Liberal vs Rich Hill
On Tuesday night the Rich Hill Tigers met the Liberal Bulldogs in the first round of the WEMO Conference Tournament being held at Rich Hill. The Tigers came into the contest with a season record of 2-2 and the Bulldog’s record was 2-3. The Tigers were seeded 6th and Liberal were the number 3 seed.
In the first four contests Rich Hill had come out a little sluggish but were hoping on their opening night of the tournament to change that. Early in the first quarter the Tigers seemed to finally get off to a fast start with both the offense and defense doing their part as Rich Hill jumped out to an early 11-4 lead. As the quarter progress Liberal stuck with their press forcing the Tigers into 10 turnovers before the quarter ended and the Bulldogs held a lead over Rich Hill, 15-12. In the second quarter the Tigers offense got back on track but turnovers and rebounding wouldn’t allow them to get any closer than 32-26 at the break. During the half time the Tiger adjusted their defense and made goals of cutting down on the turnovers. As the 3rd quarter started the defense and rebounding adjustments paid off as the Tigers were able to hold Liberal to just nine points for the quarter. Rich Hill still saw themselves having a solid chance to get back into the game even though they were down by score of 33-41. In the fourth quarter the Tigers went into a lockdown type of defense holding the Bulldogs down early in the quarter while being patient on offense and Rich Hill was able to close the gap down to 41-43. A couple of costly turnovers allowed the Bulldogs to regain the advantage and hold the Tigers comeback at bay. As the game clock ticked down the Tigers had to foul only to see their opponents connect at the line and at the final buzzer the Tigers fell to the Bulldogs 54-46. Even though they were a little disappointed by the loss, Coach Moles found several positives out of the game. The effort and hustle by the team were the best that it had been all season. The Tigers were able to go 16-21 from the line. He did comment that they still needed to work on bringing the turnovers down to give themselves a better chance to win. The Tigers will play again on Thursday night at 7 in the gym in the consolation potion of the bracket. Their opponents for that game will be the Osceola Indians who had lost earlier in the evening to the Adrian Blackhawks. With the loss the Tigers fell to 2-3 for the season.
Scoring for the Tigers against Liberal were Magal Case Chol with 15 points followed by Clifton Bridgewater with 12,Byrce Yohe and Lucas Hardwood 5 each, Adrien King 4, Daylen Walton 3 and Blake Laning 2. The Bulldogs were led by Gunner Miller with 11 and Case Cumpton with 10