By Taylor Grafft
The Liberty Hill Lady Panthers return home to the Panthers’ Den on Jan. 24 to face a Brownwood team that defeated them earlier this month.
Last week, Brownwood defeated Llano easily with a 56-23 victory and this week Brownwood wrapped up another district win to remain a perfect 6-0 in district this season.
The Lady Panthers are having similar success this season, but will be looking to get their revenge against Brownwood after they were defeated on the road 56-41 on Jan. 7. The Panthers currently sit in second place in district behind the Lions, but know that their district standings at season end will weigh heavily on the outcome of the game this Friday night.
The Lady Panthers will be without their senior leader Blair Lord for their game against Brownwood and for the rest of the season as Coach Matt Kirschner confirmed on Wednesday afternoon following an MRI on Lord’s ankle.
Before her injury, Blair Lord started 23 games and averaged 6.3 points per game. She led the team in rebounds with 6.43 boards per game. The Lady Panthers will continue to rely on guard Ashlee Walker who has led the team in scoring this season with a 13.6 points per game average. Shelby Whitten has also been shining brightly this season with her play from the point guard position. She’s averaged 10.7 points per game.
Against Llano on Tuesday night, the Lady Panthers came out with a huge victory, 82-39, to push their overall record to 17-9 this season and improved their district record to 5-1.
Walker led the Panthers in scoring against the Yellow Jackets with 27 points. Walker was unconscious from three on Tuesday night, going 6-for-8 from downtown.
Whitten added 16 points to help the Lady Panthers push their win-streak to four consecutive games.
Liberty Hill turned their level of play up a notch in the second and third quarters on Tuesday. In those quarters they outscored Llano 50-to-15. Not only were the Lady Panthers outscoring their opponents in those quarters, but also they were taking care of the ball. They only committed three turnovers in the second and third quarters.
Walker and Bridgett House led the Panthers on defense and in the full court press. Both players finished with four steals in the game.
The Lady Panthers defeated Gatesville on Jan. 17 in a close road victory, 50-40. Gatesville was sitting with a 2-3 district record following their loss to Liberty Hill and will be looking to rebound in round two of their district games.
The Panthers will play Gatesville again at home in their final regular season game on Feb. 4.
The Lady Panthers will travel to Burnet to play the Lady Bulldogs on Jan. 28 in what is always an intense atmosphere and close game when those two get together on a basketball court.