Third quarter slump dooms Lady Redskins
Monday, 21 February 2011 13:37
By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
In three minutes midway through the third quarter, the Lady Redskins went from a four-point lead to trailing by 12.
The Lady Redskins rallied in the fourth but fell short 45-43.
With 5:55 to play in the third quarter, and Lady Redskin standout Justice Norah on the bench with three fouls, Lauren Sumner hit a free throw to give the Lady Redskins a 20-16 lead.
Liberal did not score again until 1:46 remained in the quarter.
And while the Lady Redskins couldn’t find the basket, the Lady Panthers couldn’t miss.
Cassidy Tutak and Taycee Bunn combined for 10 points in two-and-a-half minutes to give Great Bend a 26-20 lead.
Another Great Bend basket forced Liberal coach Shane Stout to take a time out, but it made little difference. The Panthers scored two more buckets, and Norah was called for her fourth foul.
Jordan Haney scored a basket to give Great Bend its largest lead, 34-22.
Destiny Hall broke the scoring drought by hitting two free throws and added a bucket 14 seconds later. Jai Chapman hit a long-range jumper to cut the lead to 36-28 by the end of the third quarter.
Liberal had chances to reduce the lead further, but three straight turnovers and missed free throws prevented a Lady Redskins rally early in the fourth.
Chapman, a freshman, continued to fight for the Lady Redskins, but Norah fouled out in the fourth and the Lady Panthers made just enough free throws down the stretch.
“We didn’t play with poise,” Stout said. “We got down, and then we got frustrated. When we were down by four or six, you would have thought it was 40 the way we were hanging our heads.”
While the Lady Redskins have overcome some early-season challenges, and younger players like Chapman and Marisol Regalado are gaining varsity experience, Stout said there is still room for improvement.
“We are not mentally tough right now,” Stout said. “We make a free throw here or there or some lay-ups and we’re talking about a win right now.”
The loss has the Lady Redskins in a battle for a playoff game at home. Liberal is 9-9 and needs to get to 10 wins to have a comfortable shot at a top four seed in district pairings.
Liberal has two shots, on the road Tuesday at Garden City and at home Friday against Dodge City.