Panthers destroy Leander Glenn, fall to Lampasas at overtime buzzer
By KEITH SPARKS
On Tuesday, the Runnin’ Panthers once again found themselves on the right end of a physical mismatch. This time, it was against district opponent Leander Glenn.
Liberty Hill immediately found themselves up big, leading 25-7 after the first quarter behind 10 first-quarter points from Clayton Kuhlmann. The big win, according to Coach Boren, was to be expected against a new Leander Glenn school that simply doesn’t have the experience necessary to compete at a high level at this point in time.
“It was the way it should be,” Boren said. “They have only freshmen and sophomores.”
The Panthers were up by 40 at the half, giving up only nine points in two quarters. They went into the locker room at the break up 49-9. The second half saw more of the same, as the Panthers’ upperclassmen simply overmatched Leander Glenn’s younger players with their size and athleticism, forcing turnovers and creating easy layups.
72-25 would be the final score, as the Panthers improved their district record to 4-1, and their overall record to 14-11. Kuhlmann led the way with 21 points, followed by Riley LaDuque with 16, including two threes.
Last Friday, Jan. 13th, the Panthers lost a heartbreaker to Lampasas by way of a buzzer-beating three in overtime. Lampasas improved their district record to 5-0 with the win over Liberty Hill, and their overall record to 17-2.
The Panthers trailed the entire game, making a comeback to tie the game in the second half before taking their first lead in the opening minutes of the overtime period, thanks in part to their havoc-wreaking press.
“What happened was I didn’t start the game in the press,” Boren said. “I just felt like they were going to play with a lot of confidence, so we matched up with them. They had a 6’8” guy, so he had six blocks and Zach (Lord) had seven. It was a war, but we just couldn’t hit shots.”
With just over three seconds left in overtime, Lampasas had the ball in a tie game. They were able to push the ball up the court, get it inside, and kick it back out for a three that went in at the buzzer to win it.
Senior Zach Lord led the way for the Panthers on Friday with 16 points, while Josh Sudekum poured in 14.
Liberty Hill will play district rival Burnet this Friday in a home game at 6:30 p.m. To give you an idea of how close the race is between Lampasas, Burnet and Liberty Hill, Lampasas beat Burnet by just one point on Jan. 10th in the teams’ first matchup of the season.
Burnet is currently 4-1 in district play, their only district loss coming at the hands of Lampasas, and 14-6 overall.