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Lady Redskins tested in 2nd half, lock up top 5A seed with 53-46 win PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 February 2018 09:32


Liberal’s Machia Mullens looks to the basket while being defended by Dodge City’s Ezinne Okoro Thursday night in Dodge City. Mullens scored 13 points to help the Lady Redskins earn a 53-46 win. L&T photo/Earl Watt


• Leader & Times

DODGE CITY — As long as the Lady Redskins continue to win, they will be the overall No. 1 seed in the Class 5A playoffs after Thursday’s 53-46 win over Dodge City.

Liberal’s 19-1 record is the best in all of 5A, and Thursday’s victory not only secured the Lady Redskins sole possession of the Western Athletic Conference championship, but it also set up a rematch with the Great Bend Lady Panthers (3-16) for Sub-State.

The Lady Redskins appeared to run away with the win Thursday after building an 18-point lead in the first half.

But a rough third quarter gave Dodge City a chance, and the Lady Red Demons could have tied the game with a free throw late in the period.

But that free throw missed, and the Lady Redskins never allowed Dodge City to tie or take the lead.

Ali Lucero gave the Lady Redskins a 32-14 lead with a basket late in the second quarter.

But Dodge City finished the period on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 34-24 at half.

The lady Red Demons continued the run in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Redskins 13-4 to cut Liberal’s lead to 38-37.

Mullens watched the comeback from the bench after being saddled with three fouls early in the second half and sitting a good part of the second quarter as well.

But Mullens returned to the floor to start the fourth quarter and scored five straight points to extend the Lady Redskins lead to 43-37.

Twice Dodge City cut the lead back to two points, but threes from Whitney Hay and Lucero helped the Lady Saints protect the lead and secure the 53-46 win.

Mullens and Katie Horyna each had 13 points in the win, and Lucero had 12.

“It was easy for us in the first quarter, and that may have given us a false sense of security,” Liberal coach Carter Kruger said. “Dodge put some pressure on us, and we were a little unfocused. I was proud that we responded and made big plays to win the game. We made some big shots to close the game out, and it was probably good for our team to go through that at that moment.”

Kruger had to rely on his starters to find a way to win in the fourth quarter.

“If it turned into a track meet where our kids had to play a lot of minutes, we are in pretty good shape,” Kruger said. “Our kids are competitive and tough. They work through being tired. We went with six, seven rotation late, and they played hard and tough.”

Now the playoffs begin, and Liberal will host Great Bend Wednesday.

“I’ve had a few people remind me of the 2009 team that lost to Great Bend at state after beating them twice,” Kruger said. “Hopefully we can give that team some redemption.”




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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