Good Luck

June 05th, 2020

alexlopezdriveLiberal’s Alex Lopez drives against Hays defender TJ Nunnery Saturday in Hays. Ramirez scored 12 points in a 57-44 loss. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

Leader & Times

HAYS — With the height of Hays already an advantage, the Liberal Redskins saw their roster get shorter, both in numbers and height when Braxton Hyde was unable to suit up against the Indians.

Despite the Redskins keeping within range for most of the game, the height advantage and short bench proved to be too big of an obstacle, and Liberal fell to 4-4 on the season with a 57-44 loss.

Not only was Hyde dressed in street clothes, but Liberal’s next tallest player, AJ Ramirez found himself with two quick fouls in the opening minutes of the game and was sent to the bench.

Liberal competed in the lane early, but Hays was able to knock down a three midway through the first quarter, and with 2:45 to play in the period the Redskins had battled to a 5-5 draw.

But the Indians ended the period with an 8-0 run to take a 13-5 lead.

Liberal responded with a 5-0 run to start the second quarter with a bucket from Malcolm Wiltshire and a three from Hunter Hatcher to cut the lead to three, but the Indians pushed the lead back to seven.

Still, the Redskins revented Hays from reaching a double digit lead, and by halftime the Indians led 27-20.

But the Redskins struggled early in the third quarter, and Hays used a 15-4 run to take a 42-24 lead.

Liberal never allowed the lead to reach 20, and with 2:34 remaining in the game, the Redskins cut the lead to nine, 49-38.

But the Redskins had to foul to attempt a comeback, and the Indians made their free throws to preserve the 57-44 win.

Alex Lopez and Lee Hatcher each scored 12 for the Redskins.

We didn’t shoot the ball well,” Liberal coach Ryan Petty said. “They went on a run to go up seven at half. We didn’t play a very good third to start. We just didn’t execute coming out at half.”

Still, Liberal battled despite the size mismatch.

“We didn’t quit,” Petty said. “We got it back to nine. We were undersized. Even with Braxton we would have been undersized. We have to eliminate mistakes. We play hard, but not necessarily very smart.”

Liberal (4-4) will host Garden City (4-3) Tuesday and then have a rematch with Dodge City (2-6) Friday.

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