By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
LIBERAL--So far this season, the Lady Redskins have had more gas in the tank than their competitors.
The Lady Redskins were able to run harder longer again Friday night in a 63-49 win over Perryton at the Big House.
Justice Norah continued to impress in her sixth game as a varsity player. The sophomore scored 25 points in the win, and this time she didn’t wait until the first quarter was over to make her presence felt.
After scoring zero in the first period the past two games, Norah scored eight of Liberal’s 16 first quarter points, and the Lady Redskins needed every one of them.
Perryton jumped out to an 11-6 lead before Liberal reeled them back in. Malyssa WIlliams connected with a three late in the first quarter and Megan Campbell added a jumper, and the score was tied 16-16 at then end of the first period.
After a short-lived Perryton lead in the second, the Lady Redskins continued to push nd led by as many as six points before heading to the locker room with a 32-27 advantage.
After a cold first half for Kayla Payton, the senior heated up in the third quarter, connecting on three three pointers, and the Redskins went up 49-38.
In the fourth, the Lady Redskins continued to outpace the Rangerettes. With about a minute to play, Norah fouled out. Liberal coach Shane Stout took a time out, and the Lady Redskins were able to control the ball in the final minute to claim the 63-49 win.
“We wear people down,” Stot said. “Some teams want to run for a quarter. We want to run the entire 32 minutes. When we wear them down, we get some easy baskets.”
Payton’s three-point show in the third quarter helped ease the pressure placed on Norah, something that Stout was expecting to happen this season.
“We believe in Kayla,” he said. “She’s one of the best shooters around. She had a nice game. She didn’t have any points at half and finished with 11.”
Norah led all scorers with 25 followed by 11 each from Payton and Williams. Kayla Varnes and Campbell each added six.
The win was the 18th straight home victory for the Lady Redskins. Liberal has not dropped a home game since 2008 against Dodge City.
“The girls take it as a point of pride to defend their home court,” Stout said.
Liberal (5-1) won’t play again until Jan. 8 at Hays.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” Stout said. “We start conference, we have the Colby tournament — it’s just going to get harder as the season goes along. We have to get better every day.”