Rare was the word for Saturday night’s basketball games in Great Bend. On a rare Saturday night game, Scott City made a rare trip to Great Bend. The Lady Panthers used a 32-0 run to close the first half, and the Scott City boys used a 25-0 run in their big win.
Scott City boys 58, Great Bend 27
The top-ranked Beavers (3A) would probably be the favorite heading into most gyms around the state, regardless of class. Saturday night, Scott City put on a clinic in the first eight minutes of play, hitting 10-of-11 shots from the floor, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, to take control of things early with a 24-4 lead.
“We have kids who can shoot the ball,” Scotty City Coach Glenn O’Neil said. “Our post guys have been the guys who usually get it started for us. Tonight, we hit a couple of outside shots and opened up both areas.”
The Class 5A Panthers (5-12) got on the board first with a basket from senior Josh Lutz. Scott City senior Joey Meyer scored the next four points in short order, then Brock Ibarra tied it up for Great Bend. From there, it was all Scott City as the Beavers (16-1) scored the next 25 points in the game.
“They’re a really good ball club,” said Panther Coach Chris Battin. “They have weapons all over the floor. (Drew) Kite in the middle, he’s a load inside, and plays so hard, is so athletic, and finishes so well. He gave us all kinds of fits. The two coach’s sons (Brett and Trey O’Neil), they handle the ball so well. They run that offense and defense and shoot the ball well. It’s a good basketball team.”
Brett O’Neil hit both of his three-point tries in the first quarter. Trey opened the second quarter with a triple. Scott City hit 11 of its first 12 shots from the floor, including 5-of-6 three-point tries, for a 27-4 lead.
“Great Bend, they play hard,” Coach O’Neil said. “Right now they’re struggling with their confidence a little bit. We were worried if they hit a couple of shots, their confidence would take off. Fortunately for us, they didn’t hit some shots and we got on a roll early.”
The Beavers capped the 25-0 run with a 29-4 lead before Chad Touslee ended the run with a basket with 4:40 to play in the half. Scott City went on to lead 35-10 at the intermission.
The six-foot-four Kite took over in the third quarter with half of his game-high 18 points. The senior scored five straight points before Anthony Wilson and Austin Habiger each buried threes to push the gap to 53-15.
With a 55-19 score after three quarters of play, the clock did not stop in the fourth quarter. With largely the two benches taking the floor, Great Bend junior Dillon Reiser scored all of his five points. Reiser and Bryce Beck finished with team-high honors for the Panthers with five points apiece. Wyatt Bayless added four points, and Shade Wondra finished with three points.
Kite added five rebounds to his night. Both O’Neil brothers, Meyer, and Habiger each scored eight points for the Beavers.
Scott City, the reigning Class 3A state champion, still has only one loss on the year – an overtime thriller against University of Kansas-bound Conner Frankamp and Wichita North, the No. 3 team in Class 6A. The Panthers head back into league play where they have had some success though Great Bend has lost seven-straight and broken the 40-point marker just once in that stretch.
“It’s a tough road here,” said Battin. “We just have to get some confidence going and I think, ultimately, if we find some shooting our defense will pick up to another level. Until we find that, it’s tough to continue to motivate. We’ve got some down kids right now and we just have to fight through it.”
Great Bend girls 50, Scott City 23
The Lady Panthers have stymied plenty of offenses in the 2012-13 season. Great Bend outscored Larned 48-8 in the second half of a win in mid-January, and on Tuesday, the Lady Panthers forced 32 Buhler turnovers. Saturday night, Scott City turned the ball over 22 times in the first half, falling behind 38-6 by halftime.
“We definitely were not on the same page,” said Scott City Coach Lori Oestreicher. “We started out well. They went on a run and we just stopped and put our heads down after they scored and didn’t try to come back.”
Baskets from Bailey Nickel and Janessa Lowenthal gave the Lady Beavers (3-14) an early 4-0 lead. Great Bend (11-6) eventually tied the score, and the teams remained even at 6-6.
Just after the midway point of the first quarter, Lady Panther junior Kylee Spray came off the bench to hit a three-point that kick-started a 32-0 run that would last the remainder of the half.
“Last night (against Garden City), we were a little slow coming out to start the game,” Great Bend Coach Carrie Minton said. “We just knew we needed to relax and things would start to fall. We were going to get into our game. It just took us a little bit longer than we wanted to tonight.”
Kelsie Doll finished with three steals and six points in the opening frame, and Regan Unruh added five points off the bench as Great Bend established a 19-6 lead.
Hannah Hildebrand and Tarynn Stueder opened the second quarter with transition baskets, then Stueder added a putback for a 27-6 lead. Spray added another triple and five points in the quarter and the Lady Panther defense held Scott City scoreless to lead 38-6 at the break.
The Lady Beavers had their best quarter coming out of the locker room. Junior Kelly Wycoff spent much of the first half on the bench with two fouls. She scored five of her game-high 11 points in the third quarter, and freshman Nicole Latta added four points.
“We just talked about playing as a team and that we all need to step-up instead of relying on just a couple of people because those people are on the bench,” said Oestreicher. “It worked for about a minute, then we went back to not being on the same page and not knowing what we’re doing.”
The deficit was just too much. A Morgan Harwood putback with 7:30 to play in the game initiated a running clock with a 47-17 score.
“It’s hard when you have that lead to keep the girls focused, and when you throw in the running clock and different combinations of players,” Minton said. “I felt like the girls did a good job of executing and sticking to the game plan. We really wanted to get up and down the floor tonight and push the ball.”
Kaylie Doll paced the Lady Panthers with nine points. Twin-sister Kaylie Doll and Spray each scored all eight of their points in the first half. Stueder and Unruh each finished with seven points.
Latta and Nickel each scored four points for Scott City.