Jada Mickens scoops in a shot against Hays earlier this seaosn in The Big House. Friday, the Lady Redskins faced a stiff challenge by the Lady Indians, and a late three by Ali Lucero secured a 42-38 win. L&T photo/Earl Watt
By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
With time running out and Liberal clinging to a one-point lead, a mad scramble led to a highlight shot for Ali Lucero, and the Lady Redskins survived in Hays with a 42-38 win.
Liberal and Hays had traded leads throughout the fourth quarter, and the Lady Redskins had a 39-38 lead and the ball with less than 20 second to play.
Instead of fouling and sending the Lady Redskins to the line, Hays went for the steal, and they knocked the ball loose.
Both tams scrambled for the ball, and it glided away from the basket and into the hands of Lucero beyond the three-point line. Instead of holding on to the ball, Lucero opted to put the game out of reach. She launched a three that sailed through the net and gave Liberal a 42-38 lead.
Hays attempted a final desperation shot that missed, and Liberal held on for the win.
Lucero had a career night, scoring 19 points for the Lady Redskins including a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line.
The win kept Liberal within striking distance of the Western Athletic Conference title. Liberal trails Great Bend by a game after letting the Lady Panthers escape with a win in Great Bend.
Liberal has already eclipsed last years win total. Liberal went 11-10 a year ago and is now 12-4.
The Lady Redskins will host Great Bend Saturday, but before that marquis rematch, Liberal will host Cimarron Tuesday in a non-conference match-up.