June 17th, 2019

syrisdefendedLiberal’s Syris Dunlap looks to make a pass while being pressured by Garden City’s Azavier Williams and Carlos Acosta Tuesday night in The Garden. Dunlap scored eight in a 54-45 loss. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

Leader & Times

GARDEN CITY — The Redskins never let Garden City’s lead get out of reach for three-and-a-half quarters, but a late 12-1 for Garden City was too much for the Liberal to overcome in a 54-45 loss.

Liberal’s couldn’t find a way to score early and trailed 9-1 midway through the first quarter.

Lee Hatcher connected on a basket and then followed with a three to cut Garden City’s lead to 11-8 late in the first quarter, but the Buffs ended the period with a three to take a 14-8 lead.

The Redskins cut the lead to 16-14 early in the second quater, but the Buffaloes went on a 6-0 run to push the lead to eight, 22-14.

Brody Sumner cranked in back-to-back threes, and Lee hatcher made a bucket to tie the game, 22-22.

Liberal eventually took a 25-23 lead, but by halftime, Garden City was able to regain a narrow 27-25 advantage.

But the Buffaloes used another run, 12-2, to take a 35-27 lead midway through the third quarter before Sumner connected on his third three of the night to cut Garden City’s lead to 35-30.

Liberal cut the lead to 39-36 early in the fourth quarter with a shot from Syris Dunlap, and a three form Hunter Hatcher later in the period cut the lead to 41-39.

But the Buffaloes again went on a run, this time a 12-1 spurt that started with a call in the lane that could have been a block or a charge, but the Redskins were called with the bock. Garden City made both free throws, followed that up with another basket and a foul for three more, and the run continued until Garden City had a 53-40 lead with 1:01 to play while the Redskins went scoreless for four minutes.

Liberal cut the lead back to single digits with a late Sumner shot before falling 54-45.

Sumner had his best night as a Redskins, scoring 17 points. Dunlap scored eight, and Lee Hatcher had seven.

The loss dropped the Redskins to 5-3 on the season, 0-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.

“We had several opportunities,” Liberal coach Ryan Petty said. “We came out guns a blazing against Hays and came out flat tonight. We finally settled in offensively and played a decent second quarter, finally.”

Despite keeping the score close at half, the Redskins continued to falter in the second half.

“It felt good at half,” Petty said. “But we came out flat in the third. They scored too easily. We didn’t control rebounds, and we labored to score. We have to work on trying to score easier. We got it to two, and then it went downhill from there.”

Stopping the ball was also a chore.

“We got beat off the dribble,” Petty said. “We had a hard time guarding the dribble. We have to guard the ball better.”

Liberal will get another chance at a WAC win Friday when the Redskins travel to Dodge City.

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