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Liberal pulls away from Salina South, 47-26 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 January 2018 22:08

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Katie Horyna dribbles against the Dodge City defense last week. Horyna and the Lady Redskins advanced to the championship of the Salina Invitational Tournament Friday with a 47-26 win over Salina South. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

For the first time at the Salina Invitational Tournament, the Lady redskins trailed early in the first quarter after Salina South connected on two early three pointers to take a 6-4 lead.

It didn’t last long, and after a defensive struggle in the first half, the Lady Redskins put the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter to advance to the championship game after a 47-26 win.

Kim Alarcon scored on a drive in the first quarter that tied the game, and she was also fouled. She made the free throw to put the Lady Redskins ahead 7-6, and after Machia Mullens gave the Lady Redskins a 9-6 lead, Mullens was called for her second foul and had to head to the bench.

That slowed down the scoring, but it didn’t stop the stingy Lady Redskin defense from keeping the clamps on the Lady Cougars, and by halftime Liberal had a 17-10 lead.

Salina South cut the lead to 20-16, but the Lady Redskins muscled their way to a 38-24 lead with 6 minutes to play after Mullens made a shot, moments later Lucero stuck in the dagger with a three pointer that gave Liberal a 47-24 lead.

Liberal went on to earn the 47-26 win and advanced to the title game.

“The kids did a nice job responding at halftime,” Liberal coach Carter Kruger said. “They got challenged to play better, and they did a better job in the second half. The defense stayed solid as well.”

With Mullens sitting out after her second foul early in the second quarter, Kruger went to the bench.

“Aubrey (warden) and Reagan (Watt) did a nice job of stepping up on both ends,” he said. “They did some good things offensively, they held them out of the lane and did a good job rebounding.”

Kruger also kept up the defensive pressure with the press.

“They handled it pretty well,” Kruger said. “They were prepared. But our kids just kept playing. We put on pressure on both sides for 32 minutes. Offensively we are always looking to attack, and we wore them down in the second half.”

Lucero continued to have a standout senior season, scoring 15 points. Katie Horyna had 13.

“Ali has been playing outstanding,” Kruger said. “She might be having the best senior year of any kid I’ve coached. She is really stepping up for us. When I look at her, I know what effort I’ll get every night. It’s nice to have a senior you can rely on like that.”

The Lady Redskins have not won a mid-season tournament in recent history, and Kruger wants to see this team change that.

“It will come down to willpower and mental toughness,” he said. “Both teams will be fatigued after two days of games. It comes down to what team can execute and be a little tougher than the other one.”

The Lady Redskins played late Saturday night against Salina Central. Watch leaderandtimes.com for updates.

 

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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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