Guymon tops Liberal for first time in nine years
Tuesday, 15 February 2011 11:08
By GREG CREWS
The Guymon Daily Herald
GUYMON, Okla. — It has been a historic season for the Guymon Tigers, and on Monday they added on more notch to their belt: beating Liberal for the first time since 2001. The Tigers broke free from the neck-and-neck game as they opened the fourth quarter with a 15-2 run and they held on to beat the Redskins, 61-52 on senior night.
“Liberal, they have one of the richest athletic traditions around here, and for our guys, they have been battling them since seventh grade and it kind of goes back and forth, but at the varsity level they have had our number since 2001,” Guymon coach Tyler Chapman said. “This is a big win for us.”
For the first three quarters the game was never separated by more than four points, with the lead changing hands eight times.
Liberal (9-8) ended the third quarter with a 34-32 lead but went cold early in the fourth. The Redskins went more than 5 minutes without a field goal, scoring two points on four free throws as their two-point lead turned into a 47-36 deficit by the 3 minute mark.
“We turned it over way too much and you have to give Guymon credit for putting pressure on us and forcing us to turn it over,” Liberal coach Drew Gruver said. “We turned it over 20 times I think and if we turn it over that many times we’re not going to win games.”
Jace Melton put Guymon (16-5) in the lead for good with 6:48 as he hit a shot inside the paint to put his team up 36-35. Trey Fankhouser tacked on a 3-pointer from the right corner on the next Tiger possession and Guymon suddenly had all of the momentum it would need to put Liberal in the rear view mirror.
“We were just trying to push the basketball and get to the free throw line,” Chapman said. “We shot 28 free throws and they were in foul trouble. I thought that at the end they were playing passively on defense because of that.
“I think our conditioning really paid off late in the game.”
After falling behind 2-0 at the start of the game, Liberal knotted it up at 4-4 and then held the Tigers scoreless for nearly 4 minutes while going up 8-4. The Redskins were still up 10-8 near the end of the first quarter but Matthew Legrange gave Guymon an 11-10 lead at the end of the period as he connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Liberal battled back into the lead in the second quarter and by halftime it was up 20-17.
Jade Cathey led Liberal with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Slader McVey had nine points and DeVondre Livingston had seven. Tyson Deaton and Bryan Morris each had six points, Kenlee West had four and William Ross added two.
Fankhouser finished with 18 points and six rebounds to pace Guymon, which finishes the season a perfect 7-0 at home.
The win marked four in a row and seven in eight games for Guymon, which atoned for a 49-35 loss at Liberal on Dec. 7.