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Lady Redskins dominate Garden City, win 49-25 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 11:53


Machia Mullens launches a mid-range jump shot for a basket Tuesday against Garden City. Mullens led the Lady redskins with 15 points in a 49-25 win that secured at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship. L&T photo/Earl Watt


• Leader & Times

Late last week, Garden City did a favor for the Lady Redskins by upsetting Hays. Tuesday night in The Big House, Liberal dominated Garden City in a 49-25 win, and, thanks to the Hays loss, secured at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference title for a second straight year, the first time since 1999 that the Lady Redskins earned back-to-back conference titles.

But Liberal didn’t run away early.

The Lady Redskins missed their first five shots, and Garden City scored the first points of the game.

But the Lady Redskin defense didn’t allow the Lady Buffaloes to establish any significant advantage in the first quarter.

Audrey Gilmore finally put the Lady Redskins on the scoreboard, and baskets from Ali Lucero, Aubrey Warden and a basket and free throw from Katie Horyna allowed the Lady Redskins to take a 9-5 lead in the first quarter.

Garden City made two baskets from the field in the opening period, but the Lady Redskin defense only allowed four free throws in the second quarter while the Liberal offense hit its stride. Machia Mullens dominated the paint, making two inside baskets and three free throws to go along with a three-point shot to score 10 points in the period, and the Lady Redskins put up 18 as a team to take a 27-9 halftime lead.

And the run continued in the second half.

Mullens added five more points in the third quarter, and Whitney Hay knocked down a three to spark a 15-8 run in the period, and the Lady Redskins built a 42-17 lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Redskins pushed the lead to 30, 47-27, and that enacted the running clock.

Liberal coach Carter Kruger started to pull his starters from the floor, and the Redskins coasted to the 49-25 win.

The win was a fitting end for the regular season home finale for Tania Minjarez and Lucero on Senior Night. Kruger started both seniors, and the blowout victory pushed the Class 5A No. 3 Lady Redskins to 18-1 on the season and secured a share of the WAC title.

Liberal is now only one win away from securing the WAC title outright and also securing the No. 1 seed throughout the Class 5A playoffs.

“We made up for a slow offensive start with some really great defense,” Kruger said. “We got comfortable and settled in and played some good basketball in the final 12 minutes of the first half. That carried over to the second half, and it was nice to get a running clock at the end.”

But that pattern has been like two boxers Kruger said, with his team measuring up the opponent early, and then attacking.

“It takes a while for us to settle into the game,” he said. “Once we understand how to attack, we do a nice job of playing to that scheme.”

Mullens led Liberal with 15 points, and Horyna scored 13.

“Machia is a really talented player,” Kruger said. “She is just scratching the surface. I’m happy she came to play tonight. She carried us for a while until Katie got going.”

While the win was special on Senior night, Kruger said it’s not enough for this team. 

“We want to enjoy the moment and send the seniors out on the right note,” he said. “But we have bigger goals beyond the WAC.”




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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