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Salthawks' late surge downs Panther boys
Great Bend coach Kyle Kriegh draws plays and gives directions to his team.jpg
Great Bend coach Kyle Kriegh draws plays and gives directions to his team. - photo by Hugo Gonzalez

Salthawks power past Panthers


When push came to shove, Hutchinson High gained the advantage for a hard-fought 71-61 non-league basketball victory over the Great Bend Panthers.

Great Bend hung tough to pull within 62-61 with Daxton Minton scored a basket. On the next possession, the Panthers left Hutchinson sharpshooter Jax Henaha wide open for his fourth 3-pointer of the night for a 65-61 Salthawk lead.

On the next possession, the Panthers missed five attempts. Ian Premer missed two shots, Hall and Maddox Spray missed tough shots. Premer missed a rebound slam dunk. Premer tried to protect himself with players underneath him. But officials whistled Premer for a technical foul for hanging onto the rim. 

The Salthawks scored six points in the final 90 seconds.

Premer led the Panthers (6-3) with 14 hard-earned points and Maddox Spray added 13 points.

Great Bend led 41-40 in wildly entertaining first half. Spray scored 11 points and Premer added eight points. The Panthers executed flawlessly with 16 of 23 shooting (69%) with seven turnovers.

“We scored 41 points first half and the guys did really well,” said Great Bend coach Kyle Kriegh. “That second half was tough when we scored 20 points. We got it to one point and then called that technical foul.”

The Salthawks gained control by holding the Panthers to one field goal in 10 offensive trips to start the second half. Jacob Hall made a basket, but the Panthers committed eight third-quarter turnovers to lose momentum.

Hutchinson led 57-49 with a 17-8 third-quarter edge. The Panthers converted 10 of 23 shots (43%) with 13 turnovers after halftime.

“We had costly turnovers. That was our problem with the third quarter,” Kriegh said. “At times, we didn’t play physical. We didn’t check bodies.”

It was a huge make-or-break game for 5A West basketball seedings. Hutchinson (6-1) secures a top four spot in the 5A West through seven games while Great Bend (6-3) drops out of the top four. The top four 5A West teams secure a home postseason site.

Hutchinson’s athletic Julian Smith scored 18 points and Henaha drilled four 3-pointers and scored 17 points. Henaha was solid with the basketball as the Salthawks committed seven turnovers. Hutchinson outscored the Panthers 24-12 on 3-pointers and 13-5 from the free throw line.

“They’ve got a good point guard,” Kriegh said. “Our zone defense was bad. We lefts shooters open.”

Great Bend competes at the Salina Tournament next week.

Hutchinson 23 17 17 14 — 71

Great Bend 22 19 8 12 — 61

HUTCHINSON (6-1)—Smith 5-11 5-6 18, Henaha 6-13 1-2 17, King 4-13 4-6 12, Govain 4-6 1-1 9, Spiller 3-8 1-2 8, VanSyckle 2-4 0-4 4, Tecklenberg 1-1 1-3 3, Witt 0-1 0-0 0, .Totals 25-57 13-24 71

GREAT BEND (6-3)—Premer 7-13 0-2 14, Spray 6-12 0-0 13, Hall 4-6 1-1 9, Coombs 2-3 3-4 8, Dicks 3-4 0-0 8, Minton 3-6 0-0 6, Ohmacht 1-1 0-0 2, Reed 0-1 1-2 1, Totals 26-46 5-9 61.

3-pointers—H 8-18 (Henaha 4-8, Smith 3-6, Spiller 1-3, King 0-1), GB 4-10 (Dicks 2-2, Coombs 1-2, Spray 1-1, Hall 0-1, Premer 0-2, Minton 0-2)