Mustang comeback comes up short at Great Bend


A slow start proved to be too much to overcome on Wednesday night, as Salina Central’s comeback attempt fell just short of the #6 seed Great Bend Panthers in the first round of 5A Sub-State. Great Bend would hold on for a 46-42 victory.

Central struggled with the Panthers’ early full-court pressure, turning the ball over 11 times in the first half, and falling behind by as many as 13 points before a Kendyl Gary half-court heave would find the net as time expired in the second quarter.

In the second half, Central would score the first basket of the half on a steal and a layup by Saniya Triplett, but Great Bend would answer back with a 10-4 run the extend the lead out to as many as 17 points, leading 35-18 late in the period.

Salina Central mustered just 21 points in the opening three frames, as the aforementioned turnovers and missed opportunities at open outside looks created a mountain to climb, but in the fourth quarter, everything that had previously gone wrong seemed to go right.

The Mustangs caught fire from the outside, hitting three straight triples from the closing seconds of the third quarter into the early moments of the fourth, embarking on a lightning quick 9-0 run to get right back into the game. From there, the Mustangs’ calling card, its defense, clamped down, allowing just three Great Bend field goals in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs would hit four of their seven made threes in the game in the period, and seven of their eight free throw attempts in the final quarter, closing the gap to as little as 45-42 with 10-seconds remaining. In that moment, an arrant Great Bend pass would fall into the Mustangs’ hands, but the ensuing pass up the floor for a potential game-tying three was just out of reach, and intercepted by the Panthers, who made a free throw in the final moment to seal the win.

The loss, while a tough pill to swallow, was indicative of the Mustangs’ grit all season, who never quit in any situation. For Central though, the loss ends their season at 10-11 overall, as their sixth loss of the year by five-points or less, and ends the careers of eight Mustang seniors who played their final games in Maroon and White.

Great Bend improves to 15-6 and will advance to the 5A Sub-State Finals at #3 seed Emporia on Saturday at 5 PM.


Scoring Breakdown

Salina Central – 7 – 8 – 6 – 21 – 42

Great Bend – 15 – 10 – 10 – 11 / 46


Individual Scoring

8 – Callan Hall, Saniya Triplett, Elle Denning

6 – Tyler Vidricksen

5 – Azbey Peckham

4 – Maylin Owen

3 – Kendyl Gary



8 Mustang Seniors – Kendyl Gary, Callan Hall, Maylin Owen, Tyler Vidricksen, Saniya Triplett, Elle Denning, Azbey Peckham, Zariyana Cathey



Azbey Peckham