Morris hits key free throws in 49-48 win
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 13:20
By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
When Garden City started to foul the Redskins to try and get back in the game, Bryan Morris wanted the ball in his hands.
And his last four free throws turned out to be the most important in holding off the Buffaloes in a 49-48 win.
Liberal had an 11-point lead late in the third quarter, but a three-point barrage by Garden City’s Jake Curran brought the Buffaloes back to trail the Redskins by two.
Liberal’s William Ross had a chance to extend the lead with three minutes to play with two straight trips to the free throw line, but he only made one of four shots. With a three-point lead, Jade Cathey hit a basket for two of his 26 points, but another three-pointer by Curran kept the game within one possession, 43-41.
After both teams scored another basket, Liberal had a two-point lead with 11.2 seconds to play when Morris was fouled on an inbounds play and went the length of the court to take two free throw shots. He sank them both, but Garden’s Cody Bernbeck hit a mid-range jumper with 4.5 seconds to play.
Morris was again fouled on the inbounds play, and he stepped back to the free throw line with a two-point Liberal lead.
Morris sank the first shot without hitting the rim, and secured the Redskin win by hitting the final free throw for a 49-45 Liberal lead.
Bernbeck hit a long-range three at the buzzer to make the final score 49-48. That made the final free throw by Morris the game-winning shot.
“I hadn’t done anything all night, so I figured I needed to be the one,” Morris said.
During a time out, Morris told his team to get the ball to him.
“As a point guard and a senior, I need to be shooting 90 percent of my free throws,” he said. “They will either make you or break you.”
Liberal and Garden City were tied at half, but a big third quarter appeared to give the Redskins the needed margin for the win.
Cathey scored 15 points in the third quarter and Deaton added two as the two big men dominated inside.
But the four three-pointers by Garden City in the fourth sparked a 22-point quarter for the Buffaloes, but the Morris free throws gave the Redskins the needed margin for victory.
Liberal will not play another WAC game until February. The Redskins will play at Scott City Friday and will participate in the Orange and Black Classic next week. Liberal will return to the Big House Jan. 28 to host Sunrise Academy.
Thanks to the free throws by Morris, the Redskins will hold steady at 1-1 in the conference for the next two weeks.