Lady Panthers down the Ducks

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Lady Panther Sedona Prince puts up a basket over Taylor defenders in Liberty Hill’s win at home Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

Lady Panther Sedona Prince puts up a basket over Taylor defenders in Liberty Hill’s win at home Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

By LAUREN JETTE

It was a physical game, but the Lady Panthers didn’t let the Taylor Ducks distract them from their game plan, and won 58-48 in Liberty Hill Tuesday night.

The Lady Panthers jumped out to a 6-2 lead on an open layup by Kandyn Faurie, but the Lady Ducks quickly cut that lead down with a three-pointer. Taylor tied the game at 10 with four-and-a-half-minutes left with another three-pointer.

The game was tied up again at 12 points, but the Lady Panthers pulled away for a 20-12 lead off a Faurie basket off the in-bounds pass.

Another three-pointer by Taylor with 12 seconds left in the quarter cut the Lady Panthers lead to 23-18. Liberty Hill started the second quarter with a three-pointer by Kaylie Potts and a jumper by Amanda Boliek to push the lead to 10 points. Potts hit another three with two minutes left in the quarter to put the Lady Panthers up to 31, while Taylor added four points in the last two minutes to cut the lead to five points.

The Lady Ducks came out in the second half with a quick basket and three-pointer to tie the game at 31, but Liberty Hill’s offense picked up and worked back out to the 10-point lead for the rest of the game.

“It was a physical game,” said head coach Chris Lange.

“Going to the Killeen tournament, playing Brownwood, playing Lorena, we’ve had those physical games back and forth, so I don’t think we shy away from it. I don’t think we’re scared of it. I think we’re pretty good about it right now.”

The Lady Panthers did get into some foul trouble early, with 10 fouls called against Liberty Hill in the first half alone.

“Some of the issues are staying out of foul trouble. That’s a concern. I did let Sedona (Prince) when she picked up her third at the beginning of the third quarter, to play through that a little bit,” Lange said. “Not all the way, I pulled her out with two minutes and told her, ‘I’ve pushed you as far as I want to push you.’ We’re handling the physical part of it. It doesn’t mean we don’t need to improve.”

Lange wasn’t surprised by Taylor’s physical style of play, and even saw his team execute what they’ve been practicing during the game.

“This one I knew was going to be a physical game. I knew we were going to have to have a better competition. I knew what they brought,” Lange said.

“I thought all in all, the girls executed what we practiced. It’s nice as a coach to come through and work on something and see it actually translate from the practice to the game and they executed it really well on the offensive end,” he said. “I really liked the way our offense worked tonight. I thought it was solid from start to finish.

“I thought they might switch their defense to something different, but they didn’t and so we got to continue on what we’ve been working on so I was really pleased with that,” he added.

“The downfall is the defense, we gave up a few threes. That’s our Achilles heel right now. We’re going to figure it out.”

After opening district play last Friday with a 69-29 win over Llano, the Lady Panthers will look to continue their win streak on the road against Salado Friday, but aren’t looking past the Lady Eagles.

“I’m not looking any further than Salado. We played them once this year. I expect them to be a little better, be more prepared,” Lange said. “You don’t want to overlook anybody, no matter what the score was the first time you played them or what they did to somebody else. There’s plenty of people who want to beat us. It’s Liberty Hill.

“You have to go with the attitude that anyone can beat you on any given night,” Lange said. “That’s my attitude and that’s what I’m trying to pass on to the girls.”

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