July 18th, 2019

katierunawayKatie Horyna dribbles the ball by two Hays defenders Friday night in The Big House. Horyna scored 12 points in a 61-42 win. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

Leader & Times

Liberal relied on its defense early while the offense worked on a way to handle the Hays pressure, and once the Lady Redskins had it figured out, they ran away with a 61-42 win to move to 7-0 on the season an 1-0 in the Western Athletic Conference.

Liberal’s first few possessions came up empty, but Katie Horyna sparked the offense with a three-point shot, and she followed that with another basket to give the Class 6A No. 5 Lady Redskins a 5-0 lead.

After Horyna provided the early spark, Machia Mullens dominated the second quarter, dropping three three-point shots to go along with an inside basket, and the Lady Redskins took a 24-13 lead at half.

The Lady Redskins started to push to the basket in the second half, and that forced the Lady Indians to foul. The Lady redskins made eight of nine free-throw attempts in the third quarter to go along with two threes from whitney Hay and a three from Aubrey Warden, and the Lady Redskins maintained a 43-31 lead.

Horyna dropped another three in the fourth, and Audrey Gilmore came alive for six fourth quarter points, and the Lady Redskins continued to stretch the lead.

Horyna and Mullens fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, but Liberal coach Carter Kruger put his “hands” team on the floor, and the Lady Redskins were able to maintain possession as well as add to the lead.

The Lady Redskins pushed the lead over 20 with a last-minute shot from warden, but the Lady Indians ended the game with a buzzer beater to cut Liberal’s final margin of victory to 19, 61-42.

“Hays is a tough team to play,” Kruger said. “They play differently than most teams we’ve seen. We overcame some adversity. I’m proud of the way the kids played.”

Mullens led the Lady Redskins with 16 points, and Horyna had 12.

“Whitney Hay was a senior leader calming our team down,” Kruger said. “We had some turnovers in the third, and she and Kim (alarcon) did a nice job leading. .Kim probably played her best game as a varsity player. We were ready to play today, and we showed it.”

Last year, Liberal lost the WAC opener to Hays.

“You can’t win them all if you don’t win the frist one,” Kruger said. “It sets the tone for next week with two more conference games.”

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