Lady Panthers fall to Jim Ned in Whataburger Tournament championship

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By LANCE CATCHINGS

The Lady Panthers (21-3, 3-0) defeated the Taylor Lady Ducks (6-13, 0-3) easily on Tuesday by a score of 77-10 to remain undefeated in district play. Liberty Hill jumped out to an early lead, and the game was never in question.

Liberty Hill Head Coach Chris Lange praised his team’s defensive effort and the intensity the Lady Panthers played with.

“It was nice getting a win and getting all the players a good amount of playing time,” Lange said. “We used this game as a way to work on defensive pressure without fouling. I thought the girls did what I asked of them and worked hard to play the game the right way. I brought up two freshmen for this game. Ashley Nelson scored eight points for us, and Jessica Holiday did a good job running the offense.”

Senior Kandyn Faurie led the team offensively with 25 points, followed by Sedona Prince with 15 of her own.

Nelson added 8 while Elizabeth Buck and Bethany McLeod had 7 each.

The Liberty Hill Lady Panthers took second place at the Whataburger Tournament over the weekend, as they spent Dec. 28 through Dec. 30 in Fort Worth playing at Saginaw High School.

The Lady Panthers defeated Bridgeport on Dec. 28, by a final score 70-51. On Dec. 29, Liberty Hill bested Abilene Wylie 67-47 and Liberty Christian 51-31. In the tournament championship on Saturday, the Lady Panthers fell to Jim Ned by a final score of 49-43.

Lange said some of the biggest reasons they failed to take home the championship was that his team struggled defensively against Jim Ned and didn’t dominate the glass as they typically do.

“We came out flat in the first half and paid the price,” Lange said. “Defensively, we gave up too many open three-point shots the entire game. Jim Ned shot 52 percent from behind the arc, and that is hard to overcome, especially when you are not owning the boards. We got rebounded by eight for the game. We shot 34-and-a-half percent from the field and only 20 percent from the three-point line.”

Lange said the team will have to work on getting the ball down low more often and improving on their shot selection.

“We have to do a better job getting the ball inside and taking quality shots from the field,” he said. “We went into the half down by 11. We made a few adjustments and outscored them in the third quarter 11-3. We tied the score with two minutes left in the game. They came down the court and missed a three-pointer, and we did not secure the rebound and they hit another one to put us down. It was just one of those nights.”

Prince led the team in the championship game with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Shaylin Vickers had five rebounds and five assists, and Kasye Bevers scored eight points.

The Lady Panthers will play host to Salado at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, in their fourth District 19-4A match of the season.

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