard and competing,” Beck said. “Sadie Spray comes out to compete every night. Her confidence continues to build. These girls are very determined. They want the best for their team. The girls are playing with nothing to lose.”

Buhler 10 12 10 6 — 38

Great Bend 16 19 7 15 — 57

BUHLER (3-12)—Baxter 5-10 1-3 12, Krafels 1-6 0-0 3, Horning 2-6 0-0 5, Lackey 2-6 0-0 6, Yutzy 1-5 2-6 4, Miller 0-3 0-0 0, Stallman 1-3 1-2 3, Ord 1-4 2-2 5, Siemens 0-2 0-0 0, Seely 0-3 0-0 0, Totals 13-48 6-13 38.

GREAT BEND (5-10)—Spray 8-16 5-10 24, Hall 6-15 5-7 17, Fletchall 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Loomis 1-3 0-0 3, Warren 1-5 2-6 4, Kaiser 2-7 0-0 4, Premer 2-10 0-1 5, Totals 20-57 12-24 57. 

3-pointers—B 6-18 (Lackey 2-6, Krafels 1-1, Horning 1-2, Ord 1-3, Baxter 1-5, Siemens 0-1); GB 5-10 (Spray 3-4, E. Llomis 1-2, Fletchall 0-1, Kaiser 0-2).