Great Bend boys finish strong against Dodge City; Lady Demons win

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 11:23 PM CST
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GREAT BEND, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Great Bend boys have had some tough losses of late, including a close loss to Garden City last week, and a thrilling loss to TMP in the final seconds Tuesday. Trailing 34-31 Friday night against Dodge City, the Panthers ended the drama early with an 11-0 run to open the fourth quarter en route to a 54-43 win.

”I think really we just got out in transition and started pushing the ball up the sideline and not letting them set up in their defense,” said Panther coach Kyle Kriegh. “We were trying to get the ball to our guards that (Dodge City senior Isaiah) Taylor wasn’t guarding.”

Senior Braylon Council opened the final frame with a drive, then Carter Coombs found freshman Jacob Hall for two. Council scored twice more in the run, and senior Cayden Scheuerman added a basket and foul. Council also scored the first eight Panther points to end his night with a game-high 17.

”He was in warrior mode,” Kriegh said. “I was watching him in warm-ups and he was on fire. He’s kind of been under the weather the last week and a half, so it’s good to see him healthy.”

Dodge City never seriously threatened again. Senior Tyler Stuhlsatz broke free from a scrum to score with two minutes remaining to keep the lead at 49-40.

Six Red Demon players scored in the first quarter, led by junior Tochi Okoro with four points and five rebounds in the first four minutes. Dodge City led 14-13 after one.

The teams combined for just 15 points in the second quarter. Panther freshman Ian Premer scored early, then turned an offensive board into a free throw with 33 ticks left in the half to level the score at 21.

Dodge City bumped the lead to 30-27 late in the second quarter on an inside basket from 6-6 senior Victor Brito Santos. Great Bend again tied the score on a basket and foul from Scheuerman. Okoro scored twice late to give the Demons the 34-31 edge into the fourth quarter.

Okoro paced Dodge City with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Brito Santos added 10 points, and Taylor finished with eight points. Council scored all 17 of his points in the first and fourth quarters for Great Bend. Hall added nine points, and Scheuerman finished with seven.

Dodge City girls 43, Great Bend 32

The Lady Demons were coming off a big win against ranked Liberal ahead of the first meeting against Great Bend. The Lady Panthers won that game but have not beat a league opponent since, and Dodge City entered the night tied with Liberal atop the Western Athletic Conference standings. Junior Ashlyn Lembright halted the sweep with 19 points as Dodge City won the rematch.

”This year’s WAC is pretty even, honestly, so it’s anybody’s game,” she said. “I think we’re doing pretty well this season.”

That wellness did not extend to the second quarter Friday night. Dodge City led 15-7 after the first eight minutes but went 0 for 7 from the floor in the second period. The Demons were shut out in the frame as Great Bend pulled ahead 16-15 at the break.

The Lady Panthers were coming off a season-low 29 points in Tuesday’s loss to TMP, shooting just about 25 percent from the floor over the last two games. That held true in the opening frame on 2-of-8 shooting before junior Sadie Spray made three field goals in the second. Sophomore Kara Feist added a three to help with the halftime lead.

Dodge City regained control in the third, thanks in large part to Lembright’s effort from the outside. She scored inside the arc early but made all three of her shots from the outside in the quarter. She made five of her first eight 3-point attempts en route to a game-high 19 points.

”I have my games,” she said. “I didn’t have the best warm-up tonight. My teammates gave me great passes and I was open, so I shot.

Trailing just 31-27 with a quarter to play, Great Bend’s offensive woes returned in the fourth quarter as the Lady Panthers made just two of 11 attempts. Lembright’s final trey pushed the Demon lead to 36-29 with 5:45 remaining, and Feist answered with a three to keep the Panthers in it. Those points proved to be Great Bend’s last as Dodge City scored the final seven points in the game.

Spray finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for Great Bend. Feist added six points, and sophomore Jillian Reimer opened the night with the first five Lady Panther points for her total. Dodge City junior Easha Potts was big early with seven points in the first quarter. She finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Recent Bethany College-signee Becca Unruh scored six points, and senior Alex Gere grabbed 10 rebounds to go with her two points.