May 21st, 2019

machiashotinthelaneMachia Mullens gets above the Wichita West defense for a shot Thursday in the Big House during the Sub-State opener. Mullens scored 14 points in a 45-13 win. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

  • • Leader & Times

A raucous Big House crowd became the sixth man Thursday, helping propel the top-seeded Lady Redskins to a 45-13 win over 16-seeded Wichita West.

With a chant of “Defense” echoing through the Big House form the very first possession, the Lady Redskins jumped on the Lady Pioneers early with a three from Audrey Gilmore, na dafter a Wichita West turnover, Gilmore landed another three for a 6-0 lead and a quick time out by Wichita West head coach Marcus Myers.

The Lady Redskins defense was relentless, forcing turnovers and limiting the Lady Pioneers to only one shot before pulling down the rebounds and moving into the transition game.

The Lady Redskins missed several shots in the first quarter, but the defense only allowed one basket by Wichita West in the first period, and the Lady redskins jumped out to a 10-2 lead.

Machia Mullens opened the scoring in the second quarter with a three followed by a jump shot from Katie Horyna, and the Lady Pioneers were able to respond with a basket and a foul for a three-point play to cut Liberal’s lead to 15-5.

But that would be the only scoring for Wichita West in the half.

Whitney Hay hit a three that started a 13-0 run that included a basket from Reagan Watt followed by eight straight points from Mullens, and the Lady Redskins had a 28-5 halftime lead.

Wichita West started the second half with a three, but that would be the only basket of the quarter for the Lady Pioneers.

Whitney Hay answered with a three that started a 15-0 Lady Redskins run that included three points from Mullens, four from Horyna, a three form Reece hay and a bucket from Gilmore.

With a 43-8 lead and a running clock, Liberal coach Carter Kruger cleared the bench in the fourth, and the Lady Redskins coasted to a 45-13 win.

Mullens led the Lady Redskins with 14 points followed by Gilmore with 10.

“Audrey came out ready to go,” Kruger said. “She’s been shooting it really well. She was relaxed and confident, and that was a great way to get us rolling.”

The Lady redskins had shots early, but they weren’t falling.

“We got some good shots and open threes, but we weren’t as aggressive attacking the rim,” Kruger said. “ We made a few adjustments at the end of the quarter that paid off for us. Once we attacked the rim, we got in the flow and knocked down a better percentage of threes.”

And Mullens was key to getting the inside game going.

“Machia did a good job of catching the ball in different spots, not just the block,” Kruger said. “She caught it at the high post and the arc. She can score form different spots.”

With the starters watching in the fourth quarter, they encouraged the bench players who were able to get playing time in the post season.

“The starters get excited watching them play,” Kruger said. “It’s a neat experience, those kids that don’t get to play as often are so important. We wouldn’t be as good as we are without those kids at practice. We want to see them shine when they get their chance. I’m glad we supported them as a team and a family.”

The Lady Redskins will face Garden City for a third time this season, but this time it will be for a trip to the Class 6A State Tournament.

The Lady redskins knocked off the Lady Buffaloes 53-22 in Garden City Jan. 8, and they finished the regular season with a 55-35 win over the Lady Buffaloes Feb. 19.

“Hopefully we get a good practice tomorrow, good intensity,” Kruger said. “We just have to have a good performance Saturday.”

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