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F R I D AY, F E B R U A RY 2 6 , 2 0 1 6

1B

The Rowdy Crowd celebrates a


Liberal basket during a basketball
game in Dodge City.A large group of
students made the trip from Liberal
to Dodge dressed as angels, priest
and other holy figures to support the
Redskins against the Red Demons.
The students even blessed the game
ball before tip off, and the Redskins
were able to get a 58-56 win, their
first win since 2009. L&T photo/Earl
Watt

HOLY WAR
Redskins earn WAC title with
58-56 win over Red Demons
By EARL WATT
Leader &Times

Markalyn Eatmon puts up a shot against Dodge City Thursday night. Eatmon and the Redskins watched
a 1-point lead disappear in the fourth quarter before holding on for a 58-56 win. L&T photo/Earl Watt

DODGE CITY Maybe it was a


divine effort. Perhaps it was the pregame blessing of the ball by the
Redskins Rowdy Crowd dressed as
angels, priests and holy figures. For
whatever reason, Liberal wanted to
exorcise the Demons.
With a strong traveling crowd
making its way to the Dodge City
Fieldhouse, the battle for the Western
Athletic Conference title seemed
more like a neutral site game, and with
the home court advantage neutralized,
the Redskins jumped out to a 10-point
lead early in the fourth quarter but had
to fend off a Red Demon rally late for
a 58-56 win and WAC championship.
Dodge City hit five three pointers in
the final four-and-a-half minutes and
committed four fouls on inbounds
plays with the clock not running to
spark a torrid comeback that led to a
49-49 tie with 1:16 to play.
After Markalyn Eatmon gave the
Redskins a two-point lead with a midlane jumper, Kylan Thomas popped
the ball out of a Red Demons hands
form behind and went to the free
throw line with 49.7 seconds to play.
He made one of two, and the Redskins

built a 56-50 lead with 24 seconds to


play before the Red Demons knocked
down tow more threes and continued
to foul on inbounds plays, but the
Redskins were able to protect the lead,
and a desperation three from Doge
City sailed wide right, and the
Redskins pulled off the win.
Timothy Fitzgerald returned to the
line up after missing the Garden City
game, and he knocked down all five
three-point shots he took including
three in the third quarter to help build
a 13-point Redskin lead.
Liberal shot 51 percent in the win.
Fitzgerald led the Redskins with 21
points. Thomas had 12.
Liberal coach Scott Hinkle tried a
different approach after Liberals loss
to garden City in overtime Tuesday.
I told our kids I got pretty wound
up, he said. The quote I used before
the game is I put a lot of eggs in the
Garden City basket with Timmy
hurt, I took responsibility for that. We
need to play loose, have some fun. My
job is not to be yelling and screaming
at you. I knew the threes would fall at
the end, that is just what happens to
us. Hats off to our conference and
Dodge City for the battle. You know
they wont quit.
The win guaranteed the Redskins at

least a share of the Western Athletic


Conference title and dropped Dodge
out of contention. Hays can share the
title with the Redskins if they defeat
their rival Great Bend tonight.
I couldnt be more proud, Hinkle
said. We didnt want Dodge City to
celebrate a WAC championship, and
we pulled it off. People thought there
was no way after getting beat by
Garden City. It shows what kind of fire
we have.
For the Redskins, winning the close
games has been the signature of this
team with a 3-1 record in overtime.
When Dodge City rallied to tie the
game late, Hinkle never doubted that
his team still had the upper hand.
I think the way we fought through
that is weve been there before, he
said. Thats what it has been all year
long. I credit the kids that they fought
through it. They were tired, they were
gassed, its late in the game and shots
start to fall. Mainly it was the
experience these kids have had. They
are battle tested.
Of course, having the Rowdy Crowd
show up on the road in large numbers
didnt hurt.
With all the angels and Jesuses, it
was a sign, Hinkle said. It doesnt get
much better than this.

Sewards Joanna Grymek (55) prepares to block a shot Thursday at the Greenhouse. Grymek and the Lady Saints cruised to an 86-56
win over Pratt in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament. L&T photo/Chris Linenbroker

WEST BEATS SOUTH, MOVES TO 10-0


Wests Maverick Mills dribbles by Souths Alejandro Esparza Thursday.The Warriors fell
behind ealry in the crosstown clash, 17-8, but rallied for a 55-37 win to finsih a perfect
regular seaosn at 10-0. West Warrior Boys Undefeated! South, led by Alex Lopez,
opened the game with an eight point lead.After a time out,West settled in and started
chipping away at the deficit.West trailed 15-8 at the end of the first.The Warriors
defense stepped up along with a balanced scoring attack during the second quarter, and
the Warriors outscored South 20-6 to take a 28-21 halftime lead.West continued the
pace throughout the third extending the lead to 49-31.Leading the scoring for the final
regular season game was Malcolm Wiltshire with 11, and Maverick Mills and Jaylen
Staten each contributed 10. The Warriors are 10-0 going into MSWAC Tournament play.
Their first match-up is against Kenneth Henderson Thursday in Garden City. L&T
photo/Chris Linenbroker

Lady Sants roll in Region VI opener


By ROY ALLEN
Seward sports information director
The Seward County Lady Saints got off to a hot start and never
looked back Thursday night as they took on the Pratt Lady
Beavers in the 1st round of the 2016 NJCAA Region VI
Tournament. Seward jumped out to an 8-2 lead and used a 16-0
run in the first half to put the Beavers away early, winning 86-56
to capture their 50th straight win in their rivalry with Pratt.
Seward advances to take on the Butler Grizzlies Tuesday in the
Region VI Quarterfinals in Park City.
Seward used their size advantage early on, going to Joanna

Grymek to jump out to a 5-0 lead on the Beavers Thursday night.


A three by Daniela made it an 8-2 game, but Pratt came back to
make it a 13-9 game later on as the quarter hit the midway point.
The Lady Saints would not allow the Beavers another point in the
quarter, going on a 4-0 run to close the period and then used
threes from Tiani White and another from Galindo to finish off a
16-0 burst to blow the game wide open at 29-9. Four straight
points from Manuela Fungate kept the Seward lead at 20 and the
Lady Saints extended that to 24 at the break as the took a 45-21
lead to the locker room.
I See LADY SAINTS/Page 2B

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