EARL WATT • Leader & Times
Salina has not been kind to the Liberal Redskins in the past two seasons.
Liberal is 0-6 in the Salina Invitational Tournament during the past two seasons after dropping all three games this past weekend.
Liberal faced Salina South in the first game of the consolation bracket and played their most competitive game of the tournament with a 63-55 loss.
The Redskins had a lead after the first quarter, 12-10, and only trailed by a point at half, 22-21.
The Redskins and Cougars continued to battle within a possession of each other through most of the third quarter, but a technical on Aidan Mata late in the period allowed the Cougars to add to their lead and jump out to a 35-28 advantage.
Liberal cut the lead to 36-32 by the end of the period, and both teams scored with relative ease in the final period, but the Cougars were able to outpace the Redskins 27-23 in the fourth quarter to hand the Redskins a 63-55 loss.
Izzy Rotolo-Garcia led the Redskins with 18 points, and Brooks Kappelmann had a double double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The loss dropped the Redskins to the seventh-place game for the second consecutive year, and the Buhler Crusaders handed the Redskins their eighth consecutive loss of the season and sixth straight loss at the Salina tournament, 67-48.
Buhler took advantage of the Redskins early by jumping out to an 18-3 lead, and the Redskins chased the Crusaders the rest of the way.
The Redskins squeezed the lead to single digits late in the second quarter, but Buhler stretched back to a 33-21 lead at half.
The Redskins struggled to keep pace in the second half in the 67-48 loss. Chris Robledo led the Redskins with 11 points.
Liberal travels to Guymon Friday.