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Another halftime lead still ends in a loss for Redskins, 53-43 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 February 2018 10:57


Liberal’s Jace Vongsokda dribbles the ball against Great Bend’s Dalton Miller Friday in The Big House. Vongsokda was face guarded most of the game, and despite a three-point lead for Liberal at halftime, the Redskins couldn’t hold on in the second half and fell 53-43. L&T photo/Earl Watt


• Leader & Times

A three-point halftime lead over Great Bend Friday might as well have been one, according to Liberal head coach Ryan Petty.

“We turned the ball over on the second half inbounds play, and they scored,” he said.

It was the beginning of another second-half struggle for Liberal, and the Redskins went on to lose 53-43.

The Redskins ended the first half on a high note when the defense forced a turnover, and Tristen Bigham hit a shot along the baseline with less than three seconds to play in the second quarter, and the Redskins had a 22-19 halftime lead.

Bigham scored 10 points in the first half, but he would only add two free thows in the second half, a sign that when Bigham isn’t scoring, the Redskins aren’t scoring.

Only three seconds into the second half, Great Bend stole the ball during the inbounds play to start the second half to cut the lead to one, and the Panthers looked outside to drop two three pointers in the quarter to outpace the Redskins 15-6 in the period to take a 34-28 lead.

Liberal looked outside, too, but the shots weren’t falling. Liberal only made one of 17 three-point shots all night.

The Panthers built a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter before a 7-0 run by the Redskins cut the lead to five with 1:54 to play, but the Panthers were able to protect the lead at the free throw line and added a late three with 28 seconds to play to put the game out of reach.

Bigham led the Redskins with 12 points. Vongsokda and Cameron Riley each had 10.

“I thought we started off well,” Petty said/ “We led at halftime again. I thought we should have been up by more. Then we threw the ball away to start the second half. It’s almost like we only wanted to be up by one.”

But the Redskins struggled to shoot the ball, especially in the second half. Liberal ended the game hitting 6 percent from three-point range and 30 percent form the field.

“We didn’t make shots,” Petty said. “You won’t win a lot of basketball games when you shoot like that. We took some bad shots. We probably shouldn’t have shot 17 threes. When you struggle like that, get to the rim.”

The loss dropped Liberal to 0-4 after the first round of the Western Athletic Conference.

The Redskins will get a chance to turn a corner Tuesday when Guymon comes to The Big House, and the Redskins host Hays Friday.




About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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