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Second half surge pushes Buffs past Panthers, 56-35

Republic County used a dominant second half to wipe out a four-point halftime deficit and pull away to a 56-35 win over the Concordia Panthers Tuesday night in the Concordia Junior-Senior High School gymnasium.
Concordia (0-2) led the game 21-17 at halftime.
Republic County limited the Panthers to just 14 points over the final two quarters, and poured in 39 points to pick up the victory.
“I didn't think we played hard the entire game. They outplayed us. They dove for every loose ball. They cut harder than us. They cut in front of us, and behind us. We looked like we had our feet stuck in the mud,” Concordia coach Michael Wahlmeier said, “We have got to figure that out because it was night and day difference from Friday and Tuesday, and I think that was the most disappointing thing. We know it is there. We know the effort is there, but it has to be there every night.”
With starting point guard Kendall Reynolds picking up her second foul less than two minutes into the game, the Panthers scored just four points in the first 6:30 of the first quarter, and trailed 9-4.
Jumpers by Katlynn Miller and Zoe Bechard pulled Concordia within a point, 9-8.
Miller knocked down a three-point shot 22 seconds into the second period, and the Panthers led 11-9.
A basket by Alexis Hanson pulled the Buffaloes even at 11-11.
Bechard connected on a three and Reynolds scored on a drive to give Concordia a 16-11 lead, with 2:27 to play in the first half.
Republic County would get as close as two points, 17-15.
Emma Wahlmeier grabbed an offensive rebound and scored and Miller got a steal and layup to put the Panthers up 21-15.
Tobi Wilber made a layup as time ran out in the first half, and the Buffaloes trailed 21-17.
Baskets by Emma Morris and Taylor Gardner in the first 44 seconds of the second half pull Republic County even at 21-21.
A baseline jumper by Miller put Concordia back on top, 23-21.
Miller and Bechard scored 11 points each to lead the Panthers.
Consistently getting beaten back door while playing man-to-man defense, Concordia would switch to a zone.
The Buffaloes connected on a pair of three-point shots over the zone during a 12-2 run that put them o top to stay, 33-25.
“That is why we went to the zone because we weren't playing our man-to-man defense right, and then we were slow getting to the shooters in our zone,” Wahlmeier said.
Bechard connected on a three to make it 33-28 with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter.
The Panthers would not score again in the period, and the Buffaloes tossed in seven points to extend the lead to 40-28.
Republic County would not connect on a field goal in the final eight minutes, but made 16 of 18 free throw attempts to build on the lead.
Concordia scored just four points the first 7:30 of the fourth period before Bechard made a three in the final seconds.
Hansen led Republic County with 20 points. Morris added 12 points.
Concordia will play its first road game of the season at Smoky Valley High School on Friday night.
“Just brining intensity to practice,” Wahlmeier said of the emphasis in preparing for the Smoky Valley game, “Making sure we understand what mistakes were made and fixing them the next game.”

Lewellyn 1-0-0 2, Wheeler 1-2-0 4, Hansen 6-8-1 20, Morris 4-2-1 12, Wilber 3-1-1 7, Jensik 0-2-4 2, Gardner 2-2-4 6, Graves 1-0-0 3. Totals: 20-17-11 56.
Bechard 4-0-3 11, E. Wahlmeier 1-0-2 2, Conway 1-2-4 4, Reynolds 2-1-3 5, K. Wahlmeier 1-0-3 2, Kearn 0-0-2 0, Rundus 0-0-4 0, Miller 5-1-2 11. Totals: 15-3-23.


Concordia Blade-Empire

510 Washington St.
Concordia, KS 66901