Liberal vs. Rich Hill
Last Tuesday night the Rich Hill Tigers played host for their opening game of the WEMO Conference to the Liberal Bulldogs. It would be the second game in two nights for the Tigers after coming off a victory the night before over the NEVC Knights. The Bulldogs were coming off a loss the night before to the Lamar Tigers. The Tigers had played the Bulldogs in the first round of the WEMO Conference Tournament right before the Christmas break. Rich Hill had lost in the earlier meeting by nine points.
Both teams came into this contest with confidence and it showed early that this game would be nip and tuck the whole night. As the first quarter opened both teams played good offense trading bucket for bucket throughout the whole frame. The defense for the most part was good but the Bulldogs still connected making some tough shots against the Tigers. After the first quarter the score was knotted at 14 a piece with neither team finding a way to establish a lead. The second quarter got a little tougher for Rich Hill as their offense went a little cold but the defense still managed to hold the Bulldogs down but a couple of mental lapse on defense just before half-time allowed a couple of quick scores. At the break it found the Tigers trailing the Bulldogs, 20-25. With minor adjustments made at half time the Tigers returned to the floor ready to work for the victory on this night. The third quarter started with the Tigers being very patience on offense looking for the best opportunity to score and it paid off. The defensive rebounding also picked up and Rich Hill was able to cut the lead of the Bulldogs down to just two point before the quarter end. After three quarters the Rich Hill trailed Liberal 37-39. The fourth quarter provided both teams several opportunities to take charge but both defensives always seemed to keep their team in the game. The Tigers finally were able to pull ahead by three points with just a few seconds left. A coach’s time-out by Liberal set the final play up for the quarter’s end. Coming out of the time out the Tigers played solid defense but a quick reversal by the Bulldogs allow one of their players to hit an open trey as time was running out which sent the game to overtime. The overtime played out much like the rest of the game with both teams get a bucket to pull a head just to see the other come back with a basket of their own. In the end, a scramble for a loose ball and quick shot before the buzzer underneath the Liberal basket end the night for the Tigers with a two-point loss. With an otherwise solid performance from the Tigers a couple of factors played into the loss for the evening. A couple of untimely turnovers and missed free throw chances led to the team’s downfall. Coach Moles said after the game he was pleased with the team’s effort but disappointed in the close loss. For the game Rich Hill was 10/21 from the charity stripe with all those attempts coming in the second half of the game. The Tigers fell to 3-6 for the season and 0-1 in the conference. Their next game was last Thursday at Golden City. The Tigers were led in Scoring by Clifton Bridgewater with 28 points followed by Magal Chol-Case with 11, Adrien King 9, Bryce Yohe 8, and Lucas Harwood and Daniel Bridgewater with two points each. Caleb Suschnick led Liberal with 24