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Redskins roll over Concordia, 67-40 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 January 2018 22:06

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Syris Dunlap streaks to the basket against Dodge City last week. Syris and the Redskins faced Concordia Friday in the consolation round of the Salina Invitational Tournament. Liberal pulled away in the second half for a 67-40 win. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times


Liberal snapped a four-game losing streak with emphasis Friday in Salina, crushing Concordia 67-40.

After giving up a second-half lead to Buhler Thursday night, the Redskins came out strong after halftime against Concordia, outscoring the Panthers 38-17 in the final two quarters to cruise to the win.

Kace Vongsokda made his presence known in only his second game. He helped move the ball around the perimeter and made cuts to the basket, scoring eight of his 18 points in the first half to help the Redskins build a 29-21 lead.

With Vongsokda pulling defenders, Cameron Riley was also able to get clean looks from long range. After scoring two points in the first quarter, Riley connected on three three pointers in the second quarter, opening a 14-12 lead to a 27-16 advantage, and after five straight points from the Panthers, Riley dropped a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the half to give the Redskins a 29-21 lead.

After Vongsokda opened the second half with a basket, Concordia answered to keep the game in single digits.

But the threes continued to drop for the Redskins, and Vongsokda hit the first one of the second half followed by another from Braxton Hyde and another from Riley, and the Redskins had a 46-26 lead.

Concordia ended Liberal’s 10-0 run with a basket, but Vongsokda was fouled while shooting a three with less than a second remaining in the third quarter, and he made all three shots to give the Redskins a 49-28 advantage.

Concordia cut the lead to 19 on the first shot of the fourth quarter, but Vongsokda sunk another bucket that restored Liberal’s 21-point lead, and Lee Hatcher scored the next two Redskin baskets, and after rare back-to-back buckets by Concordia, Hyde started a 12-2 run for the Redskins that included threes by Riley and Lee Hatcher, and the Redskins went on to win 67-40.

Riley led the Redskins with 19 points followed by Vongsokda’s 18.

“We wanted to play faster and speed them up,” Liberal coach Ryan Petty said. “If we made them go faster, we would go faster on offense. We wanted to score in transition, and we thought we could run.”

And they did. But they also executed the offense in the half court.

“Whenever they stopped us in transition, we did a good job running our sets and executing in our half court,” Petty added.

Even though Liberal had a solid first half, Petty believed they should have had more than an eight-point lead.

“I thought we should have been up more,” Petty said. “I thought we played well, but we didn’t close the quarter well. We challenged the guys that first three or four minutes of the third quarter would be important. That third quarter stretch, we played some of the best basketball we’ve played all year.”

Liberal outscored the Panthers 20-7 in that period, and Petty thought Concordia could have issues with a drought.

“Salina Central went on a 28-0 run on Concordia Thursday,” Petty said. “We are normally the guys with long droughts, but they have droughts, and if we guard them and turn them over, it would be key to blowing this thing open late in the third quarter.”

Petty was also pleased that the Redskins limited their turnovers to only nine.

‘I was pleased we cut down to nine,” he said. “If we can keep turnovers down, we get more shots and will be in better position to win games.”

Now Liberal will try to do something they have not done all season — win back-to-back games.

“When you lose four in a row, its tough,” Petty said. “We had to get a victory tonight. If we can get one tomorrow, that would be huge. We haven’t won two in a row this year. We are excited for that opportunity. We can get this thing going in the right direction.”

Liberal battled Abilene late for fifth place. See leaderandtimes.com for updates.

 

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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