Liberty County High School girls coach Carolyn Kelly must feel, at times, like she’s starring in the movie “Groundhog Day.” Her team often starts to play good basketball, only to have mental errors from past games show up again.
The same thing happened Tuesday night, when Liberty fell to visiting Brunswick 71-63 after leading for much of the contest.
“We missed too many free throws down the stretch. I think we were 4 of 8 from the line in the last two minutes. We are just making too many mental errors and not playing good, fundamental basketball. We have let two games just slip away from our control,” Kelly said.
Liberty started fast and played with more focus in the first half. The Lady Panthers made a point to make sure and hit the boards and close out defensively on Brunswick’s perimeter shooters.
In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers went up by seven points after Precious Williams slid a no-look bounce pass to LaShai Richardson to extend the Lady Panther lead to 28-21.
Liberty led 36-30 at the half.
Despite mounting Lady Panthers miscues they developed an inside game against Brunswick. Working off the block, guards fed bounce passes to Kimberly Payno who kissed the ball off the glass for 10 points.
“Kimberly has really impressed me lately. She is a freshman. She has been coming on a strong and has helped us. She has helped us with rebounding, putbacks and playing the low post,” Kelly said.
The Lady Pirates tied the game 36-36 five minutes into the second half. What followed was a see-saw battle until Brunswick took the lead for good with two minutes left.
Liberty falls to 8-4 on the year and travels to Wayne County Friday night.
Williams led all Liberty scorers with 19 points.
Brunswick 71, Liberty 63
Liberty top scorers: Precious Williams 19, Kimberly Payno 10, Courtney Rhodes 9. Lashai Richardson 9, Bryonna Graham 7, Jasmina Smith 5, Catherine Scaggs 4