By GREG CREWS
The Guymon Daily Herald
GUYMON, Okla. — It appeared the Guymon Lady Tigers had finally dug their way out, and then Justice Norah pushed them right back down
After Guymon pulled within four points, the Liberal junior guard slammed the door on a Lady Tiger comeback as she scored 20 points in the final period, while helping her Lady Redskins pull away for a 65-43 road win on Guymon’s senior night.
“I don’t want to say that we were tired out there, because I didn’t see a lot of that. It just seemed like frustration,” said Guymon coach Tim Hofferber, whose team pulled within 40-36 before surrendering a 14-3 run (all by Norah) in the fourth quarter. “When the momentum swung as far as it did in the fourth quarter and we weren’t able to stop it, weren’t really able to stop the Justice Norah show, I think we just continued to get more and more frustrated with that.”
The Lady Tigers (7-14) came out red hot, hitting their first three 3-point attempts while jumping out to a 13-8 lead. But as their shooting touch went away, so did their lead.
The Lady Redskins (9-8) took control with 1:44 left in the first quarter as Norah knocked down a jump shot to put her team up 15-13 and Guymon never got the lead back as it missed its final 13 shots from beyond the arc.
“It always seems like every time we come down here the Guymon girls shoot well. They hit three 3s in the first quarter, but I thought we did a good job of withstanding their run and getting the lead by the end of the first quarter,” Liberal coach Shane Stout said. “We didn’t really change too much up. We just did a better job of finding their shooters. We stayed in our matchup zone. We really thought eventually they would shoot themselves out of that. And that turned out to be what happened.”
Liberal’s lead reached double digits in the second quarter but the Lady Tigers refused to go away and at halftime the Lady Redskins led 28-22.
Guymon trailed by as many as nine points in the third quarter, but again came back to make it 38-33 going into the fourth.
“We would get it close and it would get to the point to where we just needed one key stop or one big possession, but then Liberal would make a big stop and come down and hit a bit shot and the next thing you know they would be back up by eight or 10,” Hofferber said. “Liberal just kept imposing their will every time we got close.”
The Lady Redskins pulled away for good early in the fourth quarter.
Guymon senior Gabrielle Costilla opened the period with a free throw to cut the lead to 38-34 and hit a jump shot on the Lady Tigers’ next possession to make it 40-36, but even Costilla couldn’t keep up with Norah.
The 5-foot-7 guard, who scored Liberal’s first 18 points in the fourth quarter, scored eight straight points in a span of 1-1/2 minutes to widen the margin to 48-36 and the Lady Redskins continued to pile it on as they found success on the free throw line, while Guymon came up empty on desperation 3-pointers.
“I thought we were really composed in the second half and then in the fourth quarter we went 15-of-17 in the fourth quarter alone and that was huge,” Stout said. “I really thought we did a nice job of playing ball control and hitting free throws.”
Norah, who sat out Liberal’s 48-32 loss to Guymon on Dec. 7, led the Lady Redskins with 31 points and seven rebounds. Jai Chapman finished with 10 points, while Lauren Sumner had eight and Kristen Ross had seven. Destiney Hall added three points and Megan Campbell chipped in with two.