By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
If Jade Cathey only scores two points in a half, then the Liberal Redskins will have difficulty winning the game.
Even though Cathey ended Friday’s game against Scott City with 21 points, the two-point first half for the senior stand-out put the Redskins in a hole, and the Redskins never recovered in a 73-60 loss.
Cathey couldn’t score in the first half because he was on the bench. Cathey was called for three first quarter fouls and sat out the rest of the half.
He wasn’t alone.
Devondre Livingston picked up his third foul midway through the second quarter, and Tyson Deaton added his third foul before half.
With three Redskin starters saddled to the bench, the defense started to play a little less aggressive, something that disappointed coach Drew Gruver.
“We let them get some easy shots,” he said. “We let them penetrate and get the ball in the lane. We didn’t rotate correctly, and they were able to drop it in for a lay-up.”
Even though Liberal trailed by 11 at half, Gruver had confidence that the Redskins could rally. To protect his players from foul trouble, Gruver switched to a zone in the second half, but a tentative defense avoiding contact couldn’t slow down the Scott City scorers. By the end of the third quarter Scott City had a 51-38 lead.
Cathey scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half, but the lack of defensive stops prevented Liberal from reducing the Scott City lead in the 73-60 loss.
Cathey led the Redskins with 21, Deaton scored 13, Livingston had eight, Bryan Morris and Slader McVey each scored seven, and Kenlee West scored four.
Liberal (5-4, 1-1) will travel to Colby Thursday to play in the Orange and Black Classic. The Redskins will face Palmer Ridge, Colo., in the first round of the bracket.
“They look like a really good team,” Gruver said. “It will be another tough game right from the start. It’s always a good tournament and a fun time to play three games in a row. We are ready to get back on the floor. We’ve got a week to practice, and then we will go see what happens in Colby.”
Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
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