By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Guymon knew that Justice Norah and Kayla Payton would be a threat.
What they didn’t expect was the offensive output from the rest of the team, including the outside shooting ability of Kayla Varnes.
While Guymon focused on Norah and Payton, Varnes was able to knock down three pointers and mid-range jumpers to loosen up the Tiger defense and open up the lane for Norah.
The end result was a 59-40 Lady Redskin win.
“We are tough to defend when Kayla Varnes shoots well,” Liberal coach Shane Stout said. “She opened it up by hitting eight points real quick. That opened the driving lanes up. Payton hit a couple shots and we have five threes at halftime.”
The Lady Redskin offense couldn’t miss, and the Guymon Lady Tigers couldn’t get set to take a shot due to the relentless defense of the Lady Redskins.
By half, Liberal had built a 37-17 lead.
“I thought the first half and the first four minutes of the second half were our best effort of the season,” Stout said.
Guymon came in with a record of 12-6, and the two teams played to overtime Dec. 6.
“Guymon is a quality team that basically we played even two months ago,” Stout said. “Just to be able to say we’ve improved a lot as a coaching staff and a team, we are proud of that fact. We are 10-5, and we are happy with that. We have to continue to get better every day.”
Guymon was able to play even in the second half, but the damage had already been done. Stout played a number of reserves in the second half. Every Lady Redskin on the bench played in the game.
“We forced them into a ton of turnovers, and we have been rebounding well for as small as we are,” Stout said. “We out-rebounded a bigger Great Bend team. We’ve done a good job of limiting teams to one shot. When we don’t rebound well we find ourselves in trouble.”
Norah led the Lady Redskins with 26 points, Payton scored 13, including three threes, and Varnes had 10.
Liberal will return to WAC play Friday in a homecoming match-up in the Big House against Hays.
“This should give us a boost of confidence,” Stout said. “The way we played the second half against Great Bend, and everyone in the game this evening should feel good. We are in the second half of the WAC. If we win, 3-2 will put us right back in it. Lose it and we are down around the bottom. If we have any aspirations of winning WAC we can’t lose another WAC game.”