EARL WATT • Leader & Times
With a limited bench and new faces, the Lady Redskins took the court Tuesday in two limited scrimmages against Stanton County and Scott City.
The Lady Redskins did not play team captain Elle Hatcher while she continues to rehab from a knee injury suffered after the 2022 season.
“We do have a long way to go,” Liberal coach Brandi Fowler said. “We put a scrimmage on film Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and it was awful. Since then, they are already making improvements. We showed a lot of grit, diving for balls, hustling up and down the court. It’s a lot of fun to coach a team with grit.”
The Lady Redskins have nine varsity players, and Fowler said that brings its own set of challenges.
“We don’t have as many subs,” she said. “We will be short on the bench, but I like the four we have. They are learning together and willing to fight for each other.”
Liberal is also waiting for senior Elle Hatcher to be cleared after she suffered a knee injury after the 2023 season. While she won’t be able to play Friday, Fowler said she is still contributing to the program.
“We don’t miss her leadership because she is with us every single day,” Fowler said. “She can’t be in live drills, and she looks better and better every day. We patiently wait for her return. We don’t want to rush it. We know her value.”
Liberal’s biggest challenge will be the same challenge they have had for the past two seasons — a zone defense. Fowler expected Ulysses to try to exploit that Friday.
“We think they will pay us in a zone,” she said. “Our zone offense has been our Achilles heel. We will be drilling that. During the scrimmage we did not get around screens very well and free throws were terrible.”
The Lady Redskins will open the regular season at 6 p.m. Friday when they host the Ulysses Lady Tigers.