By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
After Liberal’s 66-35 loss to Palmer Ridge in the first round of the Colby Orange and Black Classic Thursday, coach Scott Hinkle had his team watch the entire fiasco on video.
“It’s the first time we’ve done tht,” Hinkle said. “We questioned everyone’s effort.”
Palmer Ridge was the clear favorite heading into the game, but Hinkle believed that the Redskins helped make them look even better.
“I didn’t think we came out with a lot of emotion,” he said. “We had our chances early. We made them a lot better by our effort.”
Liberal had the play they wanted to start the game, but the execution faltered.
“We ran a set play,” Hinkle said. “We get the shot we want from point blank range and miss that. Their big guys eliminated our inside game.”
Palmer Ridge was able to get off to a quick start, and the Redskins never recovered.
“Once it starts to go south it is hard to regroup,” Hinkle said. “We didn’t execute. We didn’t sprint back on defense. We didn’t play halfcourt defense.”
Collin Ware led the Redskins with 11 points. Britton Abbott scored eight.
Liberal will face Hugoton in the consolation bracket. The Eagles lost to Wichita West 65-50 in the first round.
“I will be shocked if we don’t rebound,” Hinkle said. “We challenged them with their effort and their fire. Hugoton is a good basketball team. They’re fundamentally sound, they take care of the ball.”
After the Plamer Ridge loss, Hinkle said the game with Hugoton at 6:30 p.m. today would set the tone for the rest of the season.
“We are at a crossroads,” he sia.d “We can feel sorry for ouselves, or come back. We are practicing today. We will get better. If we come and play like last night, Hugoton will beat us, plain and simple. If we run the offense, I feel good about our chances. There is still a lot of season left, but today will tell what is to come the rest of the season.”