Jade Cathey takes a shot to give the Redskins a 39-37 lead with seven seconds to play. But Hays’ Dan Mortiz was able to respond and send the game to overtime. Hays was able to build a lead in double overtime to defeat Liberal, 52-47. Daily Leader photo/Rustin Watt
By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
When Liberal needed a basket to take a late lead, the Redskins put the ball in the hands of Jade Cathey.
And Cathey delivered.
But in overtime, Cathey proved to be human, and the Redskins fell in double overtime, 52-47.
But the Redskins weren’t going out without a fight Friday night, and the Redskins gave the Hays Indians a fight to the finish.
From big blocks to defensive stops, the Redskins and Indians put on a show that needed an additional eight minutes before a winner could be determined.
In the end, a strong perimeter game by the Indians provided the additional spark that could not be matched by the Redskins.
Hays connected on five three pointers, two in the overtimes, while the Redskins were scoreless beyond the arc.
The two played to a 37-37 tie into the final minute of regulation when Cathey hit a runner through the lane that gave the Redskins a 39-37 lead with 7.2 seconds to play.
Hays quickly in-bounded and went the length of the court to hit a mid-range jumper from Dan Moritz as the buzzer sounded to send the game to overtime.
Bryan Morris started the extra period by stuffing Moritz under the goal, and Cathey scored on the other end. Cathey scored all five of LIberal first overtime points but only hit three of six free throw attempts.
A three pointer by Hays’ Derek Meyer forced a second overtime.
Meyer started the second overtime with a three-pointer, and the Redskins chased the Indians the rest of the way.
The Redskins had a shot to stay close, but the Redskins only hit three of eight free throws. Hays also struggled at the line, only hitting four of 10 attempts, but missed shots under the basket by Cathey, and the inability of the Redskins to get a rebound led to the 52-47 loss.
“It was a tough game,” Liberal coach Drew Gruver said. “Hays is a good team. Our guys fought hard. It was a fun atmosphere, we just came up a little short.”
While the Redskins battled, the missed shots came back to haunt them.
“We missed a lot of free throws all night,” Gruver said. “We’ve always said lay-ups and free throws will win you these games. Hays missed a lot of free throws, too. But when you get to the free throw line it is nice to knock those down. If we hit a couple more we come away with a win.”
Cathey scored 24 points for the Redskins, and he snagged a needed steal late in regulation that allowed the Redskins to tie the game and eventually take the lead.
“We were calling his number and trying to get him the ball,” Gruver said. “We wanted to let him go one on one. Hays knew that, too. They are a well-coached team. They were keying on him. He made some big baskets late. He missed a few as well, but that’s going to happen.”
Kowan Russell also had a game of highs and lows. Russell had a monster block in the fourth quarter that slammed the ball against the 1991 Track State Champions banner 12 feet up the wall. But he only hit three of nine free throws while scoring 11 points on the night.
Tyson Deaton added six.
The Redskins had little time to lick their homecoming wounds. Liberal hosted a talented Sunrise Christian Academy team late Saturday night.
“It's good to turn around and play another one,” Gruver said. “We can get the bad taste of this one out of our mouth.”