By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
The Redskins knocked on the door, but they couldn’t get in Saturday i the Colby Orange and Black Classic championship against Wichita West.
After missing early shots and allowing the Pioneers to get a lead, Liberal narrowed the gap to one in the second half. Twice. But the Redskins could not take a lead in a 45-39 title game loss.
“We played OK, we just missed a lot of lay-ups, two footers and free throws,” Liberal coach Drew Gruver said. “We should have won that game, but it was good experience to be in a championship game. Hopefully that will help us down the road in March. We have to keep getting better and continue to improve.
Liberal was 15 of 29 from the free throw line in the six-point loss, something that Gruver believed contributed to the loss.
“If we make free throws it is a different game,” he said.
Jade Cathey scored 19 points to lead the Redskins even though he had to battle foul trouble. Cathey fouled out with a minute remaining in the game.
Tyson Deaton scored five points in the championship but turned in a strong defensive effort during the tournament.
“He had a quiet tournament, but the stuff he does on the floor and his rebounding, he is very consistent for us.”
Kowan Russell scored six and had nine rebounds.
“He did a good job of crashing the boards,” Gruver said.
Liberal (8-4) will host Sunrise Christian Academy Friday at the Big House.
“They have two six-eight guys that are very good inside,” Gruver said. “They have a really good point guard, as good as we will see all season long. They are a good team. I don’t know if they’ve lost a game. It will be a good test for us. We have to be ready to play.”