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Riley finds his shot, ’Skins cruise to 57-46 win PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 11:23


Liberal’s Lee Hatcher battles for the ball with Great Bend’s Peyton Duvall Saturday in great bend. Hatcher scored 14 points to help the Redskins earn a 57-46 win, the team’s first Western Athletic Conference victory of the season. L&T photo/Earl Watt 


• Leader & Times

GREAT BEND — When the Redskins hit three pointers, they can play with anyone, and Saturday, the long range shots were falling for Liberal in Great Bend.

With the three pointers falling, and penetration leading to baskets for the guards, the Redskins were able to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this season and get a Western Athletic Conference victory with a 57-46 win over the Panthers.

Great Bend’s Peyton Duvall connected from deep in the first quarter, but Cameron Riley was able to match the Panther stride for stride, and each had two threes after the first quarter.

Braxton Hyde was also able to drop a three-point shot in the period, and the Redskins had a 13-12 lead.

But the Panthers were able to take a lead in the second quarter even though both teams struggled to make shots.

Sam Ryan made a three for the Panthers who built an 18-15 lead with time running out on the half, but Riley ended the period with a three to tie the game at halftime.

But in the third quarter, the Redskins were able to break through, scoring on almost every possession.

Duvall added two more threes for the Panthers in an attempt to stay close, but the Redskins continued to push the ball to the bucket for points in the paint. 

Tristen Bigham scored all nine of his points in the period, and Riley added another three-point shot in the third quarter to push the Redskins to a 22-point period and a 40-31 lead.

Duvall brought the Panthers back after hitting a three pointer while being fouled, and after he made the free throw the Panthers were within two possessions of the Redskins.

But Lee Hatcher and Kace Vongsokda continued to push to the basket and forced the Panthers to foul, and the Redskins were able to protect the lead at the line, earning the 57-46 win.

Riley led the Redskins with 18 points including four three pointers.

Lee Hatcher scored 14, and Bigham and Vongsokda each had nine.

The win pushed the Redskins to 8-10 overall, 1-5 in the WAC.

“That three by Cameron at the end of the second quarter was really big,” Liberal head coach Ryan Petty said. “We had a good first quarter but didn’t close it out well. In the second we didn’t have much going for us. Cameron was big tonight. He put the team on his back for a while especially late in the second and early in the third quarters.”

Liberal has played close games all year long, especially in the first half. But it has been the second half struggles that have cost Liberal wins.

Not Saturday.

“We have been in a ton of close games all year long,” Petty said. “We needed to come out and have a huge third quarter. That was probably the best third quarter we played all year.”

Just one night earlier, Great Bend found themselves trailing Dodge City before the Panthers had a strong start to the second half.

“We had the advantage,” Petty said. “Last night, Great Bend played Dodge City. They were down by five to Dodge at half and opened the second half on a 15-0 run. I told our guys at half, ‘I know they are talking about that right now. We can’t allow that to happen.’ We flipped the script and went on a huge run.”

The Redskins weren’t as sharp in the fourth, but the free throws got the job done. 

“We were sloppy in the fourth quarter,” Petty said. “But we built a big enough lead to hold on late.”

Petty believed the Redskins were their own worst enemy in the first half by not being patient.

“We took some bad shots, some quick shots,” he said. “There is no shot clock. We would be running our offense, then throw one pass and take a shot. In the second half, we were more patient. They guarded us man, and we were crisp when we were patient, and we got shots at the rim. We didn’t settle for jump shots like we did in the first half.”

Top 3?

Even with a rough 1-5 start to the Western Athletic Conference, the Redskins can still finish third in the league if they can extend the current two-game winning streak to four. The Redskins will have to defeat the Garden City Buffaloes and Dodge City Red Demons to take third in the WAC.

“We control our destiny on finishing third,” Petty said. 




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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