By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Denesse Longoria was clutch form the three point line, hitting four treys for the Lady Tigers tuesday against the Lady Redskins. But when she had a chance to win the game with three free throws with 5 seconds to play, she missed all three, and the Lady Redskins held on for a 57-55 win.
Liberal led by as many as 13 points in the first half before Guymon chipped away and eventually tied the game 43-43 with 5:56 to play in the game.
But Jai Chapman found her spot form the three-point line and drained a shot to give Liberal a lead.
Longoria shot a long-range three that also found nothing but net to tie the game with 4:52 to play.
Chapman received two more passes from the same spot on the floor and connected on back-to-back threes to give the Lady Redskins a 52-46 lead with 2:58 to play.
Liberal had a seven-point lead with 2:03 to play when Ashlyn Wadley hit another three for Guymon. The Lady Tigers added another basket after a missed Liberal shot to cut the lead to 55-53 with 1:39 to play.
Guymon started to send Liberal to the free throw line, and the Lady Redskins only made two of their final six attempts. Guymon tied the game 55-55, and Norah was fouled near mid-court with 39 seconds to play.
Norah missed the free throw, but Emily Bayouth rebounded and passed the ball back to Norah. She was fouled a second time, and this time Norah made both shots to give the Lady Redskins a 57-55 lead with 34 seconds to play.
After two more missed free throws by the Lady Redskins, Bayouth again grabbed the rebound and passed to Norah, but she fell in a scramble for the ball an was called for traveling, setting up the final three-point opportunity for Guymon.
After the missed shot and three missed free throws by the Lady Tigers, Guymon rebounded the loose ball and attempted another shot that bounced off the rim and ended up in the hands of Taylor Landes. The horn sounded just before Landes shot the ball. The ball went in the basket, but it was too late, and Liberal survived, 57-55.
The win was the head coaching debut for Liberal’s Bill Baird.
“It was fun, we got an ugly win,” he said. “It could have went either way.”
Even if the Lady Redskins would have lost, Baird saw the game as a great lesson for his team.
“If we walked out with a loss, there was a lot to learn in this game,’ he said. “We gave them second shots on transition, rebounding, I was upset about us getting back. The girls played their hearts out, but Guymon is a better basketball team than you think. Some free throws went at the right time, and by one second at the end, we walked out with a win.”
Longoria kept the Lady Tigers in the game in the first half with three threes, and Liberal made an adjustment at the break.
“We were aware (Longoria) was on fire,” Baird said. “She only made one second half, and it was an NBA three. Ramey Petty covered her the rest of the way. We contained her in second half.”
Norah led the Lady Redskins with 20 points. Chapman ended the night with 17 including four threes. Petty reached double digits with 10.
Liberal will open the home season at 6 p.m. Friday when they host Lawton, Okla.