In a matchup between experienced teams Saturday afternoon, the Manhattan High girls’ basketball team certainly had its chances to beat Great Bend.
In the end, the Panthers got a pair of key free throws from Kaylie Doll with seven seconds remaining that gave Great Bend a 60-58 win over the Indians.
The free throws came after a scramble in the final sequence that ended in Caroline Ballard’s fifth foul that sent Doll to the free-throw line. It was Ballard’s layup that tied the game at 58 just moments earlier.
Manhattan (2-1) had the opportunity to try and tie the game in the final 7 seconds, but couldn’t get a shot up as time expired.
The loss was the first of the season for Manhattan, which beat Dodge City 53-47 Friday night to split the two-game set over the weekend.
The game went back and forth for most of the afternoon, with Manhattan taking small leads after each of the first three quarters, only to see Great Bend answer right back.
In the fourth quarter, Great Bend led by as many as four, but Manhattan got eight points from Ballard in the final quarter to make the game interesting at the end. Par McNair had the chance to tie the game at 57-57 with 55 seconds to play, but missed the first of two free throws to make it a one-point deficit. Great Bend’s Lauren Welsch did the same thing moments later, missing one of her two free throws to make it 58-56 before Ballard’s game-tying layup.
Ballard led all scorers with 18 points, while Darby Price also finished in double figures with 14 points. Molly Fiser tied her career high with nine points in the game, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Morgan Harwood led Great Bend with 13 points, while Kylee Spray had 12 points, all of which came from behind the arc.
The game was close from beginning to end, with neither team leading by more than six points. In general, the teams traded baskets with tons of lead changes and ties.
Manhattan plays again on Friday at home against the Emporia Spartans.
MHS 49, DODGE CITY 30
It took an entire half of basketball to figure it out, but once they did, the Indians finished their game against Dodge City strong, outscoring the Red Demons by 16 in the second half to turn a close game at halftime into a blowout in the 49-30 win.
After a cold-shooting first half from both teams, Manhattan came alive in the third, making 7 of 19 shots to raise its low shooting percentage and build a 14-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The turnaround continued into the fourth quarter, with the Indians building a lead as many as 25 in a dominant second-half effort.
Whether it was defense or poor shooting, or maybe a little of both, the Red Demons and the Indians both struggled to get much going offensively in the first half, with Dodge City shooting 20 percent from the field in the first half and Manhattan not finishing much better, shooting 23 percent.
Price led the way, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Caroline Ballard was right behind with 12 points, while Par McNair finished with nine.
Leading the way for Dodge City was Katrina Roenfeldt, who proved to be a one-woman offense for the Red Demons. She had 11 points in the first half, finishing the night with 16. No other scorer had more than three points for the Red Demons.
In the first half, Manhattan started cold from the field, finishing the first quarter with a 2-of-12 performance shooting the ball and a 7-7 tie with Dodge City (1-1).
The Indians started to turn it on in the second quarter, leading by as many as six before Dodge City made up some of the difference in the final 3 minutes to make it 18-15 at half.
Manhattan made 14 of its 31 shots in the second half to pull away, while Dodge City finished the night 11 of 47 for 23 percent.