Liberal girls stave off comeback bid in Great Bend
GREAT BEND, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Class 6A is tough this year. The Liberal girls entered Friday’s game in Great Bend at 10-3 overall but still on the outside looking in at the 6A top-10. The Lady Redskins let the Panthers hang around for nearly three quarters before picking up their 11th win in 62-39 fashion.
Junior guard Ashley Carrillo was big for the Lady Redskins early on with nine points in the first quarter. Junior Bree Horyna was the force inside with six points and four boards in the opening frame as Liberal opened a 21-6 lead.
“(Ashley’s) an important member of our team, for sure,” said Liberal coach Brandi Fowler. “We call her the ‘Court General.’ She gets us going, she’s a super-intense competitor, and we’re super glad she’s a part of our team.”
Carrillo hit another trey early in the second to boost the lead to 16 points. Great Bend started chipping away with baskets from Ashlyn Harbaugh, Halle Latham, and Candice Smith. A Harbaugh offensive board led to points from Allyson Kaiser to keep the lead at a modest 10 points, but a Carrillo steal and bucket helped Liberal to a 30-18 lead at the half.
The Lady Panthers continued to hang around in the third with baskets from Taryn Warren and Sydney Unruh. A 3-pointer from senior Halle Latham cut the gap to 40-31 with 2:20 remaining in the period.
“We let them get too many offensive rebounds and that’s not okay,” Fowler said. “That’s something we talked about at halftime. We just can’t give teams that many chances.”
The Redskins answered with four straight points from Horyna, who finished a busy third quarter with eight points and five rebounds. A Carrillo pass to senior Aubrey Warden pushed the Redskin advantage back to 15 points late in the frame.
The Lady Panthers (5-8 overall) managed just three baskets in the final 10 minutes of the game. Liberal, meanwhile, had six players score in the final quarter as the lead grew to 62-37.
“I think it was team defense, playing more together, moving the ball better on offense, the combination of that,” said Fowler. “We do way better when we’re all on the same page and clicking together.”
Eight Lady Panthers scored in the game but none reached double figures. Harbaugh led the way with eight points, followed by six points apiece from Smith and freshman Sadie Spray, who also grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.
Carrillo exceeded her averaged of 16 points a night to lead all players with 20. Horyna scored in just two quarters but finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, and Warden added eight points and seven boards. Logan Dodge scored seven points off the bench for the Lady Redskins.
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